Today I’m doing something new – writing my first book review! I purchased this book on Amazon, The Thunderer: Three Tales of the God of Thunder, by David L. Burkhead, after reading a snippet on the author’s blog, The Writer in Black, which captured my attention. This book features three short stories which all center around Thor, and who can resist a story about the God of Thunder?!
Disclaimer: Normally, I’m not big on short stories. Just isn’t my thing, but I wanted to read these. However, I’m not familiar with the criteria used for reviewing short stories, so I’m just going to give my own honest opinion.
The first story in the collection is Donner Rothskegg. It is placed in a modern setting, and the main character is a man who has fallen on hard times. This is a story about generosity and hospitality. I’m reluctant to write a synopsis, as I don’t wish to give any spoilers, so I will just share my overall opinion. I found this story to have the best flow of the three, and I particularly liked the quality of story telling employed for this one. The author really drew me in, even though what I was most interested in reading was a retelling of the legends and lore of the Gods, and this is purely a creation of the author’s own imagination. But I really did like it, especially given the fact that I am biased against short stories.
In the Hall of the Giant
Story-wise, this was my favourite, because this is more along the lines of what I was looking for, and the primary reason that I purchased the book in the first place. The story telling voice didn’t quite leave the impression on me as did the first story, but overall, I found it quite enjoyable, and I loved the challenges that Thor, Loki and Thjalfi undertook in the Giant’s hall. I read this one aloud to a friend, and he and I both had to giggle at some of the scenarios! But wait until you get to the end, when the giant explains the truth of the challenges Thor and his companions faced! Clever! Very clever. I intend to read this one to my daughter, and think she will enjoy it. Should make for a perfect bedtime story.
God of Thunder
Nice story telling techniques, this one was as unique in content as the first two. I’m not sure if God of Thunder is based on any saga or legend, but it has a little of that kind of feel. Set in Greenland after the conversion to Christianity, it goes on to tell a tale that leads the narrator back to the old Gods. I like that about it, and how it reads like a story being told by an elder to the children around the fireside. However, of the three, this was my least favourite.
Overview: A good value for a collection of short stories, and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading tales of the Gods. There are a few typos and in the second story, I noticed a bit of overuse of character names, but it is pretty trivial, and easy to forgive. I the book give it 4 out of 5 stars.