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I admit freely that I geeked out hard when I was at Books-A-Million and I saw this book. I'm a big fan of The Avengers and the Thor films, so Loki isI admit freely that I geeked out hard when I was at Books-A-Million and I saw this book. I'm a big fan of The Avengers and the Thor films, so Loki is well known to me. In my writing group, a friend of mine actually wrote as the much maligned God of Mischief and included more information about him than I knew. So when I saw this, I didn't feel that my collection would be complete unless I had him on my shelf too.
I have the habit of when I've seen someone portray said character, they will always be that character. Thus, the narrator in my head took on Tom Hiddleston's voice and Loki still looked like him, though there is a line referring to Loki as having red hair. (Jaw, meet floor.) I mean...I can see it but it just struck me as a "woah buddy!" moment.
This book is precisely what you'd expect from Loki. He is full of himself but charming, a bit of a braggart, self depreciating in some moments, a troublemaker and an outsider who kind of got the crappy end of the stick from the All-Father, Odin. He admits there are things he could have done differently, but didn't. He also tends to not take full responsibility for things, instead finding ways to say, "Well, can't you see why I was driven to do this?" If you're expecting Loki Laufeyson from the films, you may be a teensy bit disappointed. This isn't the story of the baby Jotun that Odin brought home to be raised with Thor. This story begins when he was simply a body-less being, Wildfire, born of Chaos who ends up manipulated by Odin, the All-Father. Loki narrates us from the beginning all the way to Ragnarok, and there is seldom a moment where I was bored or didn't enjoy the story. Norse Mythology is fascinating and I intend to read more about it, so I do thank the author.
With this said, I did enjoy hearing about the Nine Realms, the different sorts of people, the gods, the demons. If you're a Marvel fan, you'll see familiar names: Thor, Six, Balder--remember him, he leads to a particularly painful time in Loki's life--Odin, Freya and Heimdall. And there's plenty of new folks, plenty of fascinating things going on that you'll be as immersed as I was. I also liked how he could shape shift, how there were glamour effects and the magic that you expect from legends like this. The story of him giving birth to Slepnir, the eight legged horse, was peculiar. But then again? Life in Asgard is a bit unusual.
I daresay that I do feel for him; he's too likable to be hated. I genuinely liked hearing his side of theme and I hope that perhaps there may be more to read. Having never read one of Ms. Harris's books before, I will surely remedy this. She is talented, giving us such a well known figure as a protagonist and writing in first person. It made it easier for me to find that there were things about him I really liked and disliked. I didn't like how blase he was about his family; if memory serves me correctly Loki loved Sigyn, his wife, he loved his twin sons by her and I think he loved his triplets by Angrboda, Fenrir, Jormangandr and Hel. So the indifference and dislike towards them didn't really fit for me. I also was a bit confused by his utterly modern language. As we saw in films and comics, if you've read them, he's got quite the vocabulary: 'you mewling quim!' for example. So hearing everyday, modern language was a bit peculiar.
All in all, it is enjoyable. Not perfect, but certainly enjoyable....more
This is one of those books that you know going in, that it’s not going to be a light read. It’s taking place in one of the darkest places in history,This is one of those books that you know going in, that it’s not going to be a light read. It’s taking place in one of the darkest places in history, where some of humanities most horrible acts occurred.
We’re brought into “the family camp”, Block 31, in Auschwitz, the only unit in the campauschwitz where there were children. They were allowed to sing and play, but learning was forbidden. However, they continue to educate themselves, having worked out codes to let them know when Nazi officers are coming to check on things. When certain things were called out, they knew who was coming and were able to hide the few little books that they had. Dita is our librarian and constantly risks her life to hide and keep the tomes safe. Eight little books…but the idea of what would become of all of them if discovered is a fear that is rife throughout the book and also one you feel struck into your heart as you sit reading. To have experienced it in person must have been terrifying.
Whilst there were moments that make you smile, they are laced with the harsh reminders of that this was a place where people were going to die. And they were going to be killed in a harsh, horrible manner in the hopes that they would never be thought of again. So many lives….and they were taken for what? One man’s hatred. That is the only reason.
This is labelled as a Young Adult book but quite frankly, I think everyone should read ditathis. It’s beautifully written and extremely haunting. It reminds me of how I felt when I visited the National Holocaust Museum when I was 14, Dita’s age in the book. It is a solemn place, one where you reflect on how good your life is and how horrific it must have been to be persecuted for being a Jew or anyone that didn’t fit Hitler’s ideal of a perfect Aryan. It shakes some part of your core and stays with you. It’s been 17 years since I was there, but I will never forget some of the things I saw and read there. I hope to return some day so I can remember it better, firstly, and because it’s something I find that we can’t forget.
Reading this book will expand your mind and break your heart and twist your soul. You may feel uncomfortable at times but I urge you to stick with it. You’ll be all the better for having read this. I promise you that. It’s sometimes easy to forget that an atrocity like the Holocaust happened. But we can’t and we shouldn’t. It’s disrespectful to those who have passed on and to those who remain here still.
Also, keep some tissues handy. Just a friendly note. I truly must commend Antonio Iturbe for his beautiful writing and to his translator, Lilit Thwaites, so we could understand!...more