The Lost Gods by Francesca Simon
|The Lost Gods by Francesca Simon|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Linda Lawlor|
|Summary: Freya reckons she's done her bit for the Norse gods: after all, she's already got herself almost eaten by a dragon and ripped to shreds by a giant because of them. But these gods aren't terribly good at seeing other people's point of view (or on saying thank you, for that matter). Besides, they're not asking for much this time round: they just want her to make the whole world worship them again. No big, eh?|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 388||Date: September 2013|
|Publisher: Faber and Faber|
|External links: Author's website|
Imagine that Christianity didn't end up a world religion. In its stead you have the Norse gods, a bunch of war-mongering, bling-loving, mead-slurping divinities with the appetite and impatience of a toddler in a sweet shop. Mad berserks battle to the death every day in their halls — for fun, that is — and their idea of meaningful communication is a thunderbolt. Only . . . they can't quite manage all that any more.
You see, the big secret the gods don't want people to know is that they need humans. Actually need them, in a life-or-death sort of way. Without the worship humans provide the powers of the gods wane until they are no longer capable of all that smiting and drinking and fighting they love so much. And in modern Britain, Wodenism, or indeed religion of any sort, isn't a big deal any more. The Queen may still be Head of the established church, but she is more than a little startled when the gods take over the Great Hall of the Priestess-Queen (aka Buckingham Palace) for their war chamber. People still send their children to Fane of England schools, but it's because of the excellent exam results. And frankly, the Nine Commandments could do with some serious updating. So, after a humiliating (and very funny) personal appearance on the Millenium Bridge during the morning rush hour, the gods realise they need help again. Not least because thanks to global warming the frost giants are free, and those guys are out for revenge.
Ordinary schoolgirl Freya found herself on a terrifying quest to rescue the apples of youth for the gods in The Sleeping Army, the delightful first book in the series. But now they want her to persuade the whole world to worship them so they can get their strength back — right now this minute, before the frost giants arrive and it's game over. While they're waiting for her to get to work they move into her house, where they naturally expect to be fed and entertained in a manner fitting their status, and without the twin novelties of television and fast food, things could have been very dire indeed for Freya. Foolishly she thinks things can't get any worse, which is always a big mistake: she soon learns Loki the trickster god is out to get her, and the wretched apples of youth fall into absolutely the wrong hands. What follows is a side-splittingly funny take on the cult of celebrity, with sly swipes at fashion, football, TV and practically every other aspect of modern life in one glorious romp of a book that is guaranteed to amuse people way older than its target audience. You have to read it: it's fast-moving, it's funny, it's silly and it's scary: what's not to like?
You really ought to read The Sleeping Army as well: it isn't essential to understand this book because there's some clever backstory here, but it's so much fun it would be a pity to miss it.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Lost Gods by Francesca Simon at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy The Lost Gods by Francesca Simon at Amazon.com.
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