Blogmas Book Review – Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

Summary:
Neil Gaiman, long inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction, presents a bravura rendition of the Norse gods and their world from their origin through their upheaval in Ragnarok.
In, Norse Mythology, Gaiman stays true to the myths in envisioning the major Norse pantheon: Odin, the highest of the high, wise, daring, and cumming; Thor, Odin’s son, incredibly strong yet not the wisest of gods; and Loki-son of a giant- blood brother to Odin and a trickster and unsurpassable manipulator.
Gaiman fashions these primeval stories into a novelistic arc that begins with the genesis of the legendary nine worlds and delves into the exploits of deities, dwarfs, and giants. Through Gaiman’s deft and witty prose, these gods emerge with their fiercely competitive natures, their susceptibility to being duped and to duping others, and their tendency to let passion ignite their actions, making these long-ago myths breathe pungent life again.
Review:
Norse Mythology was not what I was expecting. I was anticipating something along similar lines as American Gods, but that was not the case. This book was full of the adventures of the Norse gods based on accounts of others. It was essentially a book of short stories.

“Do you wonder where poetry comes from? Where we get the songs we sing and the tales we tell? Do you ever ask yourself how it is that some people can dream great, wise, beautiful dreams and pass those dreams on as poetry to the world, to be sung and retold as long as the sun rises and sets, as long as the moon will wax and wane? Have you ever wondered why some people make beautiful songs and poems and tales and some of us do not?”

I enjoyed it. I flew through the stories. They were entertaining and full of mischief and adventure. I actually feel like I learned something from this book. I’m not going to go crazy talking about this because there really isn’t all that much to say. This book is a creative way of retelling these stories. I thought it was interesting because so many portray the gods as superheroes, but this book does not do that.
As always, Gaiman’s writing is incredible. The way he phrases things is just excellent. He allows the reader to really see what he intends with his words. He makes the pages come alive. I appreciated this book more than I thought I was going to once I realized what it actually was. These stories were fun and interesting and entertaining, and also written beautifully.

“Now I shall tell you of the days to come. I shall tell you how it will end, and them how it will begin once more. These are the dark days I will tell you of, dark days and hidden things, concerning the ends of the earth and the death of the gods. Listen, and you will learn.”

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

*Want to buy this book? Just click the image of the book cover! As Amazon Affiliates we will get a percentage of any purchase, feel free to support us.

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Halloween

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each week we talk about our top ten with a different topic provided by Jana. This week’s topic is top ten – Halloween/Creepy Freebie. I’m going to make a list that I think is fitting for the spooky season.

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1. The Diviners by Libba Bray – All the spooky feels. Listening to this on audiobook gave me some serious chills.
2. Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer – Weird, creepy and spooky all in one. I made the mistake of reading this at night and had some weiiiird dreams that night.
3. The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert – This definitely wasn’t one of my favorites I’ve read lately but it’s definitely got the creepy Halloween vibes.
4. The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw – Accused witches coming back from the dead and drowning boys every summer, spooky season approved.
5. Uprooted by Naomi Novik – Magic isn’t always spooky but The Wood definitely adds a creep factor to this surprisingly dark story.
6. American Gods by Neil Gaiman – The not knowing makes this story a little spooky. Mr. Wednesday only lets us (and Shadow) know what he wants us to know when he wants us to know it.
7. The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco – The mystery factor is what makes this book spooky. That and the crazy ass monsters that Tea has under her control.
8. The Devouring by Simon Holt – This series is seriously spooky. An excellent read for the Halloween season.
9. Secret of McKinley Mansion by K.F. Breene – I actually had to watch a Disney movie after I finished this book. I made the mistake of reading it before bed and I was seriously creeped out.
10. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater – I’m not finished with this series, but the first book is pretty spooky. Especially after learning what we did about Noah.

What books are you going to be reading this Halloween?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

WWW Wednesday

Hey, bookworms! It’s that day of the week again where we participate in the wonderful bookish post that was formerly hosted by Should be Reading and was recently taken over by Taking on a World of Words. To play along just answer three questions to give an update about what you’re currently reading, going to read next and have read recently. Feel free to leave your answers in the comments or link your post!

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What are you currently reading?

Amanda- I’m currently listening to The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. I’m currently reading Watch You Burn by Amanda Searcy on my Kindle (thanks to NetGalley!) I’m also reading Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard.

