So here's the setting, the teens are all scions of the Norse gods in the modern world. The protagonist, Luke, is the scion of Loki. Luke is being raised by his step-dad (his mom died a couple of years ago) and has a reputation as a trouble-maker, though he has a good heart and is very loyal to the few people who treat him well/respect him. When he meets the other teens in the story, almost none of them trust him (because he is the scion of Loki). The scion of Baldur, Booth, (a rather charismatic teen), however, does trust him (oddly enough). This makes Booth Luke's only friend. Luke knows about the myth of how Baldur was killed by Loki. Luke is appalled by it and has sworn never to do anything of the sort. All the teens are on a quest to stop Ragnorak. At a critical moment, to save the quest (and prevent the end of the world), Luke sets Booth on a suicide mission. Booth dies. This sends Luke into a dark time of the soul. Luke's loss of innocence here is an important plot point and leads into Luke being "reborn" into a true hero. Before this, he acted from a "self-defense" mindset (constantly expecting to be judged/ostracized), all of his actions were designed to make people like him. After this, he becomes committed to something greater than himself and thinks less about "self-defense" and more about "self-empowerment" and about using his skills/talents to help others no matter the cost simply because it is the right thing to do (of course, being the son of a trickster god, his "skills/talents" are trickery, cleverness, quick wit, deceitfulness, etc.) Now, sending someone on a suicide mission is easy to handle in an adult book, but is it too dark for a Young Adult novel? If so, how might I blunt it a bit to make it more age appropriate (12-14 year old readers)?