Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

I've been a fan of mythology stories since high school, when I read Mythology by Edith Hamilton.  Rick Riordan's novels for young readers have opened up a whole new fan base for mythology stories from Greek, Egyptian, and Norse cultures.  I can say I would have inhaled his books if they'd been around when I was a child.  

But adults have Neil Gaiman, and that's a good thing.  I picked up Norse Mythology on a sweet deal from Barnes and Noble and spent a few nights this past week immersing myself in the world of Odin, Thor, Loki, and their home in Asgard. Giants, dwarfs, sea creatures; it's all in this book.  It does read a bit like a novel in that the myths are arranged with the creation of the gods and goddesses, and ends with Ragnarok, an epic battle where the reign of the gods ends, and a new world begins. There is a sense of  order that does make it easier to follow the antics and stories of the Norse gods.  Let's just say the gods are crazy!

Nothing surprising in this book at all, just an enjoyable read on a subject that I didn't know much about-Norse mythology.  It's suitable for teens and even tweens. There is some violence, but nothing horribly graphic, and I don't recall reading any adult sexual content. I would recommend it for reluctant readers; there's plenty of action, hijinks, and lessons to be learned on bravery and loyalty. Loki is the personification of making bad choices over and over again. As always, there is the balance of good and evil, and the necessity of the dark in order for the light to exist.  

Rating:  4/6 for a good introduction to Norse mythology.  Fans of Neil Gaiman will enjoy it, and perhaps turn to American Gods as their next read (or watch the upcoming TV show).  It has made me curious to finally pick up my copy (it's been on my bookcase for, um...years. 

Available in hardcover and ebook. 


  1. I will be reading this. Because Neil!

  2. I can imagine this book is interesting; I know C.S. Lewis and Tolkien were experts in all things Northern, languages, legends, etc.

    1. It's a quick read, and it's always fun to read mythology.