Review: Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

norse mythology

Title: Norse Mythology

Author: Neil Gaiman

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

Date: 7th February 2017

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Before picking up this book (or rather, switching on my Kindle) I had never read anything that Neil Gaiman had written. I have heard of him (although I didn’t realise some of the books he had written, such as Coraline) but I never thought to read his work. Everyone said how masterful he was and I figured I would get around to it eventually. Well, eventually did come around when I saw Norse Mythology on offer for £2, which is a great buy.

I have always been intrigued by mythology, especially Greek mythology, and I had a few text books that I once used for a story idea (I never finished it) and I loved reading YA inspired by it. One of my favourite adult series was Goddess Summoning by P. C. Cast, in which different Gods and Goddesses feature. When I saw Norse Mythology, I realise that I didn’t know much apart from what Marvel had taught me (which doesn’t even feature all of the God’s or even Odin’s favourite, which is Balder).

So, I dived into the stories and I loved them. People weren’t wrong when they said that Neil Gaiman is a master of storytelling. There was so much detail woven into the tales and he breathed life into them, making them so vivid in my mind. All the tales were building to the end of days, Ragnarok, and it was so interesting to see how all the parts fit together.

Thor is very different to the one that Chris Hemsworth plays. For one, he is a redhead, and the second is that he isn’t the brightest, often letting pride and ego get in the way. I loved reading about Loki and all the tricks he played, always getting himself and others into trouble, but somehow making things right again. Not to mention, I finally found out what happened to Odin’s eye and why it was gone.

Freya, one of the Goddesses, featured prominently, often put into situations thanks to the Gods, none that she was pleased about, and she often fell out with Loki. We learnt about Balder, Odin’s favourite son, who was the sun for all, and how Loki betrayed him. We learnt about how Thor’s hammer came to be, as well as other gifts given to the Gods, and I found myself wanting to read more.

While this book was very informative, written so that I thought it could have been real, it was also funny in places, with action and drama. I loved the narration that featured throughout, making it seem more real and I was able to connect with the stories. Overall, this was a great read and I think 4 stars is the perfect rating.

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