Sunday, April 8, 2012

In My Mailbox and American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Hello darlings!

I'm going to do a very quick post today because, unfortunately, I have the flu.

I spent all last night and today wandering around the apartment in a daze, trying to figure out how to feel better. Finally I just collapsed on the couch, watched some TV with Mr. J, and slept a bunch.

I didn't want to skip In My Mailbox (that'll be at the bottom of the post) or a review because I figured, if I'm too ill to do anything else at least I can still type.

Anyway here we go. 

REVIEW

Title: American Gods
Author: Neil Gaiman
Genre: Fantasy, Mythology
Published: March 4, 2005
Pages: 656
After three years in prison, Shadow has done his time. But as the days, then the hours, then the minutes, then the seconds until his release tick away, he can feel a storm building. Two days before he gets out, his wife Laura dies in a mysterious car crash, in apparently adulterous circumstances. Dazed, Shadow travels home, only to encounter the bizarre Mr. Wednesday claiming to be a refugee from a distant war, a former god and the king of America. Together they embark on a very strange journey across the States, along the way solving the murders which have occurred every winter in one small American town. But they are being pursued by someone with whom Shadow must make his peace... Disturbing, gripping and profoundly strange, Neil Gaiman's epic new novel sees him on the road to finding the soul of America.

 
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I picked this book up after reading "Coraline" and "The Graveyard Book" by Neil Gaiman. Gaiman's handle on the skill of terrifying the reader before they even realize it was phenomenal and both "Coraline" and "The Graveyard Book" were perfect parts creepy and exciting. When I picked up "American Gods" I believe that I was, for some reason, expecting that very same thing.

What I got instead was a story full of horror that is deeper than the idea of having buttons sewn into your eyes, or of having some demon shadow men trying to kill you and your whole family. The horror was human-kind in general and the adventure was discovering that there's so much more to life and the world than what meets the eye.

Gaiman's characters, Shadow and Mr. Wednesday, are the focus of the book. The gist is that Mr. Wednesday is dragging Shadow all around the place getting him to do the strangest, and sometimes most stomach wrenching things.

The reader will meet the Gods of old, dressed in their modern day bodies, sewn seamlessly into a world that passes them over without a second glance. But that's the problem... the world is forgetting them. The world is ignoring them. People are finding new gods to worship. Money, fame, technology. The new gods are tired of sharing their space and are ready to start a war to put the old gods to rest, permanently.  The old Gods are none to happy and Mr. Wednesday (you'll be surprised to find out who he really is) is rallying the troops with Shadow's help. 

This story was very demanding of my attention, and I don't think I wasted a spare minute on getting it read. I will say though that Neil Gaiman also does his best to make the reader uncomfortable, and I was uncomfortable on numerous occasions throughout the book. But that made it all the more riveting! 

American God's is very intelligently written, full of references to Gods that you've probably either forgotten about or never knew existed. You mythology buffs out there are going to be guessing wildly about who Mr. Wednesday is. I was. I had a few ideas, one in particular, and I was half-right. 

Anyway, very gritty, quite creepy, and in some cases just plain bizarre. But I love books like that, don't you?

Get to reading! 


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IN MY MAILBOX #3
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This week's IMM is actually pretty short. I didn't pick up many new books, but I'll introduce the ones I do have hold of now.

 It Takes a Witch



Title: It Takes a Witch
Author: Heather Blake
Genre: Paranormal Mystery
Published: January 12, 2012
Pages: 299

Darcy Merriweather has just discovered she hails from a long line of Wishcrafters-witches with the power to cast spells by making a wish. She's come to Enchanted Village to learn her trade but finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation...











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 ❀A Charmed Death


Title: A Charmed Death
Author: Madelyn Alt
Genre: Paranormal Mystery
Published: December 5, 2006
Pages: 289

Maggie O'Neill was just a small-town girl, stuck in a dead-end job--until she started working at Enchantments, Stony Mill's finest mystical antique shop.

Now Maggie is Indiana's newest witch. Learning to cope with her newfound powers is tough enough, but add to that keeping the stock at Enchantments organized and remembering to tape reruns of her favorite show, Magnum, P.I., and Maggie's got a full plate.

