Saturday, 19 October 2013
Odd's luck has been bad so far. He lost his father on a Viking expedition, his foot was crushed beneath a tree, and the winter seems to be going on for ever. But when Odd flees to the woods and releases a trapped bear, his luck begins to change. The eagle, bear and fox he encounters reveal they're actually Norse gods, trapped in animal form by the evil frost giants who have conquered Asgard, the city of the gods...Can a twelve-year-old boy reclaim Thor's hammer, outwit the frost giants and release the gods? With Neil Gaiman's wit and style, this story transcends the everyday and becomes a humorous, rich and layered tale of a life lived courageously.
Although the hardback is technically shelved in the teen section (in Waterstones, at least), it has the feel of a classic children’s story, and I believe would be a perfect read for ages 7 and up (including any adult who appreciates a good bit of children’s fiction, like myself). As I’ve said, I am a huge fan of Mr Gaiman and his works, and have consequently listened to him speak on sites such as YouTube, so when I was reading Odd and the Frost Giant, I could hear him reading it aloud to me inside my head. This, to me, made the book even more enjoyable, warm and comforting (comforting because, let’s face it, when we read our old favourites from when we were young, it’s not only nostalgic, but, for me at least, it acts as a kind of comfort blanket. It’s a lovely, warm feeling. And this book feels to me like an old favourite already, though I have read it only once so far).
The story draws on Norse mythology, and includes Thor, Odin and Loki as characters, which was really interesting, and (I thought) unexpected, despite Odd, the main character, being a young Viking. I haven’t come across much, if any (that I can remember) children’s fiction that includes these characters (unless, of course, you count the Marvel creation), so it was really different to read about them, and in such a unique incarnation.
The Frost Giants are an addition to their story, and to the story of Asgard. Their purpose was fascinating, and I spent the part of the story leading up to Odd’s meeting with the giant wondering what terrible creatures they would end up being. What I found was not at all what I expected, and I loved the twist on the character – the chilly giant even got a laugh or two out of me, though I’m sure he didn’t intend to be humorous!
Odd and the Frost Giants is an immensely enjoyable read for any age. It has Vikings, Norse Gods, magic and giants, all woven together into a gorgeous little package, perfect for cuddling up and reading by the fire on a chilly winter night, and a spectacular gift (especially for Christmas). I fell in love with it, and I think you would too!
Posted by Dani C at 00:00