REVIEW: Exiled by JC Diem

Loki Laufeyson has made many mistakes during his lengthy existence, but none greater than attempting to overthrow Odin, King of Asgard. Exiled for his treachery, he seeks vengeance by becoming allied with creatures who are just as ambitious and merciless as he is. Bianca Caldwell is on the cusp of living her dream when Earth is invaded. She always believed monsters, aliens and ancient demi-gods were just stories, but she discovers they are very real. She encounters Loki by sheer accident when fleeing for her life, or so it seems. Little does she know that a powerful force is steering her towards her destiny.

Blackmailed by Fate and given the task of watching over a human, Loki is ill equipped to deal with the fragile, yet beautiful young woman. His desire is to rule over humanity, not to babysit one. He must keep Bianca safe from his Viltaran and Grimgorg allies, not to mention their minions, or they will both pay the ultimate price.

Warnings: Violence, Manipulation/coercion

Category: M/F

We’re into the New Year now and I’m keeping on the Norse mythology train apparently just a little longer. Exiled is the first in the Loki’s Exile series, a fantasy action adventure supernatural romance. In all honesty, this is more of a Marvel fanfic turned original on a technicality than a Norse mythology story but I’m a sucker for Loki so I couldn’t resist.

This was every bit the wild, wacky, crazy ridiculous story than I was hoping it would be. A lot of the plot doesn’t really make a lot of sense, or can feel a bit forced or contrived, but its still a whole lot of fun regardless. It’s very action driven and full of convoluted twists and turns. Loki has brought armies of aliens to Earth in order to stage a takeover to get revenge on Asgard, but in the course of all of this he is tasted by none other than Fate herself to keep the human woman Bianca safe, is a desperate bid by Fate to change Loki’s ways from evil and awaken the goodness in him. It’s cheesy as all hell but its also very exciting and exactly the kind of popcorn read that can be a fun palate cleanser between more serious books. I did have a blast following it, even if it really is quite silly.

There is some pretty good emotional engagement here with both of the lead characters. I did really come to enjoy both of their POVs and following their character journeys. Loki is, naturally, a selfish bastard who slowly but surely comes to care for Bianca which is of course the tropey schlock we’re looking for from something like this, and on Bianca’s end we have a very fiesty character without her ever edging too far into irritating. She also suffers from amnesia which is a soap opera-y trope used to great benefit here as it lends her an air of both mystery and vulnerability. I liked the growing chemistry between Loki and Bianca as well, and thought the author did a very good job fleshing them both out.

It is, of course, pretty darn clear that this is MCU Loki rather than Norse mythos Loki, though there’s more Norse mythology lingo thrown in to make this story technically count as original rather than fanfic. That said the worldbuilding is firmly sci-fi, and rather than exploring a lot of actual Norse folklore explores instead other planets and alien species and spaceships and lasers rather than much magic or myth. This isn’t a bad thing, especially since it’s pretty clear from the cover that this is pretty much what it’s going to be- I don’t think anyone is fooled by that image of Loki into thinking this will be anything but MCU Loki, and I’m quite alright with that. I found that the author did a very nice job to weave a ridiculous world around the ridiculous plot and it kept the ball rolling well.

The lack of sex in this book is the biggest gripe I have with it. It’s a buzzkill in a story that sorely needed more actual intimate connection between the characters to really sell their chemistry. They are well written as individuals, but them as a pairing needed a bit more to it. Maybe there’s more actually steamy content in the next books in the series but this one was really just a lot of pining and mutual attraction, which is interesting enough but that slow burn never really leads anywhere truly satisfying. I might have bought Loki as a charming bastard a bit more if he’d been making moves on her throughout the whole thing , and that might have given Bianca the opportunity to either rebuff him or slowly give in to seduction. It had a lot of potential here, but the author didn’t go far enough.

All in all a very cheesy, very vanilla little supernatural romance with an MCU action flavour. It’s worth a read if you, like me, really like Loki fic, as it’s really quite a fun ride.

Have you read Loki’s Exile? Let me know what YOU thought by leaving me a comment!

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