Apr 29, 2011

Book 3 of 12: Odd and the Frost Giants

I really read this in March, honestly, but with school and work being school and work, I didn't have time/didn't make time to review it then.

So this was my third book of the year, the first 'kids' book, also marking a quarter of the books I've set out to read this year. Yay me.

Odd and the Frost Giants is a story of an unusual boy (is there any other kind in children's literature?) who has a bad leg and annoying smile and leaves home. (His father died years earlier and his mother wed a widower who favored his own children over protagonist Odd.) It takes place somewhere in Scandinavia sometime in the middle ages (Viking times). Odd lives in his father's old woodcutting shack until he meets an unusual fox who leads him to a singular bear overlooked by an individual eagle. The bear's paw is trapped in a tree, Odd frees him and they follow him home. While asleep Odd thinks he dreams the animals are all talking, but this being a Neil Gaiman book, Odd wakes up and not only realizes the animals are all talking, but is told that these animals are none other than All-Father Odin (the Eagle), the Mighty Thor (the Bear of course) and mischevious Loki (Fox) whose fault it naturally was that they are in this predicament. (A Frost Giant tricked Loki into giving it Thor's hammer)

With Odd's help they make it up the Rainbow Bridge to Asgard. There Odd drinks from Mímir's well, outsmarts the giant largely through smiling at him in an annoying way, and Asgard again belongs to Odin, Thor and Loki, who of course returned to their natural forms. Freya the goddess fixes Odd's leg which he had broken when a child and he returns home all growed up.

Despite the fact that the book really should have been called "Odd and the Frost GianT," (there was only one) I really liked it, though it was very, very short. It read like a child's story merged with a tale from Norse mythology (my favorite mythology) which is pretty much what it was.

My biggest gripe and only gripe was just the brevity of the story. While it made it easy for me to reach my goal, having read it in a few hours on March 31, it read more like an outline of a story rather than a full, fleshed out tale that Gaiman is known for.

Still, if you have a few hours to spend and you love Gaiman as much as me, I would recommend it. 3 out of 5 stars.

1 comment:

Ammon said...

Sounds like it would make a fun graphic novel.