Book Review: The Gospel of Loki by Joanne Harris

The Gospel of Loki

The Gospel of Loki: The Epic Story of the Trickster God is a rewritten novel based on the Eddas, it’s also told from Loki’s point of view, from meeting Odin at the very beginning, then becoming his brother, until the end of days for the gods.

This was a disappointing read, the characters were flat, everything was lacklustre and there was no real life in the story.  Even Loki himself was boring.

“Well, that’s history for you, folks. Unfair, untrue and for the most part written by folk who weren’t even there.”

Direct quote from the book at the start, while history is always written by the winners it seems a bit odd that Loki would say this.  The Eddas were written to tell the tale of the gods, had they not, no one would have known that much about them, or the adventures that had taken place.

It could be that I am being a harsh critic to this book, given that I have read a few Loki central books, including Marvel’s Comics own mini series Trials of Loki and the novel series I Bring Fire to name a few.  Both of these take the Edda’s, but make them something more, Marvel created it so that Loki could be viewed as an unrelable narrator, while in the I Bring Fire series the Edda’s were flash backs of Loki’s past, with other’s mixed in there to add to the drama and excitement.

With this book sadly, it reads like it was copy and pasted into the book, with little bits of wittiness added here and there.  None of the character’s were full developed to be interesting, no body really grows as characters, Loki himself doesn’t even grow as a character, he just stays the same as he did at the start.

it would have been a refreshing read had the Edda’s been side stories, but the main plot of Loki’s relationships with the gods, with his wife and children – in here Loki doesn’t care for them, apart from the jam tarts his wife makes.  Yet it was due to his sons death’s – in part at least, along with all of the injustice Loki felt he received – that he brought on the end of days for the gods.

There is also another bug bear of mine in this book… Yours Truly.  Loki says it so often and for no reason other than to remind the reader that he is very important, yet it’s just irritating and put me off the character completely.

On the whole, if you like Loki, if you know of Loki’s back story and want to read something more fun and exciting; give this book a miss.  There are plenty of Loki central books out there that are well worth the read, like the I Bring Fire series by C. Gockle.

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