Book Review: Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Dear Bookworms,

I feel like I am slowly making my way through all of Gaimans reads (because I am obsessed with him, check out the tags on this post for other reviews of his books) and this man never disappoints.

I’ll admit I have never seen the popular movie adaptation of this book so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was definitely a light, spooky read for kids and adults.

Coraline
By Neil Gaiman

Coraline mostly likes the new flat her and her parents have recently moved into, except for the niggling curiosity about the locked door which once opened, is bricked up. Having been told it’s nothing but the product of turning the once large home into a series of apartments, Coralines curiosity continues to linger. One dreary English day when she is stuck indoors with little else to do, Coraline takes the the key, opens the door, and finds the doorway no longer bricked up, but that it opens into a hallway. Following the hallway into the house next door, Coraline discovers a world mirroring her own, complete with it’s own Mother and Father; but this world is different….and dangerous. Coraline must use all her wits and her bravery to get herself safety out of this world and back to her own.

This read was a fairly quick one, but packed with adventure nonetheless! Gaimans characters and books always have such a unique feel and tone to them, and Coraline was no different. It was that perfect mixture of quirk and darkness with an entertaining plot line that kept me engaged from page one! This one could be read with kids, to kids, by kids, or adults and still be thoroughly enjoyed.

Definitely add this one to your reading list friends!

Until next week!

Book Review: Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Dear Bookworms,

First of all, let me just say (ashamedly) that I have watched, and re-watched, and re-re-watched this movie dozens of times. This one ranks right up there with Princess Bride for me (GASP!). So it pains to me say that upon originally seeing the movie (and the millions of times watching it after) that I had no clue it was originally a Gaiman book.

Stardust
By Neil Gaiman

Needless to say when I found out it was a book I HAD TO READ IT. When i realized it was by Gaiman, I knew I would love it probably even more than the movie.

Tristran Thorne lives in the small quaint town of Wall, England. Named so for the stone wall which divides the town from the land of faerie. The wall is guarded day and night with strict instructions not to let anyone pass, except for when the market comes, once every 9 years to set up in the meadow just outside the town, in the land between Wall and faerie. In the hopes of winning the most beautiful girl in towns affections, Tristran Thorne sets off on an adventure in faerie to bring his beloved back a fallen star. Little does he know, the fallen star isn’t just a lump of metallic space rock, but a young woman. And he isn’t the only one seeking her out. Others search for the star as well, but for reasons which will do her great harm. Meanwhile, the King of Stormhold has passed and his remaining sons are on a quest through faerie in search of his bewitched jeweled necklace, for whoever of the Stormhold blood finds it first, will hold all the power of Stormhold and become it’s next reigning king.

This book has stolen my heart all over again with love for the story of Tristran and Yvaine. While there are marked differences between the book and the movie adaptation, it was still the story I have loved for so many years (which was a relief- I was secretly nervous I wouldn’t enjoy it having seen the movie so many times- usually it’s the other way around for me!) It was expertly crafted and woven together with the various different elements that played into the story of Tristran and Yvaine. It was almost as if their love for each other was written in the stars from the beginning (you see what I did there?)

There was that signature wry and dry humor a plenty which I have come to expect and enjoy with Gaiman’s reads. The only critique I have with the difference to the movie is that I really, thoroughly enjoyed Robert DeNiros character (the captain of the ship that caught lightening for all you all who have seen the movie) and all the time Tristran and Yvaine had on the pirate ship in the movie which just wasn’t the same or as prominent a part in the book. Pirate part aside, the book was simply magical and wonderful and now I feel the need to watch the movie to be with the characters again, for just a little longer.

I will say, the audiobook version I listened to (read by Neil- hands down one of my favorite narrators) had a really lovely interview with Neil at the end that made for interesting listening. He discussed how he came up with the idea for the story and the different stages of its genesis. Fascinating listen!

As a side note- I know the movie is family friendly but the book is more for older teen/adults.

