Arthur Quinn and the Fenris Wolf

Alan Early’s Arthur Quinn and the Fenris Wolf, the second book in Early’s Father of Lies trilogy, feels as fresh and as vibrant as the original. Three months have passed since Arthur and his friends stopped the trickster god Loki from taking over the world. But just when things seem to be returning to normal Arthur begins to have nightmares again, terrible dreams about war and about wolves. It can mean only one thing: Loki is back.

Like its predecessor, this is an adventure story where, aside from a couple of sluggish chapters in the first act, the pace never lets up. It’s like a ride on the back of the Fenris Wolf itself, breathlessly exciting. You can’t help but like Arthur, although the courageous and resourceful Ash remained my favourite character.

Two odd new school friends (who I’d love to see in their own spin-off series) and a mysterious puppy help keep readers guessing who is friend and who is foe. The bond between Arthur and his friends is the rock to which this story is leashed – it makes the book feel wonderfully real despite its fantastically outlandish plot.

The fantasy elements in the series revolve around Loki’s renewed efforts to take over the world, this time by assembling an army of wolves. Here Early uses real Norse mythology to great effect, blending ancient tales with modern-day Dublin almost seamlessly. There’s a great sense of legend and history, which compensates for Loki’s occasional bursts of two-dimensional villainy. With such an engaging mix of heroes, gods, Norse mythology and adventure, this is the perfect series for everyone who enjoyed this summer’s blockbuster movie Avengers Assemble.