But when she witnesses an altercation between a local teenage princess, and another customer in Enchantments--and later the girl turns up dead--she feels compelled to investigate. Though the police are at a loss, Maggie has some tricks up her sleeve, or to be more specific, some spells, charms, and mystical intuitions. And with the help of her boss (and favorite witch) Felicity Dow, Maggie is spellbound and determined to get to the bottom of this murder.

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❀Murder is Binding
 
Title: Murder is Binding
Author: Lorna Barrett
Genre: Mystery
Published: April 1, 2008
Pages: 281
When she moved to Stoneham, city slicker Tricia Miles met nothing but friendly faces. And when she opened her mystery bookstore, she met friendly competition. But when she finds Doris Gleason dead in her own cookbook store, killed by a carving knife, the atmosphere seems more cutthroat than cordial. Someone wanted to get their hands on the rare cookbook that Doris had recently purchased-and the locals think that someone is Tricia. To clear her name, Tricia will have to take a page out of one of her own mysteries-and hunt down someone who isn't killing by the book.




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The following books were actually bought by Mr. J... but what's his is mine *wink* and I fully intend on reading these books too.  

❀The Alchemyst
 
Title: The Alchemyst
Author: Michael Scott
Genre: YA Fantasy
Published: May 22, 2007
Pages: 375

He holds the secret that can end the world.

The truth: Nicholas Flamel was born in Paris on September 28, 1330. Nearly 700 years later, he is acknowledged as the greatest Alchemyst of his day. It is said that he discovered the secret of eternal life.

The records show that he died in 1418.

But his tomb is empty.

The legend: Nicholas Flamel lives. But only because he has been making the elixir of life for centuries. The secret of eternal life is hidden within the book he protects—the Book of Abraham the Mage. It's the most powerful book that has ever existed. In the wrong hands, it will destroy the world. That's exactly what Dr. John Dee plans to do when he steals it. Humankind won't know what's happening until it's too late. And if the prophecy is right, Sophie and Josh Newman are the only ones with the power to save the world as we know it.

Sometimes legends are true.

And Sophie and Josh Newman are about to find themselves in the middle of the greatest legend of all time.

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 ❀The Warrior Heir
 
Title: The Warrior Heir
Author: Cinda Williams Chima
Genre: YA Fantasy
Published: February 27, 2007
Pages: 426

Before he knew about the Roses, 16-year-old Jack lived an unremarkable life in the small Ohio town of Trinity. Only the medicine he has to take daily and the thick scar above his heart set him apart from the other high-schoolers. Then one day Jack skips his medicine. Suddenly, he is stronger, fiercer, and more confident than ever before. And it feels great until he loses control of his own strength and nearly kills another player during soccer team tryouts. Soon, Jack learns the startling truth about himself: He is Weirlind; part of an underground society of magical people who live among us. At the head of this magical society sit the feuding houses of the Red Rose and the White Rose, whose power is determined by playing The Game. A magical tournament in which each house sponsors a warrior to fight to the death, The winning house ruling the Weir. As if his bizarre magical heritage isn't enough, Jack finds out that he s not just another member of Weirlind, he's one of the last of the warriors at a time when both houses are scouting for a player. Jack's performance on the soccer field has alerted the entire magical community to the fact that he's in Trinity. And until one of the houses is declared Jack's official sponsor, they'll stop at nothing to get Jack to fight for them.

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Giveaways

Just to remind everyone, I have two great giveaways going on right now. If you'll just click the little linkies, they'll send you to the appropriate page. Good Luck!

 Ends May 1st
and 
Ends April 15th

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Well my peaches! That's all for today!

I think I'm going to go curl up on the couch now and try to rest out this flu bug. Mr. J brought home pizza and a movie (don't know which movie though. Fingers crossed!)

Until next Blog, 

Read On!

~A.  
 

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for the review! I am relatively new to the fantasy genre and many people keep telling me that I would probably enjoy Neil Gaiman's work. After reading your review, I think they may be right and I may just have to go and check him out. Thanks for posting. Hope the flu leaves you alone soon!

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  2. Looks like you've got some great reads ahead of you! Being a big YA paranormal/fantasy lover myself, the first two sound especially interesing to me. You'll have to let us know what you think of them! :)

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