Serendipity works in a number of ways. For some, it's an evening at Bloomingdale's in New York buying gloves. For others, it is finding, after waiting for weeks, a book on angry, disillusioned, desperate and murderous gods by the guy who wrote the definitive graphic novel that spans multiple mythologies and came out trumps.
Gaiman takes a unique look into American History - it's gods, many of whom who were immigrants just like the residents. The main characters and their rich mythology - irish, norse, egyptian, indian - doesn't surprise you anymore. It's the cameos that you oh-so wait for. Not only do some popular characters from the Gaimaniverse find their way into this book (Anansi and, get this, Delirium), but a few other familar yet unexpected characters contribute to the twists and turns.
American Gods is the story of the reticent Shadow, who seems have to regained his life after getting early release from prison, but to have it lost when everyone who meant anything to him is no more. Recruited by the mysterious Wednesday as a bodyguard, Shadow is thrown deep into a centuries-long war between the old and new gods where nothing is what it seems.
While the main plot thickens, American Gods suffers from a pacing issue with the extensive Lakeside subplot which might not appeal to everyone. But wait for it to unravel as it has an interesting payout and makes up for some nice characters.
Caution: People who read "Anansi Boys" first and were hoping for a lot of light-hearted humor with some bumbling gods, don't. If Anansi Boys is personified by the funny Fat Charlie, then American Gods would be sledge-hammer wielding Czernobog.
Read on ... (at your own peril, obviously) ...