Until next week!

XOXO,

Coco

Book Review: Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Dear Bookworms,

I know, I'm obsessed. Another Neil Gaiman book? Yes, don't judge, the man is brilliant. And Neverwhere is my new all time favorite of Gaimans masterpieces. 

Like Norse Mythology, I listened to this one on audiobook which was read by none other than Neil himself. (I could listen to this man read all. day. long. *sigh*)

Richard Mayhew lives an ordinary life in London. He works a normal job, has a normal (if overbearing and condescending) fiance, pays his bills on time; just a pretty generally sensible person. All of this changes when he quite literally stumbles upon a bleeding, semi conscious girl (Door) on the way to an important dinner function one Friday evening. Against the protestations of his fiance Jessica, Richard comes to the young woman's aid.  She insists on no hospital, so he helps her back to his apartment to get cleaned up and rested. Little does Richard know, doing so entangles himself in the peculiar world of London Below and Doors quest to find her family's killer, while avoiding being killed themselves. 

As I said before, this book was most definitely my favorite Gaiman read by far. For me, discovering London Below along with Richard was something akin to a dream come true. Being a lover of fantasy and magic myself, seeing that come alive for a character like Richard, who's life is so relatable in its mundaneness, was thrilling (and gave me a little hope that maybe there is some magic within our ordinary lives). The whole quest to find the killer was very "Labyrinth-esque" to me and the entire world of London Below was utterly fascinating. It was dark and ethereal but magical and enticing all the same. The ending of the book was PERFECT, even better than what I had been expecting (don't worry no spoilers here!). The various trials and tribulations Door and Richard encounter run the gambit of tense and frightening to comical and clever. I cannot recommend this one enough! 

Who else is a huge Gaiman fan? Which one is your fav?

XOXO, 

Coco 

 

 

Book Review: Good Omens by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman

Dear Bookworms,

So I know what you're thinking. Another Neil Gaiman book?! What can I say, the man is a master, this must be The Year of Neil Gaiman for me. I was browsing Goodreads for some suggestions to fill my " A book by multiple authors" category for my 2017 book challenge and this was a recommended read, so of course I had to go for it.

It's the end of the world....seriously. The Riders of the Apocalypse are assembling, the Lost City of Atlantis has risen, the Kracken has been released, and fish are falling from the skies. Oh, and the Antichrist seems to be missing. Tibetans are also tunneling all over the world and are popping up at inopportune times but yes, the world is coming to an end. Everything is going pretty much to plan based on The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch. Aziraphale and Crowley, Angel and Demon respectively, have lived on Earth with the humans for centuries and aren't really too thrilled with the idea of the Apocalypse. The forces are mounting and the battle lines drawn, now if only they could find the damn Antichrist.....

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It pains me to say that I didn't love love love this book as I did with all the other Gaiman books I've read. It was slow going for me but once I hit the half way mark things definitely picked up, so I won't say I disliked it per se, just that it wasn't my favorite. The entire book was comical and satirical which I enjoyed. There was a good deal of fun poked at humans and humanity in general which was so fitting and much appreciated (humans can be assholes, no?). The characters were rich, and not how you may expect, say an angel and demon, to be portrayed. Famine was by far my favorite Rider of the Apocalypse by portraying not just the quintessential idea of famine (starving and death and all that jazz) but societal pressures to be thin and waif-like, inducing a self imposed famine on entire generations of people. That coupled with the pre-processed foods (fastfood/junkfood/fake food) that we seem to shove down our throats on any given day which provide zero nutritional content was really spot on. Overall enjoyable book, bringing a light-hearted and comical approach to an otherwise dark topic with some real zingers on humanity as a whole (much deserved though folks, again....assholes). 

Of note- I've read that they are creating a BBC miniseries based on the book and the casting is ON. POINT. I will most certainly be tuning in for this one! 

See ya next week!

XOXO, 

Coco

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