Odd and the Frost Giants & Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

Odd and the Frost GiantsBest part: a nine year old boy wants to make a rainbow. He knows rainbows live over the waterfall in the summer, but now it is winter. So he cuts a piece of ice into a triangle and puts it in sunlight … and spills a rainbow on the ground. Hm, but rainbow bridges are supposed to be in the sky? No, this works too if you just … jump in.

4 stars.

Welcome to the Northland, where Odin, Thor, Loki, and other gods fight with Frost Giants – and humans just try to stay out of the way.

Spoilers ahoy.

Bad things come in threes: Odd is crippled at 8 years old when he swings his father’s big axe at a big tree. He has his father’s axe because Father died on the ship. Father died doing a crewmates job, because he died first. That’s the first three.

2nd three bad things: Mom remarries, the man and his children are mean to Odd, Odd leaves home in midwinter.

Odd goes to his father’s wood-cutter’s cottage in the woods. A fox leads him to a bear caught in a honey tree. Above the tree is a huge eagle. Now, should Odd run from the bear (wisdom) or help the bear out of the trap (kindness)? Odd chooses kindness over wisdom, and starts an adventure.

The animals are the gods in disguise, but not by their own choice. Odd will have to find the rainbow bridge, or MAKE a rainbow to be a bridge, and fight the frost giant that tricked the gods. All by his crippled self. Clearly, a trick will work better than a fight.

What trick? It’s a good one. Read to find out.

When Odd comes back to Middle Earth, he finds his mother has left her new husband. Odd takes her on an adventure. End.
Norse MythologyI enjoyed Odd & the Frost Giants so much, I thought Gaiman’s re-telling of the god stories would be fun. It was not. There were a few places where the prose was very good, but not many. I didn’t find any patches of glorious prose at all.

2 stars.

Mostly the stories were boring. Loki turning into a mare and foaling an 8 legged horse will never not be funny.

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