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REVIEW | Norse Code by Greg van Eekhout (Spectra)

I wasn't very familiar with Eekhout before, but I have since checked out a couple of his short stories which were surprisingly strong. I'm glad he decided to tackle something long form as Norse Code is his debut effort. He most certainly has a bright future in front of him. Norse Code was one of those titles that as soon as I heard it I knew it would be for me. Norse Code can almost act as an entertaining primer to Norse Gods and their associated lore. Eekhout manages to deftly include nearly every aspect of Norse mythology in some fashion. Even tiny aspects are discussed in depth while they are barely mentioned in the legends. The book centers on Hermod Odinson, the wandering god, who is often considered a minor player in the mythology but in this he grows into a star. The book quickly switches gears from what I thought was going to be more of a typical Urban Fantasy placed mostly on our world but turned into a tour of all the Nine worlds of Norse mythology traveling to the very roots of the World Tree. This is most assuredly the coming of Ragnarok. Norse Code is action-packed and fun, but I did have a few problems with it. Overall, it was almost too quickly paced and many of the problems the characters encounter are solved too easily. Some more fleshing out of the coming of Ragnarok would have been good especially in the worsening of the human realm just to connect the reader a bit more. I felt that the book did lose something by not following up more on the NorseCode company which is only mentioned at the beginning and little elsewhere. It almost seemed like this should have been book 2 in a series. The main female character Mist could have used a bit more emotion, but I guess being a Valkyrie it is understandable why she isn't. Even with all of these problems Norse Code is still very much a worthwhile and enjoyable read. The battle scenes with the Gods and other creatures are well done as are the depictions of creatures such a Surtr a giant fire being. The dialogue is especially funny in the most unexpected scenes as Hermod always makes it seem that he is out of his element or out matched. Fans of American Gods and Thor comics will find something to love in these pages. Norse Code will definitely keep you compelled enough to get to the finish line just to see what all this talk of Ragnarok is all about. The ending certainly surprised me. I give Norse Code 7 out of 10 Hats. For a first novel this is a fine showing. Book link: US UK Canada


Alexia561 said...

Enjoyed your review. Have to agree that I would have liked to have learned more about the NorseCode company, but was happy overall with the story. Found myself comparing it to American Gods as well.

Thought this was a very strong debut, and look forward to hearing more from van Eekhout in the future! Good job!