I listened to the novel through Audible’s Free Credit per Month subscription service. All opinions are my own.
So, this is the novel of Shadow, a man who has been in prison for (as you learn later) beating the two men who tried to rob himself and his wife of money from a bank job for three years. He is looking forward to seeing his wife, when he gets released early due to her death. On the plane ride home, he meets Mr. Wednesday, and the whole novel goes from there.
The novel is about the Gods and how they are doing in America, having been brought over with their people. It is about a road trip, about mythology, about love, and about coin tricks. It would be a 5/5 if it were not for Wednesday’s belief of “As Long as I get what I want, I don’t care about all else” when it comes to sex, including age laws. He makes it a 2.5, which is made better when we get through the story, and plot happens, and we meet the real Odin.
I love how we meet Shadow, how he becomes a true character throughout. In the version I listened to, his voice fit what I have always imaged him as: a large black man, who is also very sweet. It was a fully voice cast recording, so each character had a voice, and it was all very great. I am very fond of Shadow, Sam Blackcrow, Mr. Jackal, Laura, and Mr. Ibis’s voices and characters the best, but every voice fit the character, and with how long I listened to it over, the plot twist was even better because I forgot the voice.
I honestly loved the whole novel, except for Wednesday and the first canonically queer character we meet are an Ifreet and the failing Arabic salesman and how their scene ends with sex and a stolen identity. I loved the gods (including the Rabbi and his Golem which made me especially happy), I loved the mortals, the story, the road trip (especially as half was listened to while literally driving from my home to Vermont and slightly back).
Everything gets better after Wednesday is dead, due to the New Gods, and once his and Loki’s hustle is finished. Everything.