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Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars

on 30 August 2017
Good story, ending bit faint.
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I knew nothing about The Pantheon Trilogy before I stumbled across The Age of Zeus in my local bookshop. The cover boasted an angry looking Anthony Hopkins look-a-like and a group of tooled up military types, I was intrigued. When I learned the story detailed the return of the ancient gods of Greece in the modern era I was sold. Fortunately my gamble paid off and I was treated to a fantastic read. The Age of Ra, which is in fact the first in this trilogy, soon followed and once again I was not disappointed. I should point out here that though this is a trilogy, each novel is standalone in nature but thematically similar.

The Age of Odin by James Lovegrove is released a week today, on the 6th January 2011, and completes the trilogy. This novel charts the return of the ancient Norse gods and their preparations for Ragnarok - the final destiny of the gods.

All the familiar names from Norse mythology appear - Odin, Thor, Loki, Freya, Frigga, The Valkyries and Heimdall are all present in one form or another. There are also wolves, witches, frost giants, trolls and gnomes in the mix.

Like The Age of Ra, and the Age of Zeus before it, Lovegrove has taken the key elements from the appropriate mythology, in this instance Norse, and re-imagined it with a 21st century slant. For those familiar with Norse mythology this is a real treat. For example both the Midgard Serpent and Fenrir appear in the novel but not in quite the same manner as in the ancient tales.

The character of Gideon Coxall is just an average man who is initially drawn to the Valhalla Project with thoughts of cash but as the story develops he realises that war is his true calling. The novel is written from the first person perspective so the reader gets direct insight into Gid's motivations. Gid has quite a bolshie attitude when dealing with others. It doesn't matter of they are friend or foe he deals with them all in the same way. He has a smart mouth on him and that leads to some nice comedic moments, usually when his pop culture references fall flat in front of the gods.

As with the other novels in the trilogy there are some fantastic action sequences throughout the book. In particular the final battle for Valhalla was very well done and had an almost cinematic quality to it.

If I had any complaint it would be that I wish the book were longer. Though the novel was nearly six hundred pages long I felt there could have been a bit more. The final epilogue seemed to be a little bit rushed and I could have happily read a few additional chapters.

Overall this novel is wonderful winter reading. It certainly helped set the scene for me that it was snowing outside while I read it. Based on the weather at the moment I could easily believe the Fimbulwinter is upon us.
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on 16 March 2011
The Age of Odin is the third in Lovegrove's sequence of modern mythological updates. It began with 2009's The Age of Ra, continued in 2010's The Age of Zeus and, now, in 2011, Lovegrove travels to Viking territory with The Age of Odin.

All three books have a similar construction - the deities of x pantheon have returned and are doing their divine thing in our modern day world. A military or paramilitary hero, generally some sort of outsider, gets drawn into their schemes and champions the human perspective.

The Age of Odin is no exception. Gideon Coxall, pensioned-off soldier, is having hard time fitting into the civilian world. His wife has left him, he can't see his son, he drinks too much and, much to his own disgust, the only job he can find involves him selling refurbished printer toners. When the chance comes up to do a little (probably dodgy) mercenary work, Gideon pounced. Ostensibly, he needs the cash. But deep inside, he knows that he belongs in combat.

The story kicks off with a car crash. Gideon skids off the road on his way to meet his mysterious employer and, when the dust (or the snow) settles, he finds himself in an armoured encampment filled with lunatics pretending to be Norse gods. Odin is a crabby old man, Thor is a drunken brute and Freya is an Amazonian dream-girl. Gideon makes some token efforts to escape, but a few close encounters with frost giants and trolls make a believer of him.

Unfortunately for Gideon, he's signed up to a noble cause on the eve of Ragnarok: the ancient Viking myth of Armageddon. If first half of the book involves Gideon finding his place alongside the friendly (if feisty) Nordic gods, the second half is nigh-on continuous battle. For those familiar with Norse mythology, the sequence of events is a verse by verse, tongue in cheek translation: generally swapping enormous RoboTech-style tanks for mythical creatures. Why bother housing and feeding the actual Midgard Serpeant when you can kitbash together a burrowing Destructicon with a sonic cannon on its nose?

As fun as the book's over-the-top violence is - it would make a fantastic video game - Lovegrove's good enough to sneak in a bit of themin' with the shootin'. Like the other books in the sequence, The Age of Odin is a fiercely humanist text. The gods and monsters may have the advantage of height (and big hammers), but humans have true authority. The mythological creatures are stuck in their paths - they are controlled by fate and, ultimately, the power of storytelling. By contrast, we remain the authors of both our own destinies and those of our collectively appointed deities. Lovegrove is vigorously carving out a godpunk subgenre - rebellious underdog humans battling an outmoded belief system. Guns help a bit, but the real weapon is free will.

