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Joanne Harris, ‘Wildfire in Manhattan’ (2010)
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‘Wildfire in Manhattan’ is, as far as I can gather, related to Joanne Harris’s 2007 YA novel Runemarks (exactly how, I can’t say, as I’ve not read that book). Long after Ragnarök, the Norse gods remain with us, and Aspects of several currently reside in New York. Our narrator is one such, Lukas ‘Lucky’ Wilde, now a semi-retired rock musician. In this story, Lucky and Aspects of other gods are being hunted by agents of the Shadow, who seek  to destroy them.

The idea of gods from historical pantheons living in the present day is not an unfamiliar one, which means this story has to do that bit much more work for it to shine, and I’m not sure that it succeeds. It’s a jolly adventure, but the plot is not inventive enough, nor the sense of magic deep enough, to make ‘Wildfire in Manhattan’ anything more than that. Harris’s breezy first-person narration ensures a fun read, but that’s as far as this tale goes.

Rating: ***

Elsewhere
Joanne Harris’s website

This post is part of a series on the anthology Stories; click here to read the rest.


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