Antonia- I’m currently reading Captured By Magic by Linsey Hall.

What did you recently finish reading?

Amanda- I recently finished listening to Supernaturally by Kiersten White. I also recently finished reading Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly. Keep an eye out for my reviews!

Antonia- Most recently, I finished Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake. Check out my review here.

What do you think you will read next?

Amanda- Next I’ll be reading Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman. Also possibly City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare.

Antonia- I’m thinking I’ll read The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh. I’ve had my eye on this one for awhile; it sounds like such an interesting story.

Thanks for reading our W’s this week. What are yours? Leave them in the comments or leave us a link to your post.

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

GoodReads Summary:
First published in 2001, American Gods became an instant classic, an intellectual and artistic benchmark from the multiple-award-winning master of innovative fiction, Neil Gaiman. Now, discover the mystery and magic of American Gods in this 10th anniversary edition. Newly updated and expanded with the author’s preferred text, this commemorative volume is a true celebration of a modern masterpiece by the one, the only, Neil Gaiman.
A storm is coming….
Locked behind bars for three years, Shadow did his time, quietly waiting for the magic day when he could return to Eagle Point, Indiana. A man no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, all he wanted was to be with Laura, the wife he deeply loved, and start a new life. But just days before his release, Laura and Shadow’s best friend are killed in an accident. With his life in pieces and nothing to keep him tethered, Shadow accepts a job from a beguiling stranger he meets on the way home, an enigmatic man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. A trickster and rogue, Wednesday seems to know more about Shadow than Shadow does himself.
Life as Wednesday’s bodyguard, driver, and errand boy is far more interesting and dangerous than Shadow ever imagined. It is a job that takes him on a dark and strange road trip and introduces him to a host of eccentric characters whose fates are mysteriously intertwined with his own.
Along the way, Shadow will learn that the past never dies; that everyone, including his beloved Laura, harbors secrets; and that dreams, totems, legends, and myths are more real than we know. Ultimately, he will discover that beneath the placid surface of everyday life, a storm is brewing – an epic war for the very soul of America – and that he is standing squarely in its path.

Review:
This review is almost painful for me to write. I have so many different thoughts on this story, but also not that many. How that even makes sense, I’m unsure. I’ve recently dived into the world of audiobooks from my library. So I get the audiobook for two weeks on the app my library uses. Let me just tell you. This book was so long and so, just, so much that I could only listen to it at certain times and in small doses. Because of this, I had to renew (which meant that I had to put it on hold, again, and wait another two weeks to get the book back because it’s popular and many others were requesting to borrow the audiobook as well) this audiobook FOUR TIMES. This book is a twenty-hour long audiobook because it’s the anniversary edition, so we get a bunch of extra tidbits from the author in the beginning and the end. I feel like I invested so much more than twenty hours into listening to this book.
Okay, now to my thoughts on the actual story. First of all, I loved that we were given a few tidbits actually read by the author. It was a nice touch to this book. Second, the narrators did an AMAZING job reading this book. There were SO many different characters and so many different things all going on at the same time in different places. I think the narrators did an excellent job of giving each of the characters a different voice and really showing the personality that Gaiman wrote for them.
I am having a hard time thinking of the words I’d like to use to describe American Gods. It was such a complex story with so many details and plotlines and characters. It was just on the border of being too much. There were definitely a few times I asked myself what was going on and what the relevance to the story of our main character was, but everything was always brought back together and connected. I found myself saying, “No waaay.” And “Oh my god, shut up,” quite a few times when Gaiman caught me by surprise with the direction of the story and some details here and there.
As I mentioned, American Gods is full of different characters so I’m not going to talk about them like I usually do in my reviews. I will, however, talk about the characters overall. They were incredibly written. Each character had such a distinct personality. Some funny, some terrifying, some annoying. Each character played an important part in the plot and brought something unique to the story being told. The characters were well written and I felt like I really knew them by the end of the book. I mourned some and was glad to lose others. I admired all of them.
The story itself was astounding in all the best ways. Right, when I thought I knew what was going on Gaiman said, “HAHA, YOU THOUGHT.” And totally changed the direction of the story. This happened a few times before we had enough of the pieces to actually understand the story. I can only hope to be as excellent of a writer as Neil Gaiman someday. The way he led us around on this wild ride wondering where the hell we were going and why we got in the car in the first place. There were so many aspects and elements to American Gods, but not so much that it was hard to keep them straight, instead of leaving the reader wondering what the hell was actually going on. I found myself asking that frequently in the first half of listening to this book. “What the hell is even happening right now, I just don’t get it.” Now, on the other side of the book, having learned what was actually going on I’m still a bit blown away and processing the crazy words that make up this adventure.
To keep it simple, this book was awesome. It was an investment, of my time and emotions. The characters were wonderfully written and the story was incredibly complex. If you like mythology stories, you’ll love this book. Just make sure you have the time and mental wherewithal to handle the craziness that is American Gods.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

