American Gods: Neil Gaiman

Genre: Fantasy Fiction

Beer: None. House was empty so I had a La Croix Cran-Raspberry

I picked this book up at Half-Priced Books. I remembered seeing something about it becoming a series Starz, so I thought I’d give it a go.

I definitely was interested in the premise of the book. A man, named Shadow,  is just released from prison early, unfortunately because his wife was just killed in a car accident. He starts on his way to head for home when he meets an odd man named Mr. Wednesday. After the meeting, his entire life changes.

Somehow this Mr. Wednesday knows that the job Shadow was going to go back to has been shut down, and offers him a job to be his assistant of sorts. Whenever he needs help or muscle, Shadow is to be there. After hesitating for a while, he agrees to be Mr. Wednesday’s assistant.

The book involves a lot of traveling and a lot of characters, most of whom you start to realize are Gods, but not in the same way you had heard about them. For example, Anansi (the spider creature from Africa), is a man in the book. He does have some special power but it’s not overt. The characters seem human enough, but there is a mysticism about them as well. The book is not overly fantasy as you’d think. The fantasy part of it is more subtle, where every once in a while something other-worldly happens.

There’s also another set of Gods. American created Gods. Gods that we have learned to worship, such as Media, Attention, Worldly Goods, etc. Naturally, these two sets of Gods creates tension.

The main theme running throughout this book, that is brought up several times is that “there’s a storm coming”. You can easily conclude that they’re not directly speaking of the meteorological variety, but a storm of another variety. Around 300 or so pages in, you start to see more of what is really going on: a war between the Gods of old, and new, American-made Gods.

I don’t want to say too much more, as it would give away the story. Overall, the book was decent. There were quite a few areas that felt a little slow. There was a lot of driving around going on, and it kind of felt like that would be the entire book. I thought the conclusion was a little anti-climactic, but the writing overall was decent. Again, I’d say this book is alright, but Neil Gaiman has definitely received more praises than an “alright” author. I’m just not exactly sure why.

I plan on reading another of his books, Coraline. I absolutely loved the movie and would like to see how the book stacks up. I also want to see the American Gods series. It looks like they added a little more oomph to the story line so I don’t think it’ll fall flat like the book did at times. (I did notice in the previews that they’re in the car a lot, so we’ll see).

Overall rating: 7/10

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