Book Cover
Title Sleipnir
Series ---
Author Linda Evans
Cover Art ---
Publisher Baen - 1994
First Printing Baen - 1994
Category Mythology
Warnings None

Main Characters

Randy, Odin

Main Elements Gods

Only one angry and determined G.I. stands between the fiery death of the world and the survival of the human race. Our hero begins a quest, not for gold nor glory, but for vengeance . . . vengeance against the gods themselves. But in the end, he must save the gods from Ragnarok.

I downloaded this book for free from the Baen Free Library but it is no longer available there.

Now I love books based on mythology, and most books focus on Greek so was nice to have Norse for a change. But it wasn't quite what I expected. Let's just say there was a fair amount of testosterone going around!

The story starts off with Randy, our protagonist, wandering through an underground cave system trying to make his way to Valhalla, to settle a grudge he has with Odin. What that grudge is takes a frustratingly long time to figure out, though as we flash back and forth between present and past I kind of accepted the suspense and let the book take its course. Once you get to the final third, the pace will pick up at the speed of a galloping Sleipnir.

There are some downright creepy scenes, like when Sleipnir came to retrieve Randy's friend in the night. Or the whole freakishly bizarre sequence with Loki, particulary when his wife starts popping out monsters. It seemed ridiculous in the story, but then mythology is like that after all. Loki is mother to Sleipnir after all. And father to Fenrir. If anyone wrote fantasy like that now, no one would take them seriously, but mythology can be all kinds of weird and well, it was religion once after all, it doesn't always make sense and its all about taking things on faith.

Now I'm no Norse mythology expert but wasn't Odin the wise one? Sort of noble, powerful, strong? He's just a total idiotic jerk in this tale, he didn't make for much of a man let alone a god. So that part just sort of rubbed me the wrong way.

On the other hand, I loved Randy's reasoning about Valhalla. Warriors who fall in battle are taken there by the Valkyries, to fight the final battle of Ragnarok. But as Randy thought about it, a good percentage of the guys that fall in battle were the ones that weren't good enough to *survive* the battle. So if you really wanted the best of the best warriors, you might want the ones who died of old age! When seeking someone to lead his army, there was Patton (died car accident), Ceasar (murdered), Napoleon (exiled), Genghis Khan (falling of his horse while hunting), etc. So yeah, so much for dying in glory in battle!

But we got to see quite a few characters, Odin, Loki, Baldr, Hel, Sleipnir, Fenrir, and several others. And covered a good part of the mythology, filling in the reader on certain aspects if they weren't aware of it (such as Loki being Sleipnir's mother...or is that dam)

Be careful though, it does end on a bit of a cliffhanger, as if the author decided to follow up with a Ragnarok based novel but then never did. Maybe it was meant to be a "and life went on" kind of thing but the end almost felt like a beginning to something else, and as such not as satifying as it could have been.

So its not a great book, but it was in the end a fun book. I guess it falls under the category of pulp? After all the subtitle is "OK Odin, make my day!" On some level a little silly, not entirely believable, lots of male posturing and trying to prove theirs is bigger, but while brainless, it had it's moments and was kind of enjoyable.

Posted: February 2016


Background, images and content (unless otherwise noted) are SunBlind
Do not use without permission.