Timekeeper, by Tara Sim – This book takes place in an alternate version of Victorian London where clock towers not only keep time, but actually regulate it. As such, the mechanics who fix clockworks have a vital job. The protagonist, the mechanic Danny Hart, is kind of a troubled genius, feeling apart from society due to his awkwardness and the fact that he’s gay, as well as suffering from trauma due to his father being stuck in a town where time quite literally stand still. He falls in love with the clock spirit of Colton, while aware of the fact that his mentor had gotten into trouble for doing the same thing with a different spirit. Danny also ends up being a suspect in a terrorism plot that involves bombing clock towers. There are some segments about the mythology of this world, loosely based on Greek but not beholden to it. It’s a pretty good read.
The Testament of Loki, by Joanne M. Harris – This one is the sequel to The Gospel of Loki, which retold the classic Norse myths from Loki‘s point of view, and devised a larger plot to tie the cycle together. This book takes things a little differently, with a Loki who had been stuck in Hel after Ragnarok entering into our world by means of a mythology-based video game, entering into the mind and body of an insecure English girl called Jumps, who has an eating disorder and has been mocked for being a lesbian. Loki, who’s a glutton and uninhibited when it comes to sex (remember, he was impregnated by a horse), helps her to overcome her anxieties, but also annoys her with his scheming, generally uncaring ways. It turns out that Odin has also come into this world in much the same way, currently possessing Jumps’s friend Evan. He has his own plans to locate new runes and return to his old home. Other gods featured in the story include Thor, who spends much of it in the form of a dog; and Mimir and Gullveig-Heid, who had been largely responsible for the fall of Asgard. Most of the latter part of the book takes place in a dream world where a scholar from a world where Asgard had been destroyed only slightly before takes on an important role, and Jumps and her mortal friends fall by the wayside. While Loki’s narration remains entertaining, this part is much more confusing and less satisfying than the beginning. Overall, though, it’s a well-written book that should be entertaining for fans of Norse mythology.