Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Eye on New Releases for May 5, 2015 and mini-review of The Gospel of Loki

 (B&N, Amazon)

"This novel is a brilliant first-person narrative of the rise and fall of the Norse gods—retold from the point of view of the world’s ultimate trickster, Loki. A #1 bestseller in the UK, The Gospel of Loki tells the story of Loki’s recruitment from the underworld of Chaos, his many exploits on behalf of his one-eyed master, Odin, through to his eventual betrayal of the gods and the fall of Asgard itself.

Using her lifelong passion for the Norse myths, New York Times bestseller Joanne M. Harris has created a vibrant and powerful fantasy novel that the Sunday Sun recommends “to her long-standing audience with wit, style and obvious enjoyment;” The Sunday Times claims it “lively and fun;” and The Metro adds that “Harris has enormous fun with her antihero...this mythical bad boy should beguile fans of Neil Gaiman."

I read the UK edition of this book when it came out last year.  It's a pretty interesting book with a very mythic feel and flavor, full of gods, beasts, witches, magic, feasts, and adventure.  It also has an absolutely gorgeous cover by Andreas Preis.  Like the synopsis says, the book is told from Loki's point of view so he's the hero of the story.  As you may suspect, there is some unreliable narrator going on, though not on same the level as say, Gene Wolfe's The Book of the New Sun.  Loki is also quite funny and with the good writing, this makes for a very fun read. 

I did have one major problem with the book toward the end.  Without going too much into spoilers, in his view, Loki is not treated very well by the other gods so he sets out to get revenge.  This leads him to make a decision that I felt was way out of character for Loki the Trickster.  One can argue that it's part of his character development, and perhaps I'm a little colored by the recent Marvel movies, but it didn't feel right Loki would make the decision that he did so it brought it down at least half a rating point for me. 

Rating: 7.5/10.

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