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The Gospel of Loki by Joanne M Harris
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The Gospel of Loki

by Joanne M. Harris

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Runemarks (prequel)

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6182924,490 (3.65)32
With his notorious reputation for trickery and deception, and an ability to cause as many problems as he solves, Loki is a Norse god like no other. Demon-born, he is viewed with deepest suspicion by his fellow gods who will never accept him as one of their own and for this he vows to take his revenge. But while Loki is planning the downfall of Asgard and the humiliation of his tormentors, greater powers are conspiring against the gods and a battle is brewing that will change the fate of the Worlds. From his recruitment by Odin from the realm of Chaos, through his years as the go-to man of Asgard, to his fall from grace in the build-up to Ragnarok, this is the unofficial history of the world's ultimate trickster.… (more)
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» See also 32 mentions

English (26)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  All languages (28)
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
In theories of culture class we learned about the pleasure of recognition, and there's definitely something to that because maybe 70% of my enjoyment in this book came from recognising the same stories that were retold in Magnus Chase. The other 30% came from the writing.

Disappointingly straight, though. ( )
  runtimeregan | Jun 12, 2019 |
What Made Me Read It The Thor trilogy is my favorite of the MCU (Marvel's Cinematic Universe, if you're not familiar with this franchise) so this book seemed like a good way to get more stories from the Norse Gods.

The Good "The Gospel of Loki" is told in the first person through the POV of Loki himself, as he looks back over his life after the end of Ragnarok and the lessons he's learned since he left Chaos. The book is structured in a series of short stories from the creation of the Nine Realms to Ragnarok, with each chapter presenting a tale taken from the mythology and headed with the epigram of the corresponding lesson learned by the Trickster God. The author uses a contemporary language instead of the usual archaic style, which makes the book an easy, accessible read. It's an intelligent, well-written and entertaining novel with a healthy dose of wit and humor. Almost all the characters are one-dimensional, archetypal, very unlikable, arrogant, moody and deceitful. But I guess that's expected from mythological figures, regardless of the pantheon. Odin and Loki are the exception, coming out as complex and 3-dimentional characters. The author does a wonderful job at turning Loki into a sympathetic narrator with the right balance of fatalistic sarcasm, irony and wit.

Read the full review on: https://literaryportals.blogspot.com/2018/09/book-review-gospel-of-loki-loki-1-b....

Final Rating "The Gospel of Loki" is a brilliant, contemporary retelling of the Norse myths. Recommended for those who are new to this mythology and interested in learning more about it, but also those who enjoy epic fantasy with intelligent witty humor. ( )
1 vote LiteraryPortals | Nov 9, 2018 |
''They tell you revenge isn't worth it. I say there's nothing finer.''

When a writer makes an effort to compose a story out of all the different well-loved myths about the deities of Norse Mythology, putting the Trickster at the heart of the narration, and having him confessing all the crimes he has committed in all their evil glory, then it deserves no less than a fairly positive review. The result is a fascinating work, able to transport the reader into Asgard and the whole Nine Worlds, but not without some hindrances along the way.

The incorporation of the myths is well-done, atmospheric and skillfully bound. The Nine Worlds are as realistic as can be. The wonderful rendition of Thor's trials in the Hall of the Giant King, one of the most well-known myths about the Thunderer, is one of the best moments in the book., The end is darkly beautiful.

As much as I liked the way the stories are told, there were a few things I had major problems with. The ''Yours Truly'' code name became too tiring rather quickly. In addition, the pseudo-funny, aloof, semi-modernized interactions and descriptions alienated me from the narration in a significant degree. There were a few parts that lost their beauty and their impact because, to my ears, they sounded like a silly Nickelodeon teen-movie. I'm not suggesting that I would have preferred a translated Old Norse text, but between that and the ''I Was A Teenage Loki'' style, there could have been a balanced mixture of both. Still, this is my personal pet-peeve, I am sure many readers will find this kind of language satisfying and entertaining. Easier to understand, most probably. Here, I will agree with a reviewer on GR who stated that, perhaps, this is the kind of book that would engage the younger generation, but not the adults of my age.

My biggest problem has to do with the characters, and this one I can't easily forgive. The gods and goddesses are strangely represented, portrayed as rather simplified versions of themselves. I don't care whether they represent archetypes, the Norse myths never treated them as such. Poor Heimdallr (as is his proper name) and Baldr are ridiculed to no end,as is Sigyn whose legendary loyalty is portrayed as the infatuation of a plain old-maid ( I hated that with a vengeance!). Iðunn is a stupid teenager, Freyja is someone who would go all the way to acquire a piece of jewellery (and yes, it did happen according to the myths but here, it is described without any elegance), and the tormented Skaði, my personal favourite goddess, doesn't have a kinder luck in the hands of the writer. I admit that all these didn't sit well with me, the complexity of the deities is vanished and we steer too much away from the myths. I tried to have in mind that we witness everything from Loki's perspective, and it made sense, but still, it bothered me deeply.

I don't know how these legendary, larger than life, mythical figures are portrayed in some recent popular action movies. I couldn't care less, I haven't watched them, I never will. My guess is their luck can't be much better than here. But the Thor I have in mind, the Thunderer of the myths, isn't a dim-witted brute, gentle Baldr isn't vain and silly, Freyja isn't a shrew with no presence at all. In the hands of any other writer, this issue would have made me abandon the book shortly after I started it.

Joanne Harris is a writer I love and trust. Her books have a certain something, her writing a distinct kind of beauty. When you choose to present such beautiful stories out of the Pantheon of Norse Mythology, the responsibility must be quite heavy. The Gospel of Loki is well-written, and adequately respectful to the original material which has brought up generations and generations. I am certain that if Loki ever had the chance to read it, he would love it. And I, for once, was satisfied with this book, even though there were some issues that prevented me from granting it four stars. Would I read it again? Probably not. However,I was told there is a sequel to it, I checked in the synopsis, and my answer was a big, fat NO. Let us respect some things, let us not turn everything into cartoon super-heroes... ( )
1 vote AmaliaGavea | Jul 15, 2018 |
I enjoyed the book but I can't say it was over the top amazing. It has a great cast of gods and goddesses and was a great retelling of old tales. Loki is a very unreliable narrator, which is a good portion of the charm of the book. You never know if he's lying.

I didn't find that the entire book was engaging but it was a good read, especially if you like Norse mythology. ( )
  Cat.rector | Feb 17, 2018 |
I enjoyed the book but I can't say it was over the top amazing. It has a great cast of gods and goddesses and was a great retelling of old tales. Loki is a very unreliable narrator, which is a good portion of the charm of the book. You never know if he's lying.

I didn't find that the entire book was engaging but it was a good read, especially if you like Norse mythology. ( )
  Cat.rector | Feb 17, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Harris, Joanne M.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Giancola, DonatoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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