Ooo I am catching up with my reviews nicely now, we have reached the beginning of March (just last month), when I read the mythological-fantasy The Testament of Loki by Joanne M. Harris, which is the sequel to The Gospel of Loki and prequel to the young-adult Runemarks series – after loving Harris’ refreshing twist on Norse mythology in these two previous reads, I was excited to read more.
This second Loki adventure is set centuries after the fall of Asgard and the defeat of the old gods. Many are dead, while the others are in eternal torment in the netherworld, including the legendary trickster, Loki. There they have lain forgotten as time has passed and humans have moved on to new beliefs, idols and deities… But now mankind has begun to dream of the Norse Gods once again, through comics, films and video games, bringing the river Dream closer to the gods’ dark prison, and of course Loki is ready and waiting for just such an opportunity to escape.
Without giving too much away to Loki’s intricate journey, he quite literally manages to force his way through a computer game into the player. Awaking in the youthful body and angst-ridden mind of a young woman called Jumps. Being a teenager can be difficult enough and in Jumps’ case she is already struggling with friendships, exams, body dysmorphia, self-harm, mother issues and her sexuality; so discovering another voice in your head, one claiming to be a Norse god, is just last the straw really!
If I am honest I found it a bit annoying to be inside a teenagers’ mind, but then I could sympathise with Loki more, and as they struggle against each other, open up each other’s horizons and begrudgingly find common ground, it was nice to get to know and grow to like Jumps more along with Loki. However hormones turn out to be the least of their worries, when they discover that Loki is not the only one to have escaped the netherworld – other, darker, things have reached this new world, too.
If Loki wishes to continue to enjoy his new found freedom, he will need allies, an audacious plan and a hatful of tricks! Things he is obviously renowned for and it was fun to be swept away on another fantastical scheme with him. My only issue was there is a lot of characters (often within other characters like Loki is in Jumps) and worlds to get my head around, and that is before we enter the many-faceted levels of Dream!
So this wasn’t such a straight forward, Norse inspired, adventure as the previous book was. Even Jumps’ world is akin to our own but not quite right. You certainly need your wits about you when reading this one. However Harris brings each element eloquently to life from her amazing imagination. We also get a glimpse of Loki’s own world after the Fall and I enjoyed seeing the threads come together that link this story to Harris’ Runemarks series.
Overall, I thought The Testament of Loki by Joanne M. Harris was another imaginative and fun adventure with this infamous trickster, in a strange time of new beliefs, teenagers and video games, and I look forward to having more exciting exploits with him, too. Good read ⭐⭐
(Thank you to the publishers for providing a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion)
Now I’d love to hear from you: Have you read this or any of Joanne Harris’ other novels? Which of her work do you recommend I read next?