Series Issues: American Gods starts with The Bone Orchard

Spoilers will demand a sacrifice.

So. American Gods. Ahem. Where do we start? I don’t mind disarray. Chaos can be beautiful, but I am hoping that things fall into place. I read the book a while ago, and I don’t really have it fresh in my mind, but I’d rather rediscover this story anew. That being said, this is not a strict recap.

(Source: Starz)

We get vikings, landing in America, finding it inhospitable and wanting to go back. But to get wind, they must offer a sacrifice of violence to their god of war. We also get to peek on an encounter between a middle-aged man and Bilquis, who happens to be an old Goddess, a devourer of those who worship her. It’s a contrast of the gods in the olden times and the new. Before, men depended on them. Now it’s hard to find one that will worship. The visuals are both stunning and over the top.

The main story brings us Shadow Moon. A man just released from jail a couple of days early, due to the sudden death of his wife. He encounters the enigmatic Mr. Wednesday who seems to know his story a little too close. As a matter of fact, he seems to know it better. And he wants to employ Shadow. Mr. Wednesday is obviously hiding something and we can already tell he knows everything.

It isn’t a surprise then that Shadow will end up meeting Mr. Wednesday again, and end up having to take him up on his job offer. But first, Mr. Wednesday’s other employee and self-proclaimed leprechaun, Mad Sweeney, goads him into fighting him for a coin.

How exactly does Shadow manage to stay calm in a sea of chaos, is hard to guess. By the time he buries his wife, he’ll learn that she was cheating him with his best friend. And then he’ll fall in a trap by the new god of technology, Technical Boy. But just as we expect him to be hanged by his minions, Shadow will find himself free while the minions have been mysteriously ripped apart.

Highs/Lows/GoldCoins:

  • I’m not trying to find rhyme or reason in the symbology, but there’s something behind all the mad imagery. I’m just taking it all in without necessarily understanding it all.
  • There’s a distinction between the Old Gods and the New Gods. The visual style is different. The powers of Old Gods feel waned. The Old Gods seem to rely more on cunning than brute power.
  • Ricky Whittle seems fitting as Shadow Moon. The character just gave his first steps. We’ll have to wait and see what he does next.
  • Ian McShane is not the picture I had of Mr. Wednesday, but I’m giving him time. Neither is Pablo Schreiber as Mad Sweeney, but I know I should wait.
  • On other hand, Yetide Badaqui seems like a great choice for Bilquis.
  • Although Shadow really fought Mad Sweeney over the insults to his wife, he still gets the coin. And yes, the coin disappeared in Laura Moon’s grave, foreboding events to come.
  • Yeah, you never pick a fight at the airport.

That will do for now.

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