Monday, 6 November 2017

Mjolnir - Brian James



                Mjolnir is an amusing and interesting look at what would happen if the Norse gods and goddesses lived on Earth during modern times and tried to blend in with the human population. Although they believe they are successful at covering up whom they really are, they still have the traits that make them beings of mythology. Huge egos, a need to rule over others and a great distaste for the human population are all things that make them stand out from everybody else. Luckily, mankind’s disbelief in the reality of the gods’ existence means that nobody has caught on to their true identity. Slip ups, such as Freya ripping a man’s heart out and leaving it on the car seat beside him, should be a sign for the people around the mythical beings but nothing seems to raise any questions.
                The book starts with an explanation about the nine dimensions that hang like apples from the branches of a giant ash tree which is the root of all existence. It’s a bit bogged down and, to be honest, I almost closed the book because it was a bit boring. I am very happy that I didn’t stop reading because once I made it through this short section, the book turns into a wickedly amusing take on how the gods would fit into society and, eventually, choose sides in a battle for power between Odin and Loki. The author has given each god and goddess a modern day life that fits their personality and he does it well. Thor is a football player, Freya is an exotic dancer, Odin is a powerful billionaire, and so on. The writing is slick and witty with a pace that will keep a reader turning the pages. Every time I thought I knew who was playing for whose side, the narcissism of the gods would cause them to jump ship to the other god’s army, depending who seemed to be winning. Mr. James obviously has extensive knowledge about the Norse mythology because his writing is very descriptive and informative throughout the book. The characters are all well developed, even the humans, and he’s really brought them to life. There is violence and one part in particular, involving a brutal rape, may not be to everyone’s liking but it is just a story and meant to be entertaining and not a statement about how women are treated. This is a great read for anyone looking for a funny satire about how gods and goddesses would survive in our already ego driven society.
                I read this in digital format and it translated to my ereader well. The cover is attractive with the title in a font that grabs the eye.