Friday, April 29, 2011

Michelle Griep's Undercurrent ~ Reviewed

By Michelle Griep
Published by Risen Books
ISBN-13: 978-1936835027


Professor Cassie Larson leads a life her undergrad students hope to attain, until she tumbles into the North Sea and is sucked down into a swirling vortex...and a different century.

Alarik, son of a Viking chieftain, is blamed for a murder he didn't commit-or did he? He can't remember. On the run, saving a half-drowned foreign woman wasn't in his plan.

Ragnar is a converted pagan shunned by many but determined to prove his Cousin Alarik's innocence. He didn't count on falling in love with Cassie or the deadly presence of evil that threatens his village in Alarik's absence.

Reviews: "Michelle Griep has done it again. Undercurrent is a gripping historical romance that fulfills every expectation. Easy to follow and laced with adventure, Griep captivates readers by taking them to 10th century Norway and immersing them in the dangers of the Viking world." --Jill Williamson, Christy Award-winning author of By Darkness Hid

"Thoroughly enjoyable! A thrill ride back in time to the days of the Vikings. Ms. Griep's historical research is evident as she weaves a plot that will both grip your heart and keep you on the edge of your seat. Unexpected twists, a passionate romance, battle between good and evil, and a brutal realism that is refreshing all combine to make Undercurrent a book whose story will stay with you well past the last page. Michelle Griep is an exciting new voice among Christian Romance and a welcome change to the standard fare." --MaryLu Tyndall - Christy nominee and best-selling author of the Legacy of the King's Pirates series

My thoughts:

Undercurrent rates up with the top 10 books I've ever read. I fell in love with the characters, quirky Cassie, heroic Ragnar, loyal Magnus, and host of others. It's the most creative time travel story, romantic and completely mesmerizing. Griep is such a descriptive writer, you easily suspend disbelief, diving head first into the story and traveling through time with Cassie. I didn't want it to end and can't wait for the sequel. Novel Journey and I give it our highest recommendation: a MUST read.

Reviewed by: Ane Mulligan,
Editor Novel Journey

Bonus Review:

Michelle pens a unique, historical time-travel story filled with suspense, and a splash of romance. I loved her well-timed humor and her main character Cassie. This author takes the reader back into the 10th century Norway, where life was simpler, no distractions or conveniences of the modern world Cassie came from but with all the hazards of everyday Viking existence.

Dr. Cassie Larson, a university professor, is taking her students on an educational cruise in order to give them an up-close and personal look into the world of the Viking era. Unexpected things happen on that ship as Cassie finds herself thrust into a whirlpool that spits her out into a time thousands of years earlier than she started out in. She’s propelled into an historical nightmare where she hopes sleep will come soon so she can wake up in the comforts of the 20th century.

I enjoyed this novels drama and the thrill ride it took me on through the Viking Era and the uproar they were having because Alarik, son of a Viking chieftain, is blamed for the murder of his brother, Einar. Alarik claims he’s innocent and his cousin, Ragnar believes the same and is out to prove it.

While fleeing his captives’ Alarik finds Cassie floating face down in a river and saves her life. He then lets her join him as he seeks to find proof of his innocence. Cassie tries to understand the language Alarik is speaking-drawing on research she had done on the native tongue of the Viking. She then asks him where he lives, he says, “Jorvik.”

Cassie’s mind is racing to figure out what time period she’s in and says, “Jorvik, that couldn’t be right. That city hasn’t existed for a thousand years, maybe he meant the Jorvik Viking Centre, sponsored by the York archeological Trust, and this must be some kind of back way in!”

I liked how Cassie thought and enjoyed (she enjoyed it?) the processes she went through to figure out her situation. It was fun to read about how she reacted to the men she traveled with like a modern day strong headed women. Alarik just shook his head at her and laughed at her stubbornness.

Cassie then meets Ragnar who also seeking proof of Alarik’s innocence. He listens to her and says to her, “the question is not how to leave, but how to find where you belong.”

She pondered this thought; for a Viking he sure was a deep thinker. Had she belonged anywhere? She’d been in such a hurry to climb the corporate ladder she didn't take the time for relationships or to make a house a home. Maybe God was giving her a second chance to find the home and love she couldn't find in the 20th Century.

This book reminded me of the movie Kate and Leopold with Meg Ryan and Hugh Jackson. Hugh enters a time portal and ends up in the 20th century. He tells Meg who he really is but Meg doesn’t believe him. He dressed and talked funny but she thought it was all an act. The Vikings just think Cassie is a headstrong, stubborn woman.

Although Viking life was simple and barbaric at times Cassie had much to learn from the men she is traveling with, especially Ragner who had a relationship with God she hadn’t seen before.

Michelle weaves a riveting story that will grip your heart as she takes you through some unexpected twists, a special romance, and huge battle between the wicked and the noble. She has a wide range of lively characters I enjoyed from the head strong Cassie, faithful Ragnar, valiant Alarik, and innocent, loving Magnus; just to name a few.

As I read this story I was also reminded of what is really important in life as Cassie was. When we strip away the toys and the creature comforts of the 20th century the most important thing any of us can have is love! Love of God, family and others. This is a fun read with memorable characters and a good message. I learned so much about the Vikings in this book.

I highly recommend it!
Reviewed by: Nora St.Laurent
The Book Club Network
Finding Hope Through Fiction

Bonus Review:

Looking for an escapist read? This one might be the complete ticket.

A unique, well-written time-travel that is full of heart-pounding action/adventure and romance. Add to that humor , both dark, and laugh out loud. Characters that you either want to pat on the head and put in your pocket, if only they’d fit, and ones you’d like to strangle populate this read. Finally, descriptive elements that will make your eyes water for various assorted reasons and a whip-snap plot-line that zings with intensity. Those who love a great story need to consider adding Undercurrent to their must read list. However, if you don’t like your fiction populated with an occasional bag of guts or peppered with a little bit of Jesus, you’ll maybe want to pass.

Reviewed by: Kelly Klepfer

Find out more about Michelle at Novel Journey.

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