My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This reminded me of the Percy Jackson series on steroids, there were points of shock and awe at the content, but what really interested me was how easily it was for me to suspend my disbelief and absorb the world that is just outside of my perception.
The plot follows Shadow, a man who was recently set free from jail. His sentence is reduced early by the death of his wife and while on the way to their home, he meets a man named Wednesday, who offers him a job as his assistant. Seeing no other options available, Shadow decides to follow Wednesday (who as we learn is the American reincarnation of Odin), as they travel to different places in the United States, meeting different sorts of Gods that moved here from the “old country” (whichever land may apply). As the story continues, we learn that Wednesday is trying to rally the old Gods into fighting the new Gods of American culture, like TV and Internet. Shadow’s role in the entire plot is bigger than himself. He is able to find himself despite the loss of his wife, the loss of whatever other material things that once made him feel whole, but he has learned what he is capable of.
There were a few random stories about some Gods that were unexplained and a few dreams of Shadow’s that were also unexplained, which I think were supposed to be symbolic, but the meaning was lost on me. So that made me confused for some parts.
Overall, I think it was really interesting to see Gaiman’s take on the lore of America and how we choose to believe what we believe. Shadow was also a very interesting character from the beginning and I liked following him and learning about these different places with him.