Title: American Gods
Author: Neil Gaiman
Publication Date: June 19, 2001
Overview: Shadow is just about to get out of jail and go back to his wife, Laura. Only a few days before he’s set to be released, he gets called into the warden’s office. He’s being let out early. His wife is dead.
On his flight back he meets Mr. Wednesday. Wednesday seems to know too much about Shadow. Shadow isn’t sure what to think, but accepts Wednesday’s offer for a job. He starts going around the country with Wednesday, and Shadow discovers that there’s a war brewing in America, a war of the gods.
For Fans Of: Neil Gaiman (duh)
World-Building: Gaiman constructs a hidden world within on own. The world of gods forgotten and the gods that are rising. It’s not seamless. There are overlaps that seem to go suspiciously unnoticed by the average population. However, how the world developed is extremely well done. Gaiman gives us a view of the world’s history and its members that is to die for. It’s beautifully developed and described.
Character Development: Shadow, Laura, and Wednesday are interesting characters in the plot. Shadow, as Laura says, is not always alive. Prison has made him almost brutally self controlled. But his adventures with Wednesday show what’s underneath, including a strong sense of honor and loyalty. Wednesday isn’t who we think he is, but that’s what makes him fun. Laura is interesting (she’s dead after all), but her growth is not insignificant. She stays, at her core, very much the same. But she’s also not as naive as we think she is.
Plot: The plot bends back on itself at times. It’s not a bad thing and really helps flesh out the world within worlds. Some events seem, at first, to happen sporadically, but it’s to the benefit of the plot in the long run, especially when you learn more about the war.
Book Depository Link: http://www.bookdepository.com/American-Gods-Neil-Gaiman/9780380789030