Sunday, January 20, 2013

Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman

Premise: This novella is a Norse Gods adventure. Odd is tasked with saving the gods after Asgard has been taken over by a Frost Giant. He travels to Asgard in the company of three animals who are actually Norse gods Thor, Odin, and Loki.
Title: Odd and the Frost Giants
Author: Neil Gaiman
Length: 117 pages
Genre: Fantasy
Series or Stand-Alone: Stand-Alone
Content appropriate for: grades 4-8
4 stars

3 adjectives to describe this book: adventurous, fanciful, captivating

This little book was really fun to read. At first glance it looks quite simple with it's large print and glorious illustrations (Brett Helquist), but Neil Gaiman's use of language really kicks it up a notch. Students who enjoy the Percy Jackson series will find a lot to love here, what with a kid saving the gods.

I'm not as familiar with Norse mythology as I'd like to be, but luckily I have seen the movie, Thor. Otherwise I think I would have had a hard time following the story. At only 117 pages, there's simply not enough space to fully develop the world so terms like Asgard and Rainbow Bridge are given just enough berth to allow the plot to unfold.

I really enjoyed the way Odd used logic to defeat the frost giants. This is a nice change from so many recent novels that rely on epic battles (ie Percy Jackson). I found Odd to be a terrific character. I hope that Neil Gaiman will tell more of his story in future installments.

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