Freya Holm is smart, quick-witted, and an Alva—a paranormal species with the ability to fly. In a bid for a normal life outside of family expectations, she moved across the country. But within a few days of arriving in a small California town, she finds herself fighting over the last bag of lentils with an attractive but ill-tempered werewolf named David.
David Waterstone is desperate for normal, too. Recently banished from his pack, he finds himself struggling to stay sane. The presence of another supernatural power in his new town, especially one as inquisitive and lively as Freya, makes his struggle even harder.
When their new city gets besieged by an insane supernatural with a passion for Dante’s Inferno, Freya’s family sends in one of her old schoolmates. Alrik Isaksson has long been in love with Freya, but she can’t see beyond their hurtful history. Despite the tension, David, Alrik, and Freya must work together and use their intellect, supernatural powers, and sense of humor to survive the layers of Hell being created in their town by a maniac with a passion for literature.
Freya’ s Inferno, the first book in Sonja Bair’s Winging It series (can I just say how awesome a name that is for a series? I do love a good play on words), is a book that pleased me for so many reasons.
First and foremost, Freya is the narrator and that is truly a blessing. The narration is in first person and this really allows a reader to become acquainted with Freya on a more intimate level. We hear each and every one of her thoughts and her sarcastic, mischievous and witty personality are conveyed in a way that I’ve never seen so successfully executed before in a novel. It’s almost as though Freya is talking directly to us, the readers, and it evokes a feeling of kinship. I didn’t see Freya as simply a fictional character; I saw her more as a friend, telling me about her day (and man, what a day). Sonja has successfully crafted a believable, three-dimensional character who a reader can both relate to and care about.
Furthermore, Freya is a character who values her sense of self-worth. There’s an incredibly uninhibited section of narration where Freya is simultaneously talking about herself and addressing the reader. She speaks about the incredible odds that were defied in the creation of her, Freya Holm – “Now, out of my mother’s millions of eggs and father’s quadrillions of sperm, the two sex cells that happened to be me combined. Damn, those are ridiculous odds. I, like every other human being on the planet, won the lottery of all lotteries just to be born. I’m going to celebrate – I’m going to be proud to be alive and to be me. And most of all, I’m going to not try to be someone I’m not. That would be a slap in the face of the ridiculously high odds that created me.” Being someone she’s not would entail accepting the roles being forced upon her at this point in the book: a co-Alpha (werewolf politics are confusing as hell), a denizen of hell, an employee at the USN, a mate and a girlfriend. Freya is strong enough and respects herself enough to understand that it’s okay to not live up to the expectations of those around her. Freya states that she “would not be forced into a position that didn’t fit” and states that it’s “too bad” if she inadvertently creates chaos and ambiguity for those who want her to embrace these roles with open arms. In a world that is constantly telling us who and what we should be, Freya assures us it’s okay to go our own way *starts singing Fleetwood Mac*
I really enjoyed the dual elements of the plot too. Freya faces multiple threats and challenges throughout the novel; there’s the whole situation with Jia and her highly dangerous fixation with both Dante’s Inferno and Freya and then there’s the threat of David’s former pack Alphas, Maria and Robert, breathing down their necks. In no way is the plot simple. Instead, it’s excitingly chaotic and is layered with all the key components that generate the perfect story, from heart-stopping moments of poignant insight into the human psyche to moments of comedic relief that had me laughing out loud.
Eagerly awaiting the next installment in the Winging It series! I’m curious to see how Freya and Alrik’s relationship will change following Alrik’s revelation and I’m excited to catch up with David and his new-found pack.
Song: Britney Spears’ Stronger (what is she doing with that chair?)
This book is available in both paperback and e-reader format on Amazon.