Book Review: 'Odd and the Frost Giants'

Odd’s name isn’t odd -- it means “the tip of a blade” -- but Odd himself is odd. For one thing, the hero of Neil Gaiman’s Odd and the Frost Giants has an unnervingly sunny disposition for a lame Viking boy whose widowed mother has remarried an oaf named Fat Elfred, who comes with seven children of his own. One day, crowded out of his new home, Odd decides to run away to his late father’s woodcutting hut.

In the forest, he encounters a bear, an eagle and a fox -- and discovers that they’re actually the gods Thor, Odin, and Loki, ensorcelled by a Frost Giant who has captured the gods’ city of Asgard. The divine trio is morose and pessimistic about their chances of recapturing the city, but Odd -- with his unflagging, irritating good cheer -- figures they might as well try. This slight novella is narrated with Gaiman’s trademark playfulness and young mythology lovers will enjoy this appealing introduction to Norse lore.

Nina Shen Rastogi

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