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Odd and the Frost Giants (thoughts)

June 19, 2008

Well, by now y’all might have figured out that I’m a fan of Neil Gaiman (except for Preludes & Noctures, but we won’t talk about that). So when I say, “I just finished reading a Gaiman book…” you should be able to end that sentence with “…and you loved it, right?”

Well of course I did. :) I won Odd and the Frost Giants, a children’s novel Gaiman wrote for World Book Day, during Nymeth’s BAFAB giveaway, and of course I was incredibly happy. Due to a postal conspiracy however (my post office lately is on my black list), I didn’t receive it until Friday. Then my mom’s birthday and Father’s Day meant that I didn’t start it until today, because while it was a short book, I knew I wouldn’t put it down until I got to the end.

So, Odd is a half Viking, half Scottish boy growing up in Norway. His life is definitely not charmed however, and through a series of events, he ends up running away. Soon he meets a fox, who leads him to a bear, and an eagle seems along for the ride. And when they tell him their story, he’s off on an adventure to Asgard (land of the Norse gods).

Gaiman seems to have a thing for Norse mythology doesn’t he? Loki and Odin seem two of his favourite gods! In this book, though, they have a distinctly more child-friendly appearance than in some other novels I could mention (but won’t, in case you haven’t read them). As I’ve mentioned before, Gaiman’s one of those authors who’s comfortable in a variety of writing styles, so I’m never quite sure what kind of tone I’m going to encounter. Odd and the Frost Giants is perhaps the lightest novel of his I’ve read. And of course, it was magical with Gaiman’s trademark weaving of mythology into everyday life.

I always find it difficult to talk about shorter books, because I don’t want to give too much away. So I’ll just say that Odd is a very loveable protagonist, and that Gaiman brought the various landscapes to life; I felt like I was trekking through Norway and Asgard with him! I’d highly recommend seeking this one out, especially for the kids in your life (it’s nothing like Coraline, in case you were a bit worried). And of course if you’re a Gaiman fan, it goes without saying you’ll be happy. :) If not, this might be a good way to get a little taste of him; if you read it and Coraline around the same time (both short books), that would definitely help you decide whether to read Gaiman’s longer books!

12 Comments leave one →
  1. June 19, 2008 5:39 pm

    Oh, it just sounds so dang delightful! Wish it wasn’t so hard to get ahold of!

  2. June 19, 2008 5:45 pm

    It sounds wonderful. I do want to read it too someday.

  3. June 19, 2008 8:24 pm

    I got this a little while ago and it sounds great! Glad you liked it. I might have to move it closer to the top of my TBR pile. :)

  4. dfrucci permalink
    June 19, 2008 9:28 pm

    It sounds great, Gaiman is an amazing writer.

  5. June 20, 2008 12:49 am

    I’m glad you enjoyed it so much :) I agree that this would be a good way to get a taste of his writing.

  6. June 20, 2008 6:04 am

    I’m with you on commenting on shorter books. Short stories are even harder for me, for all the same reasons. How do you talk about it without just telling it? You do a great job though!

    Have a great weekend, Eva!

  7. June 20, 2008 8:55 am

    Debi, yeah: I was very luck to win it!

    Jeane, maybe the US libraries will order it?

    Em, it’s a quick read, so I’d definitely move it up! :)

    D.F., that he is, that he is.

    Nymeth, it was so sweet of you to offer it as a prize!

    Lezlie, I have a huge problem with short stories too!! And you have a good weekend as well. :)

  8. June 20, 2008 12:12 pm

    Coraline was my first taste of Gaiman, and I loved it!! I will definitely seek this one out. Thanks for the review.

  9. June 21, 2008 11:21 am

    I hadn’t even heard of this one until you mentioned it. How out o’the loop am I? hehe

  10. June 24, 2008 11:30 am

    Lisa, great!

    Andi, it was only published in the UK, so it was more under the radar. I can’t wait until The Graveyard Book comes out in September though!!


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