The Age of Odin by James Lovegrove
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This book is outside my usual genres, but I do love Norse mythology, and it was recommended to me by a good student, so I gave it a try. I liked a lot of it, but there were some plot issues that left me unsatisfied, which is why I gave it only three stars.
Gid was kicked out of the British army after an IED damaged his hearing. He tried working as a civilian, but mostly he got in fights and got arrested. His wife left him and he doesn’t get to see his young son much, so when he sees an ad looking for mercenary soldiers, he and his buddy, named Abortion, set off to join up. Car crash. Gid and Abortion walk to their destination, which somehow happens to be Asgard, home of Odin, Thor, et al. Abortion gets eaten by wolves. At first Gid resists the idea that the old one-eyed fella is Thor, but after he meets up with some frost giants he buys into the whole thing and jumps right in to help defend Asgard against Loki, who is masquerading as the female president of the United States. Ragnarok ensues.
My biggest problem was the ending of the book. I can’t say much about it without giving it all away, but it was definitely unsatisfying. The student who loaned me the book warned me it would be that way, and he was very right. I thought I’d figured out how it would end and didn’t like my idea, but the reality was worse. Not so bad it ruined the story, but … I didn’t like it.
Okay, so, if you like Norse mythology and modern military adventure stories, you’ll probably really like this one. I was hoping for something more like American Gods, more cerebral, but this one is pretty much straight-on action. Lots of violence, not much introspection, just balls-out fighting and killing. It isn’t bad at all, so long as you know what you’re in for.
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