Automotive Deals HPCC Shop Women's Clothing Learn more Discover it Stephen Marley Fire TV Stick Health, Household and Grocery Back to School Handmade school supplies Shop-by-Room Amazon Cash Back Offer TarantinoCollection TarantinoCollection TarantinoCollection  Amazon Echo  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 All-New Kindle Oasis Enter for the chance to win front row seats to Barbra Streisand Water Sports

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:$14.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on November 14, 2007
When I first heard about Erik Evensen's graphic novel, Gods of Asgard, I was truly excited. Modern interpretations of mythology are something of a pet hobby of mine, and the previews of the artwork for this retelling of some of the major myths of the Norse gods was promising. After a brief hunt through the local comic store (which had all sold out), I bit the bullet and ordered it through Amazon. And, as with all mail order books, I anxiously checked the mail each day waiting for it to arrive.

The artwork is indeed gorgeous. Evensen has a great talent for making recognizable characters and for conveying a wide range of emotions. He notes some interesting details, such as giving Loki an increasingly scarred visage as the story progresses, starting out with his mouth being sewn shut by Brokk and becoming quite mangled by Ragnarok from the serpent's venom dripping on his face. Also, Evensen's depictions of the Jotuns are quite fun, and reflect their individual characters nicely. A particular favorite of mine was Thiazi, who was given eagle talons for legs to echo his other form. Lastly, Evensen's inking is visually stunning and clear, allowing for very easy appreciation of his underlying pencils (guest inker Ken McFarlane also does an excellent job on the sixth, seventh, and ninth tales).

Unfortunately, Evensen's mastery of language does not match his graphic ability. The stories do not make a unified whole and the narrative is quite choppy. The story suffers from a severe case of telling the reader what is going on rather than allowing him to discover it for himself. The first twenty pages are narrated through text boxes (as is the final tale of Ragnarok), and actually, in combination with the artwork, create a relatively effective story-telling device. But Evensen suddenly changes his style with the third tale (the building of the walls of Asgard), which is unfortunate as the dialogue is less than scintillating. It lacks the poetic archaisms which would have made it charming and instead the remaining tales come off as stilted and trite. Perhaps my expectations were to high, having been spoiled by the D'Aulaires' Book of Norse Myths as a child, where the union of word and picture is seamless. Considering just how satisfying Evensen's art is, it makes the disappointment of his prose all the more acute.

However, the book is not without its merits. It makes a fine introduction to the gods of the north for those who have never encountered them before. For those who have, though, there are some sections that have been edited for modern sensibilities (for example, Modi and Magni's mother is never mentions, allowing Thor to appear engaged in a monogamous marriage; not depicting Loki's antics with the goat in his attempt to make Skadi laugh), as well as some areas that stray from the myths (Frey using a sword instead of an antler in his final battle with Surt. To his credit, he acknowledges some of his changes in the introduction and notes, and does provide a list of primary and secondary sources for those who would seek further.

In short, if you have a teenager who is just becoming interested in mythology, this is a fantastic book. The main players are clearly introduced and the chronology of the tales is plain to follow. There are some quite violent scenes, as well as some implied nudity and sexuality, so I would leave it to the parents' discretion as to whether they find it appropriate for their young ones. For older folk who just enjoy a fun reading, and who aren't too critical of differences from the Eddas, I would also say dig in. It isn't often that a semi-scholarly approach to a graphic novel is taken, and for that Evensen is to be commended.

0Comment| 24 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 20, 2013
I got into the Gods of Norse Mythology because of Marvel comics and movies, I am a huge Thor and Loki fan, and naturally, after reading about the comic/movie versions, I wanted to know the base stories that led marvel to make them characters. I had already read some stuff from different sites, but when I saw this book I had to have it. I got it three days after placing my order and started reading, and fell in book love. Its really well written, and drawn extremely well It has only the best stories, a couple of my favorites that i have read on the net, The building of the walls of Asgard to name one, and is told in a very short sweet and to the point way. I just started it and I know this one will be read multiple times. Also when I opened it, I got the surprise of finding it autographed by the author, so that was a plus.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 21, 2014
I really appreciated the authors notes at the end, which gave a little light onto why certain versions of the myths were used. I am a visual person, so even though I have read most of these stories before, I loved having them in graphic novel form. Definitely recommend this book!
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 8, 2016
Very well drawn characters, good comic book style. Tells the tales well and lets the pictures do a lot of talking. Perfect for kids of all ages! It's done in black and white so someone who likes to color could color the whole book!
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 21, 2013
since the 60s, Marvel comics has used the Viking legends in the four comic books, while they kept sounds bits and pieces they rewrote a lot of of the relationships. Gods of Asgard tells the old legends the way they used to be told, though it softened a bit for younger readers I found it very enjoyable.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 25, 2014
The major Norse myths presented in graphic-novel format. I've never liked graphic novels very much, but Erik A. Evensen's work has changed my opinion of the entire genre. All the characters look and speak just as they should, in my opinion, and the contemporary presentation feels fresh and alive. Best of all, Loki displays both his charm and his ambiguity whenever he is featured. Mr. Evensen's depiction of Loki after Odin tells him to obtain the necklace of the Brisings is priceless!
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 4, 2014
My son's been interested in Thor and Loki since watching the recent Thor movies. He's really enjoying this retelling of the myths, and it's given him a better understanding of the Norse gods, their exploits, and their relationships with each other.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 1, 2014
This graphic novel is a marvelous and attractive introduction and overview of Norse Mythology. It is not as intimidating as a more comprehensive book on this subject would be to a newcomer and is a valuable asset to anyone wishing to become more knowledgeable on this subject.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 13, 2014
Love the artwork, the way he does the stories. I only wish this were a series instead. Having each story actually being plaid out instead of most of them being just a short narrative and what happened.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 19, 2014
Well researched. Obviously not a perfect retelling of the myths since it is a story, but close in many ways and recalls less well known information in some places and possibly makes some logical leaps in others. I love Norse mythology and, so far, I am really enjoying this graphic novel. I think individuals who don't love Norse mythology generally can enjoy this book also; the narrative is logical enough that level of familiarity with the mythos is not that important.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.