*Please be aware that the book cover on this post is a link to purchase this book through Amazon. Feel free to purchase with our link (just click on the book cover) to support us!

WWW Wednesday

Hey, bookworms! It’s that day of the week again where we participate in the wonderful bookish post that was formerly hosted by Should be Reading and was recently taken over by Taking on a World of Words. To play along just answer three questions to give an update about what you’re currently reading, going to read next and have read recently. Feel free to leave your answers in the comments or link your post!

wednesday

What are you currently reading?

Amanda- I’m still working on getting through Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa on my Kindle. I haven’t picked it up since last week, but I’ll probably finish it in the next few days. I’m listening to American Gods by Neil Gaiman as I type this. I’m over halfway through and still somehow have six hours left. I’m also reading Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. I finally picked it up and I’m glad I did because it’s super interesting and I’m only less than fifty pages in.

Antonia- A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas. I cannot stop with this series. I blew through the first two books in a couple days and will probably read this last one just as quickly. I’m so glad Amanda practically threw these books at me.

What did you recently finish reading?

Amanda- I just yesterday finished Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. I’m doing a reread of the series so I can finally read the last book that came out this year.

Antonia- I just finished A Court of Mist and Fury. I read this 600-something-page book in about a day. It was amazing. Expect to see my reviews of this series soon.

What do you think you will read next?

Amanda- After I finish Big Little Lies I will probably pick up Glass Sword, the second book in the Red Queen Series. I have quite a few books on my TBR list for this month but I don’t know what order I’m going to read them yet.

Antonia- I’m not sure. I barely started listening to the audiobook for The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg but got distracted by the ACOTAR series. There’s also a couple new books in The Dragon’s Gift: The Druid series by Linsey Hall that I’m excited to read. But I still have a bunch of new books from my haul from Book Outlet that I need to read so it’ll all depend on my mood when I finish my current read.

Thanks for reading! What are your W’s this week?

WWW Wednesday

Hey, bookworms! It’s that day of the week again where we participate in the wonderful bookish post that was formerly hosted by Should be Reading and was recently taken over by Taking on a World of Words. To play along just answer three questions to give an update about what you’re currently reading, going to read next and have read recently. Feel free to leave your answers in the comments or link your post!

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What are you currently reading?

Amanda-

ebook – Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa. I don’t know why I haven’t been able to fly through this book. It feels like I’ve been reading it forever. I think it’s because it’s full of Japanese mythology which is a topic unfamiliar to me so I’m reading slowly so I don’t miss anything important.
audiobookAmerican Gods by Neil Gaiman. This book has been super hard to get through. It’s such a long audiobook and I actually had to return it and then put another hold on it from my library. I’ve made it about halfway through and I’m making more progress on it later today. It’s interesting but a lot of detail so it requires more of my focus than other audiobooks.
physical book – Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. When the final book in this series came out I knew I was going to have to reread the whole series (I like to reread but I also only remembered a few basic details from this series). I’ve finally made the attempt to start the series reread but I plan to read other things and not binge read these books.

Antonia-

I’m currently reading If I Should Die by Amy Plum. This series has exceeded my expectations and I’m really excited to see how it ends.

What did you recently finish reading?

Amanda-

audiobook – Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson. It was fantastic and my review will be posting sometime in the next few weeks.
physical book – Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow. I just finished reading this last night. I have already written the review and it will also be posted in the next few weeks.

Antonia-

I just finished Until I Die by Amy Plum. I’m really enjoying this series so far. You’ll see a review for this one tomorrow.

What do you think you will read next?

