13 Books to read if you love American Gods
Books for American Gods Fans
Starz' American Gods series, an adaptation of Neil Gaiman's popular novel of the same name, made its long-awaited small-screen debut on Sunday. But with a week between each stellar episode, fans of the mythology-infused series are going to have to find something to do to pass the time. With that in mind, EW has put together a list of books that are perfect to help make every day feel like "Wednesday."
Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
Orlando Jones' Mr. Nancy (a.k.a. Anansi himself) takes center stage in Gaiman's companion novel that follows up on the trickster god's son Charlie as he discovers his divine lineage and gets to know the brother he never knew he had. (It's also perfect reading while you wait for the eventual American Gods sequel.) Order it here.
Brown Girl In the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson
Set in Toronto in the near future, Hopkinson's dystopian fantasy debut blends the human and the mystical (not unlike Gaiman's own yarn) as she tells the story of Ti-Jeanne, a new mother who must navigate her passion for a drug-addicted ex while tapping into her own spirit world-related gifts. Order it here.
Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older
Delve into shadowshaping, the mystical art of infusing ancestral spirits into paintings, music, and even stories. But when someone starts killing shadowshapers and throws Brooklyn into chaos, Sierra Santiago must track down the killer, while also investigating her own family history. Order it here.
Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson
As the State goes after Alif, a young Arab-Indian hacker, he stumbles upon The Thousand and One Days, a secret book of the jinn (mystical spirits that can be either good or evil) which would give him the power to meld magic and technology (in what could be a storyline in the new Starz show). Order it here.
Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones
Fantasy and reality collide as Polly finds herself with a second set of memories, one that contains a mysterious man by the name of Tom. Considered one of Jones' best novels, Fire and Hemlock highlights the value of telling stories — and the importance of remembering our pasts. Order it here.
Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
The gods are not crazy as much as cruel in Laini Taylor's lyrical (and latest) novel, which sees the citizens of Weep work to heal from the events of their painful pasts, while unbeknownst to them, a few of the gods' children still survive... and are dealing with what their parents actions mean for their own legacies. Order it here.
Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
Ruby's dream-like writing perfectly evokes American Gods executive producers Bryan Fuller and Michael Green's fantastical visual aesthetic, inviting readers to step into a world of magic and memories. The Printz Award-winning book tells the story of Rosza, a young woman taken for her beauty, and Finn, the boy determined to save her. Order it here.
When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore
Shadow's love for his wife, Laura, burns just as true as that between best-friends-turned-something-more Sam and Miel as its tested by the witchy Bonner sisters in what is McLemore's finest novel (and one of EW's Best YAs of 2016) yet. Order it here.
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
Just as Gaiman's original novel was a rumination on his time in America and its shifting beliefs and ideals — some of which the show has updated to fit the recent times —Bulgakov's biting satire looks at life in Russia under Stalin, with the very Mr. Wednesday-like Devil dropping by to pay Moscow a visit. Order it here.
The Wicked + the Divine by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie
Gillen and McKelvie explore the many facets of faith and fame in their spellbinding comic series, which sees a pantheon of 12 gods (including Woden, Baal, and the Morrigan) get reincarnated as humans every 90 years in a world where gods are the ultimate pop-stars. The first arc of the series sees young Laura, a fan of the gods, on a quest to investigate a murder. Order it here.
Fables: Legends in Exile by Bill Willingham, Lan Medina, Steve Leialoha, and Craig Hamilton
Gods aren't the only ones who can find themselves stranded on America's shores. Bill Willingham's sprawling comic series follows the adventures of fairy tale (and other story-based) characters who are now stuck in the "mundane" (a.k.a. muggle) world after a war sees them flee their homes. The first collected volume in the series, Legends in Exiles features Bigby Wolf teaming up with Snow White to solve the murder of her younger sister Rose Red. Order it here.
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
Gaiman's American Gods features a group of older deities struggling with their followers' waning faith. In Rick Riordan's urban fantasy series, it's their children having a tough time as the young demi-gods cope with the loneliness of having godly (but no less absentee) parents. Order it here.
Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
Steeped in the mythology of Nigeria comes the first in Okorafor's series about Sunny, a young girl and a member of the magic-wielding Leopard People. Read on as she and her magically-gifted friends band together to track down Black Hat, a serial killer responsible for the disappearances of several children. Order it here.
Honorary Mention: American Gods by Neil Gaiman
No shame if you're not familiar with the book that inspired the series! But it is very much worth checking out, especially if you want to appreciate some of the depth and nuances in each episode. Order it here.