About the Book

Title: Loki: Where Mischief Lies
Published: 2019
Swoonworthy Scale: 5

Cover Story: God of Mischief
BFF Charm: Be Mine
Talky Talk: Backstory
Bonus Factors: Loki, LGBTQ+, Tami Taylor Award for Awesome Motherhood
Anti-Bonus Factor: Dan Scott Award for Awful Parenting
Relationship Status: MFEO

Cover Story: God of Mischief

I honestly prefer my Lokis a bit older (and hotter), but this cover really drives home Loki’s mischievous and not-quite-not-villainous nature. I also like how the illustration leans into Loki’s comic roots without going too far in that direction.

The Deal:

Loki, son of Odin and Frigga, brother of Thor, and eventual Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) villain-turned-antihero, wants nothing more than to practice his sorcery and be appreciated by his father for what he is—not what Odin wants him to be. (Which, natch, is more like his brother, the literal golden child.)

But Loki isn’t trained, and his magic often goes awry. Like when he and his (only) friend Amora, apprentice to the royal sorceress, accidentally destroy a priceless Asgardian relic, and Amora is banished to Midgard—Earth—for the role she played in the mess.

Years later, Odin sends Loki on a mission to Midgard to investigate deaths that possibly have a magical connection. Loki wants nothing to do with Midgardians, but even the Trickster isn’t immune to the truth when he comes face-to-face with it.

BFF Charm: Be Mine

BFF charm that says "true love"

I know that he’ll eventually grow up to wreak havoc in New York City, but I can’t help but be attracted to the young, impressionable Loki in Loki: Where Mischief Lies. (I mean, I also can’t help but be attracted to the MCU Loki, but that’s a personal problem.) This Loki is a fragile creature who wraps himself in a veneer of confidence and snark. He wants to be loved for who he is, but even he’s not quite sure who that is, at least when it comes to his personality. (His gender fluidity, however, he’s got down. More on that below.) Amora’s not a good influence on him, and I would gladly take her place.

Swoonworthy Scale: 5

Loki’s long had feelings for Amora that he’d never acted upon. And then there’s Theo, a Midgardian who Loki can’t help but find appealing, no matter how hard he tries.

(Honestly: I wanted a little more swoon, but I can always turn to fanfic for that.)

Talky Talk: Backstory

Loki: Where Mischief Lies is part origin story, part filling in of Loki’s life before he showed up in the MCU. But more than anything, it’s a great standalone(ish*) story that features familiar characters and settings, and is a wonderful expansion of a universe that already has so much to offer.

Loki is one of my favorite characters, in any medium, so I was super excited to dive into his life and read about his adventures through his own eyes. Lee captured his complicated nature perfectly, and expertly toned down his personality—necessary for this more innocent, youthful version of the character.

The plot of the book wasn’t super complicated, and—looking back—it wasn’t too hard to see where the twists and turns were going, but I got sucked into the tale from the very start and was pleasantly surprised a few times. I also loved how Lee included little foreshadowy nods to things we’ll eventually (or already; time is so fickle) learn about the character. Particularly the fact that he’s not bothered by frigid temperatures.

*I say “ish,” because this is the first of three Loki books Lee is writing, but I think they’re all three separate stories.

Bonus Factor: Loki

This is obviously just an excuse to have a photo of Tom Hiddleston in this post. You’re welcome.

Bonus Factor: LGBTQ+

Pride flag being waved in a parade

Loki is canonically bisexual and gender fluid, but the MCU movies have shied away from that side of the character. (The original Norse stories and comics, not so much, thankfully.) Lee incorporates these aspects of the character nicely, but it never comes across as a forced issue.

Theo looked away first, turning back to the tea-kettle. The firelight pocked and hollowed his face. “Do you have a preference? Between men and women?”

“I feel equally comfortable as either.”

“No, I don’t mean … not all of us can change our gender at will.”

“I don’t change my gender. I exist as both.”

“You’re not … That doesn’t make sense.”

“It does to me.”

Loki’s unabashedly confident about these parts of himself, at least.

Bonus Factor: Tami Taylor Award for Awesome Motherhood

Friday Night Light's Tami Taylor at a football game

Frigga’s the shit. She’s sweet, loyal, intelligent, and wholly loving of both of her children (regardless of what comes to light in the MCU). She can’t totally undermine her husband, but she’s willing to go behind his back when the need arises, and she does her very best to ensure that Loki knows he’s loved and special.

Anti-Bonus Factor: Dan Scott Award for Awful Parenting

Evil Dan Scott from One Tree Hill

Odin, on the other hand, is a shit. He thinks that pushing Loki to be more like Thor—to be more like himself—is what Loki needs. He doesn’t take the time to actually get to know his sons and learn that they’re completely different people, with different strengths. Although he kind of, maybe, eventually gets better, his inability and unwillingness to see Loki for who he really is, and Loki’s damage because of this, absolutely breaks my heart.

Relationship Status: MFEO

I knew we were going to hit it off from the moment I heard your name, Book. And I was not wrong.

Literary Matchmaking

Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1)

Another perfect example of a complicated (and sexy) anti-hero can be found in Kaz Brekker in Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows duology.

Renegades (Renegades #1)

The main character in Marissa Meyer’s Renegades series also deals with her dual nature and what’s “expected” of her from the adults in her life.

Forever Red (Black Widow #1)

And for more Marvel YA, check out Forever Red by Margaret Stohl.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Marvel Press, but got neither a private dance party with Tom Hiddleston nor money in exchange for this review. Loki: Where Mischief Lies is available now.

Mandy (she/her) is a manager at a tech company who lives in Austin, TX, with her husband, son, and dogs. She loves superheroes and pretty much any show or movie with “Star” in the name.