MY RATING: ★★★
“Because,” said Thor, “when something goes wrong, the first thing I always think is, it is Loki’s fault. It saves a lot of time.”
This novel was very hard for me to rate because I’ve never rated a mythology translation/retelling before. Therefore, you can’t really rate a book based on the plot or the story since the author didn’t decide it by himself. It was a tradition passed on from oral stories to poems. Then I tell myself, how would rate or review a book like Norse Mythology?
For that, let’s take a look what it is about. I don’t think there will be a clearer and more obvious title than Norse Mythology. It’s Neil Gaiman’s attempt to pay tribute to one of his favourite stories. Since the Norse Mythology is not as popular in the culture translations like Greek mythology, but it is as important.
“The Norse myths are the myths of a chilly place, with long, long winter nights and endless summer days, myths of a people who did not entirely trust or even like their gods, although they respected and feared them.”
The book starts with a list of names of characters and he explains to us briefly, who they are. It is quite useful but it feels very childish to me. A few pages after, I understand why he did it, because Norse Mythology has proper names for f**kn everything. A spoon? A table? We got a name for that. I guess it was one of the points I found quite annoying. When you’re reading a sentence and half of it are composed of names… #please.
The novel is a collection of short stories of the adventures of Thor, Odin and Loki. Some I find very pertinent and actually lead to the main climax which is the end of the world, Ragnarok. However, most of the stories are simply silly and weird (like most tales right? LOL). While I love Neil Gaiman’s writing usually, I was disappointed in this one. I know it was meant to be family friendly but I didn’t expect to read a middle grade book.
I still give a 3 stars for the stories being funny and for it to be very helpful for introducing us in Norse Mythology (which I think was the main message of the author). I get the the global picture and while it was a quick introduction, I find some details missing and I was wishing for more. But I guess if you take it as someone who never knew anything about Norse Mythology, this book did a quite efficient wrap-up at the main tales.
I might be in a picky mood lately hehe but hopefully my next reads will be better 😀 I also want to announce that I’ll be leaving for Vietnam tomorrow! I scheduled a few posts in my absence but I might not have the times to answer your comments or interact with you . Keep in mind I will do it once I’m settled in 😉
Thank you to Penguin Random House for giving me this book to review !