Let me tell you how I met Neil.
No, I think I have to go back further. You have to understand how I met Cameron to understand how I met Neil. I was working in a book store at the time and happened upon a comic version of Robin Hood. I believe I found the comic in New York City. I wasn’t a comic geek, but I was an absolute nut for anything Arthurian or related to Robin Hood. I needed to complete my set of Robin Hood comics and one of the guys I worked with at the book store used to go to a little local comic store.
At the time, my brothers were 15 and 13. I doted on them. They were really into comics and although I didn’t have a lot of money, I had promised them each two comics a month. They just had to pick out the titles. Kenji picked Punisher and one other title and George picked Wolverine with one other title. It was quite a topic of conversation at the book store as to why I was reading Punisher as it is not typically the type of title a girl would read.
As I didn’t have a car of my own at the time, my friend Matt would take me to the comic book store when he went. I opened up a reserve box so my brother’s titles would be set aside monthly. Cam worked at the shop. He was friendly, so I used to talk to him when I went in, but I found out he went to school with my boss at the book store and it made me want to back off. Everyone I met went to school with my boss and I was just starting to get sick of it.
The Renaissance Festival in Sterling came up in conversation and I found out he worked at the faire as a blacksmith. That alone gave me pause to reconsider and get to know him better. I stopped by to visit him at the faire one weekend and the rest is history. It wasn’t quite as smooth or immediate as that. There was first an episode with pizza with me picking off the pepperoni when I told him it was okay to order it that way. I brought him in a piece of apple pie at work one Saturday. There were some group outings with the crew from the comic book store and he helped me move some stuff when I was leaving my studio.
Our first real date was to see Last of the Mohicans. I used to go to the comic store and wait around for him to get off work. I would get dropped off or take the bus and then he would take me home. Anyway, he put a comic in my hand and told me I had to read it. I got my first glimpse of Morpheus.
It's going to take a very special kind of twelve-year-old boy to outwit the Frost Giants, restore peace to the city of gods, and end the long winter.
Someone cheerful and infuriating and clever . . .
Someone just like Odd.
I don’t think I’ve ever read anything by Neil Gaiman that I didn’t like. This book was no different. The book draws on Viking legend and mythology. While Norse legends were never something I read over much, I did see the movie Thor and I was amazed at how much I was familiar with.
Not feeling wanted in his village, Odd decides to leave his community and go to his father’s hunting lodge. There he meets a fox who takes him to a bear that is trapped by a tree and Odd works to free him all the while be watched over by an eagle. Once he frees the bear, the bear allows Odd to ride his back and takes him home, the two being closely followed by the fox and eagle. When they get to his lodge, none of the animals seem keen on leaving so he does the only thing left to do. He invites them in.
He soon discovers that they are ensorcelled Norse gods, Odin, Thor and Loki, and that a Frost Giant has stolen their home and destroyed the bifrost so they can’t take the rainbow bridge home.
Odd seems like a bit of a simpleton upon first encounter, but we find that he is actually very clever. He decides to help them take back their home and travels with them to Asgard, if only they can find a way back.
The story itself is very short, but it is melodic. It has sort of a sing song quality to it and while it is not an overly complex story, as it is written for a younger audience, it is an inspirational tale about how on ordinary boy can be a hero with a little optimism and cleverness.
World Book Day or World Book and Copyright Day (also known as International Day of the Book or World Book Days) is a yearly event on 23 April, organized by UNESCO to promote reading, publishing and copyright. In the United Kingdom, the day is instead recognized on the first Thursday in March. World Book Day was celebrated for the first time on 23 April 1995.