American Gods (William Morrow, 2001 pgs. 465) by Neil Gaiman is a book that I've had on my shelf for ages. Thanks to the TBR Challenge, I finally pulled it down. And I'm SO GLAD I did!! It's a fantasy book, which is a fairly new genre for me. But I couldn't ask for a better book to solidify my new love for it! 5/5
The book follows the adventures of ex-convict Shadow upon his (few day) early release from prison due to the death of his wife, Laura, in a car accident. He is hired by the mysterious Mr. Wednesday to act as an escort and bodyguard, and travels across America visiting Wednesday's colleagues and acquaintances. Mr. Wednesday, we come to find out is actually an incarnation of Odin the All-Father. Wednesday is recruiting American manifestations of the Old Gods of ancient mythology. Whenever someone came to America, they brought with them the Gods they believed in. Gods they worshipped. But these Gods have lost a lot of their power as their believers have decreased in number. And why is Wednesday recruiting Gods? Because the Storm is coming and there is going to be a war. A war against the new Gods of America....the Internet, the Media, Television and Hollywood, Technology, Computers....anything that Americans today worship.
I loved this book! Not only was it a great story, but I got a chance to learn a lot about mythology. We meet Odin, Loki (the mythical being of mischief), Anansi (a trickster and a God of West African Lore), Czernobog (a dark Slavic God), the Zorya (the guardian goddesses known as the Auroras). We also meet Mad Sweeney (a leprichan) , Johnny Appleseed, and Bliquis (the Queen of Sheba). At first, I was a bit confused because I just had no idea where this book was going. But the plot is drawn out very subtlely. We travel all across America to roadside stands and attractions. And I think Gaiman hit the nail on the head with this one. He shows us a different side to America. One of a country that is basically filled with Immigrants. And every person that has settled here brought a little piece of their homeland. Gaiman also shows us how fickle we really are. The Gods of Today won't be the Gods of Tomorrow. He definitely gets a "A" for effort! 5/5