Odd and The Frost Giants
by Neil Gaiman
This is a story for kids and for adults, in typical Gaiman style. Odd is a twelve-year-old Norse boy with a twisted foot, a terrible step-dad, and an annoyingly constant smile. One winter that doesn’t seem to end he leaves home, only to make friends with a bear, fox, and an eagle. Of course, they are something much more than ordinary animals. And that’s all I’m going to tell you because I don’t want to spoil the fun.
Odd is a simple tale (and a short one), but it’s told with such elegance and power you’ll want to read it again and again. It brings up huge themes and resolves conflict in a clever way. The magical beings in this book are far from perfect. They are perhaps even more flawed than the human boy, Odd. That may be the point: that any being that seems all-powerful really has nothing on a clever human with the ability to grow and learn.
I might just have to read everything Neil Gaiman has ever written. He’s that good. I’ve picked up two books by him now, (earlier review of Coraline here), and they were both fabulously written stories of almost mythical dimensions. I have to wonder what magic he works with the ones aimed at adults.
I highly recommend Odd and The Frost Giants for readers young and old. Plus it was really flippin’ cheap: The ebook is listed at $1.99 this month on Amazon.