Alrighty, finished the book = lots to talk about!
The old gods agree to meet the new gods in a neutral place to give them Wednesday’s body, and surprisingly that goes okay. At the same time, Wednesday discovers that his old friend Low-Key is actually Loki (man how did I not see that a mile away???) and he’s working for the old/bad gods and you know that sucks.
Shadow decides that he needs to keep his agreement with Wednesday about keeping vigil because he died, and which apparently in godspeak means you get tied to a tree for 9 days with no food… obviously that didn’t work out so hot for Shadow, but he feels all happy that he did such a major thing and he really feels alive, and then of course he dies and goes through the underworld and of course he doesn’t stay dead for along… that whole thing was really predictable, at least to me. Can’t have the protagonist dying off with 60 pages left to go. Oh and Shadow finds out that Wednesday is his daddy. I figured they had some sort of tie, because otherwise Wednesday wouldn’t have hounded Shadow so hard and wouldn’t have really needed him, but still a cool revelation.
So Shadow then comes back to life and discovers that this whole this was a two-man con between Loki & Wednesday to have a bunch of gods kill each other in a major battle so that they would become strong again (and in Wednesday’s case, alive again). And while it was a dick move… I don’t think I necessarily like Wednesday any less. I mean it’s screwed up to try to sacrifice all of your god-friends just so that you get a power boost, but the meaner, more evil side of me just kind of shrugs and says “Gotta do what ya gotta do.”
Laura did some good stuff, but I still hate her and I’m happy with how her little story ended. And I KNEW something was up with Mr. Hinzelmann!!! I knew it! Gross old bastard. As for the ending… I don’t know. Kinda bummed that Wednesday didn’t come back, but technically the real Odin is still alive, which is weird. Gaiman’s whole mythology is just weird.
So… this book was interesting, but honestly without the readalong I might have DNF-ed it again. While I kind of liked Shadow and Wednesday, I just didn’t care overall. I would have liked more focus on the gods – more info on how they came about, how the new ones were created, what the implications of the old and new gods on society are, if there are any. Seems like there was so much more to explore there. The writing didn’t hook me in, with the exception of Sam’s speech earlier. Part of me just feels like Neil Gaiman was trying way too hard with this one. Maybe I’ll like his kids books better. The ending seemed to leave the possibility of a sequel open and if there is one, I probably won’t read it.
I do want to say a major thanks to Jenn for hosting this! Maybe she’ll even consider hosting a readalong for The Graveyard Book or something….hmmmmm…
Sarah Says: 2.5 stars, overall.