After reading a series of underwhelming books, I decided to ask my friends for book recommendations because I just could not trust myself to pick up a good book. Out of the many books, I was recommended, I decided to read American Gods by Neil Gaiman since it intrigued me. After all, it deals with various mythologies which is one of the many things that will always pique my interest.
American Gods by Neil Gaiman, starts off by introducing us to the main protagonist of the story, Shadow. Days before his release from prison, his wife, Laura, dies in a mysterious car crash. Numbly, he makes his way back home. While on a plane, he encounters the enigmatic Mr Wednesday, who claims to be a refugee from a distant war, a former god and the king of America. Together they embark on a profound journey across the heart of the USA, whilst all around them, a storm of preternatural and epic proportions threatens to break.
In short, this book is the adult version of Percy Jackson. It definitely is a must-read. To begin with, I can’t even put this book under any particular genre because it’s a perfect blend of almost all of them. It ranges from fantasy to horror, to mystery, and even talks about important, societal matters like slavery, traditions and racism. Neil Gaiman’s imagination is limitless. And it is showcased in this extraordinary novel.
I loved the fact that Gaiman didn’t stick to one mythology and opted to include almost all the various mythologies present out there in the world. I loved the idea of personifying things like money, media, weapons into modern-day gods because let’s face it, they do rule over our societies. I absolutely loved the main character, Shadow. Although sometimes, I wish he was a little bit more animated in certain situations, but that didn’t make me like him any less. I found myself rooting for him right from start to finish.
This book could have benefited if it lost about 200 pages because, at certain portions, things dragged out and became rather boring while some parts were absolutely unnecessary. Honestly, I think this story could have been told in 300 or 400 pages instead of 600 plus pages. There’s a part in the book where you can feel Shadow’s frustration through the pages because he has no clue about what is going on and neither does the reader. I don’t know whether that’s a good or a bad thing. Some people might like it, others might not. I fall into the latter category since I got rather annoyed with the book at that point because I couldn’t predict what was going to happen next. I was as frustrated as Shadow was but luckily, the ending more than makes up for it. When everything is revealed and everything starts to make sense, then only do you realise that it all ties together to make a complete story. The ending of the book was my favourite part because the revelations were something I never saw coming. I love books that leave me so astonished that I reread the same paragraph to make sure I’d read it right the first time.
This book does have a few flaws. But since I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, I’m going to overlook them and give this book a 4.5 out of 5-star rating.