Puppies and kittens and a book I (gasp) didn’t love.

I think you all really need to see this picture. These are the lovelys that belong to Melissa Frain, an editor at Tor Books. See, editors are wonderful animal obsessed people just like everyone else! Not that we didn't all expect it.

And second, I finished a book that I didn't totally love. Gasp! Which is unusual for me, because I'm usually so effusive. Earlier today I finished American Gods by Neil Gaiman. Everyone had been telling me that the author is amazing, and I couldn't call myself a SF/F reader without having read Gaiman.

Well, I read it, and I really wanted to love it. In fact, I loved it more when I finished it over lunch than I do now, five hours later. Gaiman expertly describes the USA, and the lack of (or borrowed) history that defines our culture.

And he starts from a really great place. Gods from all over the world are real, alive, and snarky? That's all great! But it's the metaphysics and motives of gods that left me wanting more.

SPOILER ALERT: If you haven't read the book, plan to, I don't advise reading more.

The jist of the story is is that the old gods are fighting for their lives -- they think the forces of technology and proress will destroy belief in them. The nuance is that Odin and Loki combine powers in the 21st century to trick the old gods and new gods into fighting eachother, which will make them the most powerful gods of all. I guess I can  see Loki doing that -- he is a trickster god after all. But none of the other gods can sense Odin's betrayal? He's the god of wisdom and battle, not self-serving deceit. I didn't find it believable that all of the other gods, from Kali to Thoth, couldn't predict Odin's plan.

Also, there's the notion that all of the gods' power comes from how much mortals believe in them. That's a pretty cool idea. But toward the very end, we're told that Odin & Loki will become the most powerful because Odin gains power through deaths dedicated to him, and Loki through chaos, and thus the deity civil-war they've planned will make them all-powerful. There's no mention that any other gods gain power in a similar manner, and it seemed far too convenient (it was the excuse for

Did anyone else have the same reservations with American Gods that I did?

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