Mythical Pets

Howdy, howdy! How’s everyone doing this week? Things here are pretty quiet, which is good. I can’t complain. But I still can’t muster up the motivation to write regularly. Definitely not attempting NaNoWriMo. I’ve just been slacking on every front except for reading. Even that’s kind of difficult since I pretty much hate one of the books I’m currently reading. And, as usual, I had no idea what to ramble about this week, so a friend told me to write about which mythical creature I’d want as a pet. “All of them” is apparently not an acceptable answer. Sadness. So, I whittled it down to three (kind of).

1. Cerberus and/or Fenrir. If you know me at all, this is the obvious answer. Why? Because puppers! Cerberus has always been one of my favorites. Her part in Garnets and Guardians (I should probably try looking at that one again now that I’ve had a couple of years away from it to see if I can fix it) is still some of my favorite writing that actually came from me. What’s not to love about a floofy pupper that guards the entrance to Hades? And all doggos need companionship, so I’d adopt Fenrir too. Poor dude just needs some love and cuddles, then maybe he wouldn’t be so hell bent on eating Odin. A giant wolf and a three-headed hound should be able to get along, right?

2. Dragon. I mean, who doesn’t want a dragon? I’m not even picky about the type of dragon. Something warm to cuddle in a cave with while we enjoy our hoards. What more does a girl need? But then I think about all the other reptilian creatures and I start to waver. A basilisk would be neat, but would require extra special care, so no one makes eye contact. I’d also love Jörmungandr (the world serpent). Why did Loki have all the cool kids? But mostly, I want a dragon.

3. Kraken! Actually, I’m quite fond of most of the water based mythical creatures. Hydra, kelpie, etc. I would say Cthulhu, but I don’t think an elder god would want to be my pet. Same for merpeople and selkies. But a kraken would be lovely and think of how good they are at hugs. They just get a little overzealous and break boats. But they could be fun. I’d just need to get a place by the ocean. It wouldn’t be fair to bring one to north Texas. Not enough water around here for the big baby.

I could keep going, but I don’t think anyone really wants me to keep rambling about the pet potential of mythical creatures. What about you? What kind of creatures would you want as a pet? As always, feel free to share your thoughts, comments, questions, or whatever here or on my social media pages!

Thoughts on NORTHERN WRATH

Howdy, howdy! It’s the last Wednesday of October, which means it’s book review time! I wanted to take a break from cozy mysteries and dig into a nice juicy fantasy book, so when I found a new trilogy revolving around Norse mythology, I had to request the first book. Northern Wrath by Thilde Kold Holdt is the first book in the Hanged God trilogy. It was released on the 27th from Solaris Books. As usual, I must thank NetGalley and the publisher for access to the ARC in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. So, let’s get on with it.

Lovely cover.

Northern Wrath follows a number of mortals and giants and monsters alike as they prepare for the final battle. The Runes are fading, signaling the weakening of the bond between humans and the gods. Some want to save the nine worlds, others want to save themselves, and a handful just want to watch the worlds burn. Who will prevail? Only time will tell.

I’m not usually one who likes a story that’s split between more than two or three POVs, but I really appreciate the different glimpses we get in this book. There’s a name at the beginning of each chapter to let us know who we’re with, so it doesn’t get too confusing. And all of the characters are so well rounded that I can’t pick a favorite. I will say that Hilda, the young woman we’re with the most, kind of gets on my nerves. The whole “I don’t need anyone’s help” thing gets annoying, but she’s in the middle of learning her lesson, so I’m hoping I’ll eventually love her like I love Einer and Siv and the rest of them. I even like Finn even though he’s kind of a dipshit.

Me throughout most of this book, but it never does.

The plot is fun and twisty and has a lot of familiar Norse mythology sprinkled throughout as well as some stuff I am not entirely familiar with but that I vaguely recognize. It helps keep things interesting when I can tie into the story with stuff I know, but I don’t think any knowledge of the mythology is actually necessary to enjoy the book. The author does a wonderful job of explaining or showing the important points (like Ragnarok or Loki and Odin’s relationship) without feeling infodumpy. Everything is woven together and works to fully immerse the reader in this violent and lovely world.

Yggdrasil is the best.

I admit the writing is a little dense at times, but it doesn’t get in the way of the story. It’s almost 500 pages, but it manages to keep the reader’s attention with no problem. I have to say, there aren’t many books that keep me thinking about them when I’m not actively reading them, but this one did. Also, it’s a fast-paced story despite its length.

Ultimately, I loved Northern Wrath. I’m a tad bitter that I have to wait for the next two installments. But I did notice Thilde Kold Holdt is also planning a fantasy set in Korea which I will also be checking out when it becomes available.

starstarstarstarstar outline

Overall, I gave it 4 out of 5 stars. I knocked off one because things could have been tightened up a bit and because of my own feelings toward Hilda. But it’s totally worth picking up if you’re into Norse mythology or just looking for an interesting new fantasy world.

Thoughts on Gaiman’s Norse Mythology

Howdy, howdy!  I recently finished reading Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman and thought I would share some of my feelings about it.  Let me start by explaining that it’s the first book I’ve really sat down and read in a long time.  I’ve started others, but nothing has held my attention beyond the first few pages lately (not that they were bad, I just haven’t been in a mood that’s good for reading).  So, I thought maybe a book of short stories by one of my favorite authors would get me back into a reading rhythm.  It worked and here we are.

7828138-0-norsemythology-3D
You have to admit it’s a pretty book.

If I’m being honest, I can’t think of a single Neil Gaiman book I’ve read that I don’t have mixed feelings about.  Norse Mythology is no exception.  Yet his stories hold a special place in my heart despite everything I question (or even hate) about them.  Why?  Usually because there’s something memorable about the worlds or because I can relate to the characters.  Not to mention that I simply enjoy his writing style, which is clear and simple and easy to get lost in.

But Norse Mythology is different, because this isn’t one of Gaiman’s worlds and these aren’t his characters.  These stories have been around for centuries.  This collection is just those stories written with his voice.   These are the tales of the gods of Asgard.  We start with a brief introduction to the main players, then get into the creation myth and work our way through a number of notable moments until we get all the way to Ragnarok.  These are tales many of us have heard before in one form or another.  It makes it really difficult for me to figure out if I liked the stories because I’m familiar with a lot of them already or because of the way Gaiman tells them.  I like to think it’s a little bit of both.

Thor_Odin_Loki
If you read it, don’t go into these stories expecting the Marvel version.

As I mentioned, though, I had some mixed feelings about Norse Mythology.  While I loved the stories, I kept running across moments that I wanted to see better, rather than just being told about.  Don’t get me wrong, I know that this collection was written more in the vein of oral storytelling, which is vastly different from the written story in that it needs to be quick and easy to understand and entertaining, whereas you could spend ten pages of a written story describing a flower (you shouldn’t, but you could).  I get that, but one of the golden rules of writing is to show, not tell.  It’s really hard for me to ignore that rule.  There were just a few parts that I thought would’ve benefited from a little more action.

the_children_of_loki_by_jap_jap-d4cemo4
Because Loki’s kids were awesome and got the short end of the stick.

Ultimately, I enjoyed Norse Mythology.  It’s definitely a book I would recommend to people, especially if they’re new to the mythology and want to get a quick, but fairly in depth introduction to it.  What about you?  If you’ve read the collection, feel free to share your thoughts here or on my social media pages!