★★★★ The Last Odinian by Alec Arborgast is the story of Edward Koenig and the days he spent in the small town of Pinemist Bay. When his wife and four-year-old daughter are kidnapped, Edward heads to Pinemist Bay to try to get them back. There is a strange cult in Pinemist Bay that lies hidden among the other townspeople. Known as the Vucari, men in hooded robes sacrifice people to a strange malevolent being called Muka Vechny. Muka Vechny resides in a dimension the Vucari get to through the act of year-walking, which is a mystical ritual designed to take them into the spirit realm of Drugoy Mir. Koenig meets up with a trio of young people who are interested in year-walking, Drugoy Mir, and the Vucari—each for their own reasons—and together they decide to help him find his wife and daughter who are being held by the evil Vucari.
The Last Odinian places a strong focus on its characters at the occasional expense of its plot, which can sometimes go into long-winded explanations to reveal large portions of the novel’s inner-workings. To a certain degree, this detracts from the readability of the book, though it is still a wildly creative and intriguing story with well-developed characters and a beautifully described setting that makes the reader feel as though they are there in the town of Pinemist Bay right along with Edward Koenig. Full of suspense and danger, this book keeps the reader wondering what will happen next. It pulls the reader in by presenting likable, yet imperfect characters, and keeps surprising the reader with the intricacies of the mystical realm of Drugoy Mir.