Review: The Weight Of A Soul by Elizabeth Tammi (arc)

the weight of a soul tammi elizabeth
the weight of a soul tammi elizabeth

Title: The Weight Of A Soul 
Author: Elizabeth Tammi 
Series: Stand-alone 
Genre: Fantasy, YA 
Publication date: December 3, 2019 
Rating: ★★ 

When Lena's younger sister Fressa is found dead, their whole Viking clan mourns—but it is Lena alone who never recovers. Fressa is the sister that should've lived, and Lena cannot rest until she knows exactly what killed Fressa and why—and how to bring her back. She strikes a dark deal with Hela, the Norse goddess of death, and begins a new double life to save her sister. But as Lena gets closer to bringing Fressa back, she dredges up dangerous discoveries about her own family, and finds herself in the middle of a devastating plan to spur Ragnarök –a deadly chain of events leading to total world destruction. Still, with her sister's life in the balance, Lena is willing to risk it all. She's willing to kill. How far will she go before the darkness consumes her?

Don't go looking into the dark if you don't want to find what's there.

I found this book unbelievably dull. I kept praying for my interest to at least catch a spark and for me to please get invested in the story or even just the characters but it never happened. I started The Weight Of A Soul four times before I finally made it through the first chapter and I admit that I skimmed most of the rest. 

I wanted a Viking-esque world, I wanted strong characters, I wanted an action-packed plot and delightful insight in Norse mythology. Instead I got a messy romantic drama concealed as a young adult fantasy and a bunch of half-ass gods. Okay not fair. It wasn’t all exhausting love triangles but it certainly felt that way.

Lena is destined by birth to become chieftess of her clan, following in her father’s footsteps. Her father however, is no easy man to love. With him always gone at sea, forcing the other villagers to raid with him, there is little love lost between them. His disregard for others is (I wish I could say slowly but it really was more of an all of a sudden thing) weakening his position as leader. Which means that now more than ever, appearances are important. So when Lena’s sister Fressa reveals she is engaged to their mutual best friend Amal, it stretches already thin family bonds. A younger sister isn’t supposed to marry first and Amal is promised to someone else. But then Fressa dies. Sudden, unexpected and for no apparent reason other than she fell down and simply never got up.

So far not so bad, I suppose. It’s an interesting premise. But that’s where it went wrong real fast for me. Lena chooses not to accept her sister’s death. She chooses not to accept it. No grief, no denial, just “no”. In her grand plot to get her back, she summons a ghosty horse and goes to meet Hela in the underworld where the goddess of death spins a tale about well, death and Valhala and the weight of Fressa’s soul. And that right there is when I called bulshit. It was all so .. easy? Like, I’m nog going to accept my sister’s death so let’s summon a goddess and oh look it works and now a nice trek through some frozen wastelands and hi Hela can you please save my sister? There was some other vague but obvious foreshadowing talk but idk, when you lose my credibility it’s not coming back. Hela didn’t feel like an all-powerful creature of myth. She was just a one-dimensional character with the name of a god. Or so it seemed to me. Ragnarok was casually thrown in somewhere along the line and look that’s Loki passing by *wave*.

And that’s my main annoyance. I missed thorough exploration in every single line. This book has no soul, which is pretty ironic. It misses depth, it misses atmosphere. Show me what life in this settlement is like, give me more than just a few carefully chosen descriptive lines. Let me breathe it. Build this world, this plot. It has potential, now let it ripe. The father’s storyline and his demise was so… underdeveloped. Other plot lines could have been so much more. They could have made me care. I’m sure they could have. 

And on top of that I didn’t even like any of the characters. If I had it may have changed my view on things but I was so indifferent towards it all. I had to look up most names for my review and it’s been less than a week since I finished the book. That shows just how uninvested I was. Still am. Maybe someone else would love this. I didn’t. Pity.

Arc received through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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