– US Release –
The Gospel of Loki is an upcoming standalone by Joanne M. Harris. It is her first venture into adult fantasy. It reads as an updated retelling of the Poetic and Prose Edda, specifically those stories that affect Loki, the trickster god of the Norse pantheon.
Loki, the oft-misunderstood rogue and lovable anti-hero of Mythology, is back with a new spin of his history. It seems that people have been misinformed for decades about his role in many of the stories that everyone has heard. He is here to set the record straight. Brash, sometimes raucously uproarious, Loki sets the stage of Asgard; a beautiful but troubled world where, quite frankly, everyone is out to get him…and he doesn’t quite understand why?
I found this book to be completely delightful. The beginning is a little world-building heavy as Harris levers several details into place for those who haven’t read much Norse Mythology. After the catch-up stage this book launches into the tales with a fresh, unique voice and an unbelievable devilish and charming narrator. We watch our narrator butt heads with nearly every God that he comes into contact with. Through many perils and lots of unexpected nudity, Loki paints a picture of things as they simply happened around him, as though he were not the epicentre of it all.
I loved our narrative rogue. He’s brazen and he’s hysterical. He withstands many indignities at the hands of the other gods; inappropriate musical compositions, dubious prophecies and shape-shifting forays gone awry, vain goddesses and even vainer gods, abrupt misadventures, witches, the children of witches, a dim-witted wife, and more cake than you would ever want to consume in a lifetime. Through it all, Loki prevails…at least in his own arrogance.
It’s a fun book, though it’s not perfect. There are a few spots of detail that seem heavy-handed. Still, I enjoyed the voice of our humble narrator. I enjoyed his scrapes and watching the moments where his patience wears ever-thin. I liked this book quite a lot.
This book is perfect for fans of Christopher Moore’s Lamb and Terry Pratchett/Neil Gaiman’s Good Omens. When this comes out in May, pick it up, particularly if you are thinking of seeing the second Avengers film this summer. You won’t regret it!
4 out of 5 stars.
* The Gospel of Loki releases May 5, 2015 in the USA.
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