Gilded is the second book in the Asgard Awakening series and what an excellent sequel! Just like the first book, Runed, it was such a fun, queer and totally hilarious retelling of the Norse mythology set in the 21st century. But this time there were also some extra layers of pain and regret that gave the story more depths and made it even more fabulous.
The story follows the former Norse trickster God Loki, who has been reborn as a woman, and his friends, Freddie and Gunnar Magnusson, as they try to track down Loki’s lost runes. This time, the journey took them to Las Vegas and the gilded Nine Realms Resort, where chaos erupted (to put it mildly). But there were also some important realizations and gender explorations, amazing character developments, sweet budding romances and wonderful friendships.
This series is really something unique and over the top in the best possible way! I completely adore it, but it’s almost impossible to describe it in a way that makes it justice. There are so many things to love about it. I especially want to give huge praise for the unsentimental way gender identity was explored throughout the book and how Loki dealt with it all, and his burgeoning emotions for Gunnar Magnusson.
“Our souls don’t care which clothes we wear.”
The way Loki swapped between pronouns without losing his identity was so well done. There was such a wonderful scene when Freddie tried to explain everything about having your period and female products to Loki, and her failed attempts to use a tampon was absolutely priceless!
And the way Loki constantly misinterpreted Freddie’s proverbs made me laugh out loud so many times! But there was also a more serious tone this time, with Loki’s nightmares about all the bad things he’d done and his regrets causing panic attacks, that added an extra layer to the story. It was still so much fun, but now also more gripping and emotional.
All in all, this is an amazing, absolutely unique and addictive urban fantasy comedy that I recommend with all my heart! I can’t wait to continue the series and find out what crazy adventures that lies ahead for the beloved characters.
Thank you to the author Kendall Grey for the free review copy. I am leaving this review voluntarily and all opinions are my own.
4.5 gilded stars rounding up to 5
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All 1 Star 2 Stars 3 Stars 4 Stars 5 Stars Abbi Glines Abdi Nazemian Adam Silvera Aiden Thomas Aisha Saeed AJ Collins Alexandra Christo Alexis Hall Alex Kelly Alex Sanchez Alice Dolman Alice Oseman Alwyn Hamilton Amy Harmon Amy S. Foster André Aciman Andy V Roamer Angie Thomas Annabeth Albert A. Poland Ashley Poston Ashley Woodfolk Audrey Coulthurst Becca Fitzpatrick Becky Albertalli Benjamin Alire Saenz Beth Bolden Bill Konigsberg Briar Prescott Bri Spicer Brooke Skipstone Cale Dietrich Casey McQuiston Cassandra Clare C.G. Drews Chris Bedell Ciara Smyth Clarissa Pattern C.L. Beaumont Colleen Hoover Crystal Frasier C.S. Pacat Daven McQueen David Yoon Dean Atta Debbie McGowan Debbie Rigaud Deborah Harkness Delia Owens D.G. Carothers Dhonielle Clayton Douglas Stuart Dustin Thao Elizabeth Acevedo Elle Kennedy Elle Wright E. Lockhart Emily M. Danforth Emily Mims Erin Watt Ernest Cline Eve Morton Everina Maxwell Evie Dunmore Grace Williams Gwen Martin Hanya Yanagihara Hayden Stone Heather Truett Hettie Bell Holly Black Hope Irving Hudson Lin Ingrid Sterling Jacqueline Lee Jacqueline Woodson Jamie Deacon Jandy Nelson Jeanette Winterson Jeff Zentner Jenna Evans Welch Jennifer E. Smith Jennifer G. Edelson Jennifer Gilmore Jennifer Iacopelli Jennifer Kropf Jennifer Niven Jenny Downham Jenny Han Jeremy Ray John Green Julianne Donaldson Kacen Callender Kami Garcia Kara Leigh Miller Kasie West Kate Larkindale Katharine McGee Kathleen Mareé Kendall Grey Kevin Van Whye Kiley Reid Kim Fielding Kim Holden Kim Liggett Kitty Bardot Kris Ripper K.S. Marsden Laura Hall Laura Silverman Lauren James Laurie Frankel Leah Johnson Lee Matthew Goldberg Leigh Bardugo Leylah Attar Lisa Williamson Liv Rancourt Liz Plum Mackenzi Lee Maggie Doolin Maggie Stiefvater Malin Persson Giolito Malorie Blackman Margaret Stohl Marie Lu Mary E. Pearson Mason Deaver Matthew R. Corr Melina Marchetta Meredith Russo Miel Moreland Mila Gray Miranda Kenneally M. Tasia Nancy Garden Nicholas Sparks Nicola Yoon Nic Stone Nina Kenwood Nita Tyndall Nora Sakavic N.R. Walker Penny Aimes Phil Stamper Quinn Anderson Rachael Lippincott Rachel Hawkins Rainbow Rowell Ray Stoeve River Braun Roan Parrish Roseanne A. Brown Ruta Sepetys Ryan La Sala Sally Green Sarah J. Maas Sarah Waters Sarina Bowen Saundra Mitchell Sidney Bell Simone Elkeles Siryn Sueng Sophia DeRise Sophie Gonzales Stephen Chbosky Stephenie Meyer Susan Mac Nicol Suzanne Collins Tahereh Mafi Teagan Hunter T.J. Klune Tomi Adeyemi Val Wise Veronica Rossi Veronica Roth V.E. Schwab Wesley Chu Victor Dixen Victoria Aveyard Yamile Saied Méndez