Caidyn (BW Reviews; he/him/his)'s Reviews > Norse Mythology

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
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it was amazing
bookshelves: fantasy, retellings, shorties
Read 2 times. Last read July 12, 2017 to July 15, 2017.

Updated review

Yes, I reread it. Sue me. (Please don't.) I posted on my blog my absolute favorite stories and a sneak peak as to why. No spoilers. Check it out here!

Original review

As I always say, Neil Gaiman is hit or miss for me. I've loved him, liked him, and disliked him. Sometimes in the same book, but usually it's one book and then I move on from there. But, he was completely on point with this one. It stunned me, weaving a magical tale that people have read and written for eons. But, let me tell you a little secret.

I don't know Norse mythology.

Greek was more my thing. Roman I can group into that since the Romans just copied the Greeks for the most part. Norse never connected with me, and I wasn't interested in reading it or researching it. The one mythology took in high school, just for shits and giggles, only covered Greek and Roman mythology. If I had wanted to learn about Norse, Native American, and some Asian mythology, I would have had to take another semester. But the teacher only did projects and I hate projects, so I said no to that one.

I also don't like superheros, so I have the basic understanding of what happens in The Avengers or Thor movies. Never seen them except for little snippets, and I don't care. I've never liked them. I can probably count on one hand all of the superhero movies I like.

However, I really liked this. My rating of five stars was rounded up from a total of 4.6, which was the average of all the individual ratings I gave for the books. I thought it deserved it. I mean, I read it one afternoon. Just in a few hours. So, here's to you Gaiman. You did a great job and I hope you come out with more books like this one.

Before the Beginning, and After - 5/5: What a magical beginning. Gaiman knows how to weave words and, I think, with each book he publishes, he only gets better and refines his craft more. This was just beautiful, honestly. I got the pictures in my mind of the moment, of the pieces. He knows how to create such imagery with little words, making this the ultimate way to retell the beginning of the world.

Yggdrasil and the Nine Worlds - 4/5: Further defining the world that I literally have no clue about, so that's appreciated. Again, it's just woven so magically that even if you knew the myths, you'd have fun reading his story about the nine worlds and the inhabitants around Yggdrasil.

Mimir's Head and Odin's Eye - 4/5: Well, that was an interesting story. Not too surprising, but still interesting. Now, why in the world doesn't any interpretation of Odin show him with one eye or with some bad ass eye patch? I'm now confused since that's a key part of his mythology. He lost an eye in order to gain all of the knowledge in the world.

The Treasures of the Gods - 5/5: Okay, I just laughed my ass off. I already can tell that I love Loki and I want to hear more about him, either from Gaiman or from anyone else. Hell, I'd even watch The Avengers or Thor movies just to see him in action, which is saying a lot. This story is hilarious, told in the magical and matter of fact way that Gaiman really is known for.

The Master Builder - 5/5: Again, I laughed my ass off. Everyone should just decide that Loki has horrible decisions and never take his word for anything. It would make like a whole lot easier, but far less hilarious. Also, how awkward is it about Odin and Sleipnir? Here is your nephew as a gift. You may ride him all you want. Awkward.

The Children of Loki - 5/5: Of course Loki would have kids like those. Just of course. All of them were interesting, I have to say. Hel and Fenrir the most interesting. I think I gained some understanding as to why JKR used Fenrir as a name for Fenrir Greyback, the werewolf who loved eating and attacking children. A bit ironic and also meaningful.

Freya's Unusual Wedding - 5/5: Jesus, Thor. Again, I laughed my ass off reading this. It was perfectly told with the right amount of humor for a funny situation, yet some seriousness to it. I think that with each story she's featured in, I like Freya more and more. Why isn't she talked about more? I'd rather have her in some movie than Thor or Loki, Marvel be damned.

The Mead of Poets - 4.5/5: Classy, Odin. Full of class right there by the end. Poetry is pretty, that's for sure, and it makes sense that someone would attribute alcohol to making it. Sometimes, when I read poetry, I find that I would really have to drink a bit to fully understand it. That can either be a good or a bad thing. Up to your interpretation right there.

Thor's Journey to the Land of the Giants - 4/5: While it took a while to get to the point of the story -- because for a while I thought it was going to be a story about the fallibility of everyone, even the gods -- I loved it when it was explained. When you look back at the story, it makes sense. I like the giants. They seem pretty smart based on this one they encountered.

The Apples of Immortality - 4/5: As always, Loki gets everyone into trouble and then everyone has to fix the problem. I can definitely see why Thor just assumes it's Loki's fault to save himself some time. It's rarely anyone else's fault.

The Story of Gerd and Frey - 4.5/5: This is an interesting story because, even though it seems like the giants and the gods have issues, they really don't. They get along well enough. They marry together and rejoice. They also do stupid things and then pay each other back, whether for good or for bad. But, I like this story because it's unique. Instead of there being tricks in it, there's an honest courtship. Plus, you get to see the honest fact that servants really do care about their masters.

Hymir and Thor's Fishing Expedition - 4/5: I got a bit lost on this one, but it was a bit whimsical. I wonder where Jormungundr and Thor's hatred of each other will go, especially since they are cousins. I'm surprised Loki isn't jumping to his kid's defense. Probably doesn't want to go near Thor and risk having all of his bones broken.

The Death of Balder - 4/5: Honestly, I don't blame Loki for what he did. I don't see anything good about Balder. Not that he deserved to die, but that Frigga really should have thought that Loki always is the cause of problems and that she should have covered everything if she wanted to make it so her son couldn't get harmed. A mother would know that. Nothing's too small to cause damage.

The Last Days of Loki 4/5: Oh, Loki. You did it this time. At least you know that your wife, who you cheated on and who knows what else you did to her that wasn't recorded in these short stories, will stay with you. And, well, you'll be reunited with your daughter when Ragnarok comes. I mean, you can't exactly fight and die a hero's death in the position you're in, can you?

Ragnarok: The Final Destiny of the Gods - 5/5: When I started reading this story, I got a little worried. I thought that I'd wind up comparing it to Revelations in the Bible, which I think of as if someone wrote down their bad acid trip while also high on cocaine. Reading about the end of the world never really interested me. I like reading about how it's nurtured and loved. But, Ragnarok isn't really an ending. It's like when people burn their fields or when volcanos erupt. Things are killed and life stops, but only for a moment. Then, out of the fire, it begins again.
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Reading Progress

June 29, 2016 – Shelved
June 29, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
June 29, 2016 – Shelved as: fantasy
March 19, 2017 – Started Reading
March 19, 2017 – Shelved as: retellings
March 19, 2017 – Shelved as: shorties
March 19, 2017 –
page 29
9.7% "

I'm so excited for this already."
March 19, 2017 –
page 109
36.45% "This is going by so fast."
March 19, 2017 –
page 213
71.24% "I'm going to have to take a break to eat, but this is probably the most absorbing book I've read in a long time."
March 19, 2017 –
page 251
March 19, 2017 – Finished Reading
June 28, 2017 –
11.0% "I'm not listening to this instead of new books that will expire soon. Not me one bit."
June 28, 2017 –
53.0% "Yep, this is my favorite story for sure. Thor dressing as a woman and getting married to get his hammer back."
July 5, 2017 – Shelved as: pause
July 12, 2017 – Started Reading
July 12, 2017 –
63.0% "I'm going to finish this today for sure."
July 12, 2017 –
100.0% "RTC... well, a slightly updated one."
July 15, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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J.M. That is precisely the meaning of Ragnarok. Excellent review!

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