Amanda-

ebook – Meant to be Broken by Brandy Woods Snow. I received this in return for an honest review. I’ve heard good things about it and the description sounds super interesting.
audiobookThe Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. This has been on my TBR list forever so when I saw it was available to borrow from my library’s audiobook collection I made sure to grab it.
physical book – Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. This has been on my TBR list for at least a year and I’m trying to make a conscious effort to knock off some of the books that have been on there for a while.

Antonia-

Next I think I’ll read A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. Amanda’s been yelling at me to read this series for forever and I’m excited to finally get around to it.

These are this week’s W’s! What’s your reading update for this week? Let us know your W’s in the comments and thanks for reading!

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme formerly hosted by Should Be Reading and was revived by Taking on a World of Words. To play along, answer the following three questions and share a link to your post in the comments on her page. Enjoy!

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What are you currently reading? 

Amanda- For those of you that have followed us for a long time, prepare to be shocked. I’m currently reading (sort of) three different books. I’ve recently discovered that I like audiobooks. So I’m listening to American Gods by Neil Gaiman. I’m also reading an ARC of Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa which I’m trying to read slowly because I love her writing and I don’t ever want it to be over. Last, I’m reading a library book The Diviners by Libba Bray, the last book on my TBR list for the Tome Topple reading challenge.

Antonia- I’m currently reading Inkspell by Cornelia Funke. It’s the second in her Inkworld series. It’s really long (I picked it for our tome topple challenge), but I have a crazy new work schedule and I’ve been sick so I think I’m going to read Crime of Magic by Linsey Hall instead. I hate not being able to post reviews regularly and this is a quick read that will allow me to actually get a review out this week.

What did you recently finish reading? 

Amanda- Yesterday while in the car on an eight-hour drive back home I finished Triangles by Ellen Hopkins. I’ll be writing my review for this after I’m done writing and scheduling this post. That should be posted later this week or early next.

Antonia– I recently finished Inkheart by Cornelia Funke. It was the perfect bookworm book and I loved it. You can check out my review here.

What do you think you will read next? 

Amanda- I will be reading another library book for sure. Maybe the sequel to The Diviners and maybe something else. I’m not fully committed yet.

Antonia- I’m really not sure what I’ll read next. My giant order from book outlet should be arriving today and I’m feeling a little overwhelmed by all the choices. I’ll do a small book haul post soon so you guys can see what I got.

These are our W’s for this week! What are yours? Feel free to leave your answers in the comments or leave a link to your W post!

Tome Topple Challenge – Update

Hi, bookworms!I thought an update would be great now that we’ve made it through week one of the Tome Topple Readathon Challenge! Just here for a check in to let you guys know where we’re at with our goals and TBR lists and ask how everyone else is doing so far in this readathon challenge. Without further ado!

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Amanda- So far I’ve completed one full book for this challenge. It’s one that I’ve been putting off because it’s part of a series but the last book hasn’t been released yet and I don’t want to wait a whole year to know what happens next! Stormcaster by Cinda Williams Chima is the third book in the Shattered Realms series. Here are links for my reviews of the first book, Flamecasterthe second book, Shadowcasterand the review I just posted today for the third book, StormcasterNext, I’ve started Triangles by Ellen Hopkins and I will hopefully be done with it by the end of this weekend. But I might not be because I’m visiting some family this week and I’m not sure if I will have as much time as I want to read. This book fulfills the ‘adult novel’ challenge for this readathon. I’ll be sure to post the review once I’ve finished it.I’ve also been listening to some audiobooks (I’m not sure what the ruling is on audiobooks for Tome Topple) that are over 500 pages in their paper copies. So I’m going to count it. American Gods by Neil Gaiman so far is bizarre and weird but I just can’t stop listening. So far, I’m doing better than I thought I was going to with everything else I have going on this week. I’m hoping to keep that progress where it’s at and keep moving forward page by page!

Antonia- I just finished Inkheart by Cornelia Funke which fulfills the ‘part of a series’ category. You can read my review of it here. I’ve already started the second book in the series, Inkspell, though I, unfortunately, don’t have the third book yet. I’m working the next eight days straight so my reading will probably be pretty slow for a bit. I’m hoping to at least finish Inkspell though.

This is where we are both at so far for the Tome Topple Challenge. Who else is participating in this readathon? Where are you at with the TBR list you had planned?