Hello and welcome to FanFiAddict’s stop on the book tour for Bjorn Larssen’s Creation (Why Odin Drinks #1)! We want to thank Justine & Timy @ Storytellers on Tour for letting us be involved and a big shoutout to Bjorn on the release of Creation!
Below, you will find information on the book and author, my review, and links so you can grab yourself a copy!
Make sure to check out the rest of the tour by hitting up the schedule link here!
Creation by Bjørn Larssen
Series: Why Odin Drinks (#1)
Published: August 18, 2021
Genre: Humorous Fantasy, Satire Norse Mythology retelling
In the beginning there was confusion.
Ever woken up being a God, but not knowing how to God properly? Your brothers keep creating mosquitoes and celery and other, more threatening weapons. What can your ultimate answer be – the one that will make you THE All-Father and them, at best, the All-Those-Uncles-We-All-Have-But-Don’t-Talk-About?
“FML! The answer’s why I drink!” – Odin
Perfect for fans of Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury, and Mrs Brown’s Boys.
Creation is a humorous retelling of the Norse creation myth, centering around the god brothers, Odin, Vili, and Ve. Instead of being a straightforward retelling of the myth, Larssen has taken Norse mythology and viewed it through the lens of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld, resulting in a silly and often slapstick look at Norse tradition.
In the beginning, a God opened his eyes and sat up, utterly confused.
The brothers, Odin, Vili, and Ve, are, quite honestly, bumbling idiots who just so happen to have the power to create anything at will. Well, mostly at will. They still have to imagine it and that’s where Larssen’s writing excels in Creation. The author has managed to take ordinary everyday things and kind of turn them on their heads by imagining what it would look like to create these things without any sort of frame of reference. For instance, if you had never seen or heard of a chicken before, you might say it has flappy (albeit useless) arms. But, wait. How would you describe an egg if you didn’t know what they were? Maybe as a container that the female chickens push out of their not-butts. It’s in this way that Larssen takes these seemingly simple things that we take for granted and looks at them from the angle of the first people to have encountered it. I’ve often wondered what the first people must’ve thought when they were first venturing out into the world and encountering new things. How disorienting and confusing it must have been for them to see these things and have no idea what they are. You might imagine that they would have thought of animals as having food in their skin. Which is true, but certainly an inane way of looking at things!
Like I said before, Larssen takes certain liberties with the original Norse mythology, but he manages to stay respectful of the source material at the same time. Here, instead of Odin, Vili, and Ve creating the world from the remains of the giant Ymir, they kind of stumble around and will random things into existence. It’s definitely a lighter take on the source material, but one that still has plenty of callbacks for those that are more familiar with it. One area of the novella that was kind of bafflingly old fashioned to me was Larssen’s handling of the creation of humanity. Things like Odin matter-of-factly referring to his creating men and women with specific traits (i.e. men have penises and women have breasts and no body hair.) It’s not that that I think Larssen was intentionally trying to be offensive, but in a story in which we have gods who know everything and nothing at all, who create things out of thin air and immediately know their use (or lack thereof — celery!), it was a surprisingly shallow and outdated approach to gender stereotypes and even gender identity. I know it’s not going to affect everyone the same way (and I also realize I am talking about this as a cishet white man), but it took me right out of the story quicker than getting hit in the face with a bucket of ice water. Honestly, it just felt tonally different from the rest of the story and even came across as a little juvenile, with its many remarks about the state and appearance of some of the characters *ahem* members. Ultimately, it’s only a matter of a few pages, but when the entire book is only 84 pages long, that’s a distressing amount of words wasted on something that just doesn’t fit in with the rest of the content. Bummer.
Gods weren’t all that different from rabbits. Odin also had bones and bits and blood inside him, wrapped in skin. That made him walking food too, as the wolf had already indicated. Someday a very big wolf might appear, out of nowhere, and do exactly this: tear Odin’s skin, spit out his head, and let his blood spill around.
My quibbles notwithstanding, Creation is a quick and light read full of humorous musings on the purpose of some things (flowers have a right to defend themselves!) and the nature of our existence. Because it’s so light on an actual plot, I found it easy to pick it up and put it down at will without worrying whether I would get lost. I especially enjoyed being able to pick up on the little callbacks to actual Norse mythology that was scattered through the text. It’s just a shame that not every joke landed with me and that it got bogged down halfway through with what felt to me like insensitive and obsolescent comments.
Buy Now: https://books2read.com/creation
Wisdom, the second Why Odin Drinks book available for preorder at https://books2read.com/odin-wisdom
About the Author
Bjørn Larssen is a Norse heathen made in Poland, but mostly located in a Dutch suburb, except for his heart which he lost in Iceland. Born in 1977, he self-published his first graphic novel at the age of seven in a limited edition of one, following this achievement several decades later with his first book containing multiple sentences and winning awards he didn’t design himself. His writing is described as ‘dark’ and ‘literary’, but he remains incapable of taking anything seriously for more than 60 seconds.
Bjørn has a degree in mathematics and has worked as a graphic designer, a model, a bartender, and a blacksmith (not all at the same time). His hobbies include sitting by open fires, dressing like an extra from Vikings, installing operating systems, and dreaming about living in a log cabin in the north of Iceland. He owns one (1) husband and is owned by one (1) neighbourhood cat.