I was reading two other novels at the same time that I was reading Undercurrent, and this is the book I kept reaching for. I loved it. Not just because I have a taste for time-travel novels -- Michelle Griep tamed the writing critique beast in me. I was able to stop watching for pace, plot and writing style, and lose myself in the story as a reader. I thought for sure I knew how this book was going to end, and Michelle completely surprised and delighted me.
The history was wonderful! Michelle dotted all her "i"s and crossed all her "t"s in researching the Viking period. I learned everything from the details of their clothing, to the bear grease they used on the door hinges of their longhouses.
Because of the "Tazarn and Jane" start to the book, there isn't a lot of dialouge, but Michelle more than makes up for it with the humor she weaves into her writing. Seriously, she had me laughing out loud several times! Here's a couple of my favorite lines from the first chapter:
"She tried to side-step the girl, but Tamy mirrored her action as if they danced."
"Cassie stepped back before a fine spray of saliva could land on her and waited for the snort. Tammy didn't disappoint."
The characters were awesome and memorable. Cassie is clumsy, sarcastic, and always embarrassing herself in front of her new viking friends. And Ragnar -- I loved Ragnar! You can feel his passion for God and his love for his friends. One whole side of his face is scared, and he is understandably self-conscious about it. He's always smoothing his hair forward to cover the scar, and believes that no woman will ever be able to love him because of it.
Now, this is an "edgy" read because of an attempted rape and a viking "getting it on" with his woman (there are no details), plus there is a lot of blood, gore and violence throughout the story. (It's 900 A.D. -- go figure.)
The romance scenes didn't happen until close to the end of the book, but it fit -- Cassie was coping with the idea of being in 10th century Norway through the majority of the story, and it took time for her to adjust and fall in love. And wow, what a kissing scene! Michelle certainly knows how to write them! I had to go back and re-read it!
Definately 5 stars. And its going on my shelf of favorites to re-read.