If that runs a bit heavy for you, don't worry - The Age of Odin is packed to the brim with girls, guns, gods and even (for old times' sake), a bit of power armour. Lovegrove wisely continues to keep reader entertainment first and foremost, with an explosive and cheeky science-fiction interpretation of age-old archetypes.
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VINE VOICEon 3 January 2011
As with the previous two titles in this series, Age of Odin brings an ancient Pantheon back to the modern day and reimagines events that unfold as they prepare for a catastrophe. Whilst you do get to follow the tale from an everyman point of view (in this case through the eyes of Gideon Coxall who discovers more about himself as he aides the gods in their predestined war. Beautifully written, this, the third part in the trilogy is perhaps James' best work to date, each has built upon the successes of the previous titles and when backed with solid plot, great prose and a serious amount of world construction alongside research you know that this series will hit the spot.

All in a seriously great bit of fun and whilst you have to keep your brain fully engaged the subtle changes and nuances from the original mythology will more than please readers making this a great title and one that really has set the standards for 2011.
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on 5 July 2011
I suppose the title of my review (not as great as Age of Zeus) depends on your perspective. Personally I thought AoZ had more action and was faster paced, whilst Age of Odin (AoO) had a slower build up with intermittent action until the finale. Whilst, as I said, it was great and I am sure any fan of Lovegrove will love it, it didn't quite do it for me as AoZ did. There were a few "cut away" scenes that this book could have done without and the ending left a bit to be desired (especially the final epilogue which I didn't enjoy at all).

That being said however, this is truly picking faults where there are few. I love this "trilogy" of books and Lovegrove's style of writing is easy to get on-board with. His characters are as cool as always and he puts an interesting spin on traditional mythology. Definitely worth a read and I still gave it 4 stars, although in my opinion thrill seekers will get more out of his previous instalments.

Happy reading!
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on 9 February 2012
This book is the most gripping, thrilling, action packed, storytelling genius with a big dollop of fantastic norse mythology I have ever come across.
Set in an ice-age pending modern world, in the northern part of england, you follow the trials and tribulations of ex-soldier Gid and his unusual friend Abortion as they follow a tip off of a group wanting such soldiers no questions asked on past military history for a few weeks of extremely well paid work. For Gid this could provide him with a chance to repair his life with his ex wife and distant son or so he hopes, until Abortion high on drugs gets behind the wheel during a blizzard and crashes the car - badly.
What happens from that incident is the start of a true epic saga-porportion tale that brings modern warfare and technology beutifully together with the strength, support, mystery and magic of the Asier Gods as they fight the changing times and impeding Ragnarok.
Each chapter is short, punchy and enchants you through one adventure and encounter to another, the Gods themselves and the mortal soldiers under their employment make an excellent cast and the storytelling is of such brilliant quality that you can't help but let your imagination portray the words into a million dollar movie in your mind. Boy it does make excellent material for one and who knows if the Thor movie makes a good impression perhaps more of mankind will look to these heroic gods with human hearts for more tales of strength, love, passion, loyalty, cunning and most importantly survival.
This is a definite must read for any fan of norse mythology and for those who dabble in a bit of sci-fi - this is the one book that blends sci-fi and fantasy as beautifully as the horizon of sky meets the vast expanse of the sea.
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on 14 June 2012
as a fan of mythology i was looking forward to reading this trilogy, and for the most part i was not disappointed. the characters were good the plot was interesting and the mythology was well researched with added twists. the only let down i got was with the ending of all three books i mean talk about disappointment it was if the authors wife came into the room to tell him dinner was ready so he rushed and put any old thing down so his dinner did'nt get cold. this is the only thing that stopped me giving this trilogy 4 or even 5 stars
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on 22 May 2012
The sad part about this book is the knowledge that I have now read all of Lovegroves Pantheon Series and have to wait for the author to crank out some more brillaint stand alones.

This books deserves to be read and the more people that do so the more likely I am to get more of these brilliant books. So from a purely seflish point of view read the sneak peak and then get this book and the rest of his Pantheon Series. You will not be disappointed.

Lovegrove is one hell of an author.
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on 14 August 2011
A good read for the major part of the book, let down by a really lame ending! Dear, oh dear; I thought no one would use that old chestnut in modern times!
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on 11 September 2013
have just found this author and I am really enjoying these books as they are different from run of the mill sci fi
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