Queue My Review

June 28, 2008

Review: Viking Unchained by Sandra Hill

Filed under: Review — Tags: , , , , — kris012 @ 4:52 pm
Viking Unchained by Sandra Hill

I realize that when you read a paranormal or fantasy romance, you’ve already accepted that the world in the story will be different from the real world. Given that fact, it seems a little odd to critique Viking Unchained by Sandra Hill on the basis that it didn’t make much sense to me. However, this book just didn’t “ring true” for me and I kept being distracted from the storyline by nonsensical items.

Thorfinn “Finn” Haraldsson is a 10th century Viking who suddenly ends up in the modern world smack in the middle of a Navy SEAL operation in Baghdad, Iraq. Luckily, one of the SEALs happens to be Finn’s cousin who had traveled through time himself. The cousin helps bring Finn back to California to acclimate himself to 21st century America. While there, Finn meets Lydia Denton. Lydia’s husband was a SEAL who died five years ago, leaving Lydia alone to raise their son.

The mechanics and reasons for Finn’s time travel are essentially unexplained. That in and of itself didn’t bother me. After all, I didn’t expect a long scientific explanation and as I stated above, I picked up the time travel romance knowing that the rules of physics would be bent. However, when Finn and Lydia meet, they are each confused about who the other person is. Finn thinks that Lydia is his ex-girlfriend, who ran off with their baby when he was two weeks old. Lydia thinks that Finn is her dead husband, based solely on her “gut feeling” and that they share an unusual eye color and despite the rest of the facial structure is different. I found it highly implausible that Lydia immediately sleeps with him, thinking Finn is her husband despite the differences in appearance! Finn also somehow believes that Lydia’s son Mike is his missing son Miklof. I didn’t exactly understand the logic behind that belief, especially since Finn quickly realizes that Lydia is not the same person as his ex-girlfriend.

Viking Unchained is the latest in a series of Viking time-travel romances, and it’s possible the book would have made more sense if I had read the others first. Characters from the other romances were often mentioned, but I probably would have had a better sense of their personalities if I had read their own stories first. There also were occasional quips about the Vikings football team, which I enjoyed as a native Minnesotan.

In the front of my copy of Viking Unchained was a page full of glowing quotes from highly-regarded authors for Sandra Hill’s previous works, so it’s possible this author just isn’t for me. And even though it wasn’t my favorite book, other readers may get a kick of the story of a quintessential macho man trying to get by in the modern world.


Reviewed by Kristina


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