I had a really tough time with this one. I went in kind of blind. I knew very little of the plot beyond the synopsis and just jumped on the book because I wanted to read it before the show started. I’ve had this on my to-read list for ages and moved it up, way up, when I heard Ian McShane was in the show! Love that guy.
Anyways, I has the version with the author’s commentary in the beginning. He mentioned that it would be a meandering journey. And boy did he mean that. I struggled through this. It was slow and dull in so many parts that I nearly put it down about a dozen times. I get building atmospheric settings, etc. but I don’t need a soliloquy describing every weather pattern that occurs throughout America. It ended up being a slog from start to finish for me. And while I normally love anything to do with mythology this just didn’t do it for me.
For me, a lot of my issues with this book came down to a lack of coherence. There were entire passages, entire chapters, that didn’t make a lick of sense to me. I get the overall gist of the plot and the character arcs but there were points throughout this text where I was well and truly lost. I feel that those areas could have been made clearer for the reader, just from a writing standpoint. I also feel that some of the characters were barely sketched out. Many of the gods were only explored on a surface level which does not allow me to form a clear picture or grow attached. Then these characters vanished, not to be mentioned for quite some time until they were needed again for whatever reason and brought back, usually in a flow breaking manner. The pacing was disrupted continually like this. I liked the coming to America breaks. Those were clearly stated and allowed for a depth to the plot but the random asides that just popped up were disorienting.