HarperTorch, 592 pp.
American Gods, was released last year in hardcover and earlier this year in paperback. It has also been nominated for a Hugo award this summer and stands a good chance of having already won one by the time this review is printed. American Gods has an intriguing premise—if gods are real and given strength by our beliefs, what happens when we stop believing? The main characters in the story are Odin (calling himself Mr. Wednesday) and a mysterious ex-con, named Shadow. Just before he is released from prison, Shadow’s wife is killed in an auto accident. On the way to her funeral, Shadow is hired as Mr. Wednesday’s bodyguard/errand boy. From the moment he meets Wednesday, Shadow begins to be dragged deeper and deeper into the underworld society of disenfranchised deities. It’s a wild ride, filled with humor, suspense, and conflict. The characters are fun to follow through the chaos and Gaiman leads the reader off on several interesting tangents on the way to the climax. I highly recommend this one.