Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman

I have become something of a Neil Gaiman fan.  Not an acolyte of anything, but I do enjoy checking out his latest project.  So when I spotted Odd and the Frost Giants at the library I quickly added to the pile.  After all, it fit right into my recent children’s and young adult kick.

Rather than stealing PW’s plot summary, how about we have Neil himself introduce the book?

I can’t get away, however, without a quote from School Libary Journal, as I like their description of the book.  They describe it as a “thoughtful and quietly humorous fantasy.”  Which was my reaction as well.

As is typical of Gaiman, there is a simplicity to the story but also a playfulness to the prose and  a sense of deeper and darker things lurking behind the scenes.  Odd has that infuriating smile that adds an edge, and a sense of mystery, to this partially lame but brave and generous boy.

While nothing is too dark or scary for young readers, Gaiman hints at the darker and capricious side of the gods and includes an element that will bring a smile to the adults in his portrayal of the relationship between the Frost Giant and the goddess Freya.

This slim volume, originally written for World Book Day in the UK and sold there as par of that charitable endeavor, has the feel of a fable; simple yet hinting at deeper things.  Obviously a must have for Gaiman fans – and fans of Norse mythology – but worth checking out for anyone who enjoys a simple yet well done tale.

Kevin Holtsberry
I work in communications and public affairs. I try to squeeze in as much reading as I can while still spending time with my wife and two kids (and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines during football season).

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