Today I’m delighted to be reviewing ‘Creation’ by Bjørn Larssen as part of the blog tour organised by Storytellers on Tour. This is the first in the Why Odin Drinks series, and the second book ‘Wisdom’ is now available for pre-order. This was a delightful read, and the perfect way to kick of Norsevember on the blog.
I hope that you will check out the book and the author, and enjoy the rest of the tour with the schedule in the banner below or (HERE).
Disclaimer – I received a copy in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts are my own.
In the beginning there was confusion.
Ever woken up being a God, but not knowing how to God properly? Your brothers keep creating mosquitoes and celery and other, more threatening weapons. What can your ultimate answer be – the one that will make you THE All-Father and them, at best, the All-Those-Uncles-We-All-Have-But-Don’t-Talk-About?
“FML! The answer’s why I drink!” – Odin
Perfect for fans of Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury, and Mrs Brown’s Boys.
Are you ever simultaneously excited and trepidatious about a book? Well, that was how I felt about this one. I absolutely adore Children by Larssen, and after having read an excerpt from Storytellers that one is firmly in my sights for this month – which left Creation. Now came the trepidation, because humour, particularly in fantasy can be hit or miss with me, and some of the books it was compared to gave me pause – but I love how Larssen writes, the premise sounded fun, and the cover is just fantastic and has you smiling before you’ve even read a single word.
I’m so glad that I picked this one up.
The humour in this one had me snorting in places and laughing out loud in others. I will say that part of the enjoyment certainly came from knowing some Norse lore because there are some wonderful nods and jibes that you might otherwise miss out on. However, more than that it was the idea of Gods coming into their powers and basically being giant kids and getting carried away with their newly discovered skills and ability to create all manner of things. The sheer impracticality of some of their creations, and the fact that some of them – Celery, for example, just had you asking ‘why?’ just made for such a fun read – and it’s clear that the author had fun letting his imagination and creativity out to play.
However, I think why it worked for me is that beneath the witty humour, it is a re-imagining of the Norse creation myth and tackled the questions and themes inherent in that – while having fun doing that. It was hard to choose a single quote for this one because there are so many memorable lines – especially when Odin starts questioning and philosophising that I would love to share, but at the same time, both because of the length of the book and because so much of Creation plays off itself I wouldn’t want to spoil it. This is a book that you need to have the pleasure (and joy) of experiencing for yourself.
This is a book that you can devour in a single sitting, and to be honest you’ll want to because Larssen’s humour and writing will make you want to keep reading, although there are certainly moments that you’ll want to savour like a fine wine (just keep it away from Odin). Creation was a delight to read, and for me, you can keep your comparisons to the likes of Pratchett and Adams – because this is the book that is going to be on my shelf, and I have already pre-ordered the sequel ‘Wisdom’, because I need more of this wonderful series and if he wasn’t before Larssen is firmly a must-buy author for me now.
Bjørn Larssen is a Norse heathen made in Poland, but mostly located in a Dutch suburb, except for his heart which he lost in Iceland. Born in 1977, he self-published his first graphic novel at the age of seven in a limited edition of one, following this achievement several decades later with his first book containing multiple sentences and winning awards he didn’t design himself. His writing is described as ‘dark’ and ‘literary’, but he remains incapable of taking anything seriously for more than 60 seconds. Bjørn has a degree in mathematics and has worked as a graphic designer, a model, a bartender, and a blacksmith (not all at the same time). His hobbies include sitting by open fires, dressing like an extra from Vikings, installing operating systems, and dreaming about living in a log cabin in the north of Iceland. He owns one (1) husband and is owned by one (1) neighbourhood cat.
If you’ve read it, or read it in the future, please feel free to shout at me about this fantastic book.