The Gospel of Loki [A Review]

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I admit freely that I geeked out hard when I was at Books-A-Million and I saw this book.the-gospel-of-loki-9781481449472_hr I’m a big fan of The Avengers and the Thor films, so Loki is well known to me. In my writing group, a friend of mine actually wrote as the much maligned God of Mischief and included more information about him than I knew. So when I saw this, I didn’t feel that my collection would be complete unless I had him on my shelf too.

I have the habit of when I’ve seen someone portray said character, they will always be that character. Thus, the narrator in my head took on Tom Hiddleston’s voice and Loki still looked like him, though there is a line referring to Loki as having red hair. (Jaw, meet floor.) I mean…I can see it but it just struck me as a “woah buddy!” moment.

tumblr_n7zq5wq3kg1rz0ey2o2_500This book is precisely what you’d expect from Loki. He is full of himself but charming, a bit of a braggart, self depreciating in some moments, a troublemaker and an outsider who kind of got the crappy end of the stick from the All-Father, Odin. He admits there are things he could have done differently, but didn’t. He also tends to not take full responsibility for things, instead finding ways to say, “Well, can’t you see why I was driven to do this?” If you’re expecting Loki Laufeyson from the films, you may be a teensy bit disappointed. This isn’t the story of the baby Jotun that Odin brought home to be raised with Thor. This story begins when he was simply a body-less being, Wildfire, born of Chaos who ends up manipulated by Odin, the All-Father. Loki narrates us from the beginning all the way to Ragnarok, and there is seldom a moment where I was bored or didn’t enjoy the story. Norse Mythology is fascinating and I intend to read more about it, so I do thank the author.

With this said, I did enjoy hearing about the Nine Realms, the different sorts of people, the gods, the demons. If you’re a Marvel fan, you’ll see familiar names: Thor, Six, Balder–remember him, he leads to a particularly painful time in Loki’s life–Odin, Freya and Heimdall. And there’s plenty of new folks, plenty of fascinating things going on that you’ll be as immersed as I was. I also liked how he could shape shift, how there were glamour effects and the magic that you expect from legends like this. The story of him giving birth to Slepnir, the eight legged horse, was peculiar. But then again? Life in Asgard is a bit unusual.

I daresay that I do feel for him; he’s too likable to be hated. I genuinely liked hearing his side of theme and I hope that perhaps there may be more to read. Having never read one of Ms. Harris’s books before, I will surely remedy this. She is talented, giving us such a well known figure as a protagonist and writing in first person. It made it easier for me to find that there were things about him I really liked and disliked. I didn’t like how blase he was about his family; if memory serves me correctly Loki loved Sigyn, his wife, he loved his twin sons by her and I think he loved his triplets by Angrboda, Fenrir, Jormangandr and Hel. So the indifference and dislike towards them didn’t really fit for me. I also was a bit confused by his utterly modern language. As we saw in films and comics, if you’ve read them, he’s got quite the vocabulary: ‘you mewling quim!’ for example. So hearing everyday, modern language was a bit peculiar.

All in all, it is enjoyable. Not perfect, but certainly enjoyable.

I’d give it ★★★ stars.

Additional Notes:

  • I bought this copy for myself.
  • would recommend this to a friend.
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