Rummanah Aasi
Description: Before the days of going toe-to-toe with the Avengers, a younger Loki is desperate to prove himself heroic and capable, while it seems everyone around him suspects him of inevitable villainy and depravity except for Amora. Asgard's resident sorceress-in-training feels like a kindred spirit-someone who values magic and knowledge, who might even see the best in him.
   But when Loki and Amora cause the destruction of one of Asgard's most prized possessions, Amora is banished to Earth, where her powers will slowly and excruciatingly fade to nothing. Without the only person who ever looked at his magic as a gift instead of a threat, Loki slips further into anguish and the shadow of his universally adored brother, Thor.
   When Asgardian magic is detected in relation to a string of mysterious murders on Earth, Odin sends Loki to investigate. As he descends upon nineteenth-century London, Loki embarks on a journey that leads him to more than just a murder suspect, putting him on a path to discover the source of his power-and who he's meant to be.

Review: Loki: Where Mischief Lies is a compelling origin story for Marvel's lovable villain Loki. This book can be read without having any knowledge of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Loki has always been the outcast and has always lived in the shadow of his picture-perfect Norse hero of a brother Thor. After their father, Odin, sees a vision of Loki leading an army of the dead against Asgard, he grows suspicious of his second son’s magical abilities. Loki is now struggling to come to terms of his destiny. Is he always destined to be the villain? Does he have any power to change his destiny? Years later, seeking to prove himself worthy of Odin's respect, a real candidate for the throne, and to prove the prophecy wrong, Loki is sent to Earth to aid a London-based secret organization investigating a series of unusual magical deaths.
  To any Asgardian being sent to Earth is like a banishment because Earth is backwards, has no magic, and it means human contact. Loki's disdain for Earth provides lots of humor while also allowing him to see his identity in a different lens. Loki grows from his disgust of Earth to curiosity and perhaps kinship in those who live on the outskirts of society such as the ex-convict Theo Bell who left lame because of his sexuality. Although Loki uses he/him/his pronouns, he says he exists as both man and woman and that Asgardians do not have strict gender and sexuality norms. There is a flicker of interest between Theo and Loki, but that is pushed to the side as Loki must make a series of choices that will determine his future. While the mystery is a bit underwhelming, I was more enchanted with the characters. Lee embraces Loki's antihero antics that makes him three dimensional and vulnerable. You can not help but love Loki while also being wary of what he will do next. I am thrilled this is the first of a series of books that will feature Loki as I definitely wanted more after I finished this book. A great choice for readers who enjoy superhero stories but also books that feature Norse mythology.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There is some minor language and disturbing images. Recommended for Grades 7 and up.

If you like this book try: Loki: Agent of Asgard series by Al Ewing, Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series by Rick Riordan
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