'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Sunday 26 December 2010

Review: Odd and the Frost Giants

Gaiman's soaring imagination once again takes flight in this beautiful new book about a young crippled lad - the son of a Viking father and Scottish mother.

When Odd's father is killed on one of his Viking expeditions, his bereaved mother takes up with a new husband - the father of several kids, who invade the family home.

Unhappy, Odd feels compelled to leave home, dragging his crippled foot across the snow-ridden landscape to his father's old hunting cabin, where he encounters the virtual impossible - a talking bear, fox and eagle.

But these talking animals are not who they seem...

Drawing on the magical folklore of the Norse Gods, Gaiman has woven a poignant and beautifully scripted tale of a young lad who is far from the typical 'hero' - in looks, in stature, in action.

When called upon to help save his land from a Frost Giant invasion and permanent winter, Odd uses his mind and heart to avert disaster, rather than weaponry and wicked ways.

Not only does this young, unassuming lad achieve a coup even the Great Gods would have failed at poorly, he garners respect and admiration so impressive, his entire stature, his physical being - grow palpably. So much so, when he finally returns to his mother's house, the family hardly recognise him.

Beautifully penned and mystical, this book leaves an open-ending to fill with all manner of mythical goodness, leaving me to wonder what adventure Odd and his heart and mind will conquer next.

Title: Odd and the Frost Giants
Author: Neil Gaiman
Publisher: Bloomsbury, $22.99
Publication Date: November 2010
Format: Hard cover with dust jacket
ISBN: 9780747598114
For ages: 8 - 12
Type: Junior Fiction