The Testament of Loki by Joanne Harris
About the Book
Publisher: Gollancz | Release Date: May 17, 2018 | Pages: 295
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy | Format: eARC | Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Asgard fell, centuries ago, and the old gods have been defeated. Some are dead, while others have been consigned to eternal torment in the netherworld – among them, the legendary trickster, Loki. A god who betrayed every side and still lost everything, who has lain forgotten as time passed and the world of humans moved on to new beliefs, new idol and new deities . . .
But now mankind dreams of the Norse Gods once again, the river Dream is but a stone’s throw from their dark prison, and Loki is the first to escape into a new reality.
The first, but not the only one to. Other, darker, things have escaped with him, who seek to destroy everything that he covets. If he is to reclaim what has been lost, Loki will need allies, a plan, and plenty of tricks . . .
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Ragnarok came and went centuries ago, and after Asgard fell the old gods were either dead or stuck in the Netherworld for eternal torment. That is until Loki found a way to escape the Netherworld and into ours… but is he the only god to have found his way to freedom? And will Loki be yet again the pawn in the plans of other gods?
“Why not just keep it simple? There were enough pleasures in this world to fill every hour of a human’s life. Why waste so much precious time with doubt, and pain, and loneliness?”
sigh I feel like 2018 is shoring up to be the year of disappointing mythology stories for me. When I saw this title available for request on NetGalley, I screamed to the Valkyries in hopes of being accepted for this arc. I love mythology, and Norse mythology, in particular, has been deeply interesting to me since childhood.
This is a story with an incredibly interesting premise, but unfortunately, this is another book that I struggled with nearly from the beginning. I initially was hooked with the sarcastic voice of our narrator Loki and enjoyed the folding of mythology and Oracle prophesy; however, for some inexplicable reason I never connected with the story and found myself dragging on this book. It took me ten days to read the 320 pages, and the fact that I finished this at all rather than a DNF speaks to the overall premise and my wanting to see how things ended.
Sadly I was not aware that this book was part of a series until I received the mobi file (I really with NetGalley would list series information as this isn’t the first time this has happened), but since it appears to be a prequel of sorts I didn’t think it would be an issue (edit as of May 15, 2018 – this is now being marketed as Loki #2 and a sequel)— I admit that may be a reason for my having issues connecting with the story. I found the writing a bit difficult to understand at times and I felt like I was being told a lot of information rather than being shown it. Due to Loki’s trickster nature, as the narrator, he kept things from the reader without really saying so until later. I didn’t really enjoy this writing device as I found myself confused quite often thinking that I missed something… and I did… it was just not revealed to the reader. It may be more successful if Loki simply said something like “but I’ll tell you more when you need to know.” Then again, others may very well enjoy this writing style!
There are themes of acceptance, self-love, and coming of age that will resonate well with a young adult audience, and I think a lot of readers will relate to Jumps. I wish that was more developed, I feel like there was more there to be discovered with Jumps and her friends.
Content Warnings: eating disorder, body image issues
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher, Orion Publishing Group, for providing me a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.