Book Review – Thor: Dueling with Giants

It’s been a while since I did a book review because it’s been a while since I finished a book. The last one here at RIU HQ was X-Men Chaos Engine: Red Skull. I had that Kickstarter thing going and that took up a bit of my time getting prepared for it. I read this book here and there during that time. It wasn’t that this book was particularly long or difficult. It was neither. It simply took me a while to get through because of all the other things going on in my life. But the next two months will be a flurry of reading activity as I try to catch up on some much-needed reading and mind exercise.

The book on the chopping block today is the 164 page Thor – Dueling with Giants. This is the first book in the trilogy The Tales of Asgard. The other two books in the series are Sif – Even Dragons Have Their Endings, and The Warriors Three – Godhood’s End. All of these were written by Keith R. A. DeCandido. This is the first book I’ve read by him from Canadian comic book publisher Joe Books.

The reason I wanted to read this book is that I wanted to get away from the new takes on classic characters and just get back to the basics. Also, my own writing tends to be more serious, dealing with mature themes, so I wanted something to take me away from that where I could relax and have a small respite.

Thor – Dueling with Giants is a decent book. It’s not heavy on plot. The title basically gives the content away. Nothing too complicated here. The book is a whole whopping nine chapters and I probably would’ve been finished with it a whole lot sooner if I had been a bit more diligent about it.

Since this is not strong on plot, it is much stronger on characterization. And this is where DeCandido shines in this book. He seems to have a firm grasp of the Asgardian lore and adds a few other things that are not in the Marvel Asgardian lore but in the true Norse mythology which I enjoyed quite a bit.

Thor vs. Loki. Art by Overlayer2091 (DeviantArt)

Without getting into too many spoilers, the basic overview of the book is the classic Loki versus Thor story with the frost giants of Joutenheim being the main antagonist Loki uses as his pawns to get at Thor. In a nutshell, it all has to do with a frost giant named Hrungnir, Odin, two horses, and a kidnapping.

Now, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having a simple plot if that’s your thing. Some people may say that my plots and characters are too involved and they’d probably be right. However, not having a plot that was a wee bit more intricate was what made this book a tad bland. That may or may not have contributed to me dragging my feet on this one. I would say not but we all know about those subconscious things we do that we don’t catch.

The plot was so simple, it broadcasted what was going to happen. You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out the next thing that will transpire on the next page or chapter. In other words, it’s predictable. Don’t expect any twists. Add to that that the end was flat and it takes down the score on the EL meter.

That being said, the writing on this is solid. This guy can write. I mean, this is good writing. No overuse of adverbs. Tight prose. I like it so much that I want to get the other two books. I know the second book is out, but the third book which is rather hard to find. The only place I found it was on Google Books. it was absolutely free but you have to read it on their reader. A little odd.

Never let my star rating fool you. Three stars for me is good. So keep that in mind whenever you read one of my reviews.

I would recommend you going in getting this book if you want something just simple that’s a fast read and you just want a fun romp in the mind. This is what this was for me and I’m confident it will be so for you as well.

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