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Good OmensGood Omen’s: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, is a collaborative novel written by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Started originally as a short story by Gaiman, Good Omens is a comedic take on an all-too-common and well known subject: Armageddon. While stories of the end of the world have been done a million times over, Good Omens takes it down a different and unique path; one involving an 11 year old Antichrist (who doesn’t know he’s the Antichrist); a witty and equally hilarious witch named Agnes Nutter, a demon and angel who team up to stop the end of the world; and of course, a whole lot more.

Firstly, I’m going to say that this book was hilarious! While most of the humour was quite dry and surely won’t be everyone’s cup of tea (it wasn’t my friend’s), I found myself cracking up on numerous occasions. Not only was much of the dialogue flat-out clever, but the writing, the little notes at the bottom of the pages (even if they were a bit distracting), and the over-all feel was just fun. Page after page left me smiling, and by the end of each sitting, my face was sore! While there were definitely other aspects of this novel I really liked (which I’ll describe below), I feel that the humour aspect is what truly stood out.

So aside from the overload of all-around hilarity in Good Omens, I also enjoyed the story. Now because of the nature of this book and how it’s all put together, I’m going to give very little detail within this review – I’d hate to spoil anything! – but I will say that the story is off-the-wall crazy, and the final outcome, at least for me, was quite appeasing. Honestly, I couldn’t imagine it any other way, and as with much of this book, it left a huge smile on my face. My only real complaint was that at times things seemed to drag, particularly in the middle, and I was left a bit bored. There were also moments where the narrative got a bit “rambly”. Luckily however, none of this was much of a problem – and by the time the story really kicked in, all was forgiven.

As for the characters, I was (for the most part) impressed. From Adam, an 11 year old boy destined to bring about the end of the world; to his imaginative gang of friends known as “The Them”; to Aziraphale, an angel with an attitude; to Crowley, a demon with heart; and to Agnes Nutter, an all-knowing Witch who prophesied just about everything – Good Omens had a rather large array of diverse characters. Though each were unique and clearly had distinct personalities, I will note that there were an awful lot of them. Although I enjoyed almost every character to an extent, there were occasional moments of confusion concerning their identities. I also felt that some of the secondary characters never really developed properly, and because of this, lacked depth. It’s not to say they didn’t play a valid (and humorous) role – they did – but they just didn’t give ME enough to form much of a connection.

Overall, Good Omens was incredibly entertaining, and I’d recommend to just about everyone. Though there were a few slow areas — for me, it was all made up for by the excellent dialogue (especially between “The Them”, Gaiman/Pratchett really captured the child imagination perfectly!), the sharp writing, likeable characters, and the many laugh-out-loud moments. While the humour may be a bit different from the average comedic novel, I think that if given a chance, one may find it just as amusing as I did. At the same time, however, if you’re uneasy about making light of religion – this novel probably ISN’T for you. I could easily see where someone could get offended by the various themes within. Nevertheless, I personally was NOT offended, and overall, I simply adored Good Omens.

With that said, I highly suggest checking it out — especially (and obviously) if you’re a fan of Gaiman, Pratchet, or both!


(4 out of 5)

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The magical tale of “Stardust” begins in the peaceful town of Wall. The town of Wall is a small community which exists the same as it has for hundreds of years. Though there is something even more special about Wall — it resides directly on the edge of the magical land of Faerie. Because of the unknown nature of Faerie, no one from Wall is permitted to leave and cross into this enchanting world — except on one day a year (and only into the meadow) — the day of the annual fairy market. And this is where the true story begins.

On the day of the annual market, young Dunstan Thorn comes across an interesting shop, and eventually buys a crystal snowdrop from a witch’s slave. After getting to know this lonely slave, Dunstan Thorn soon becomes entirely (and surprisingly) infatuated with her, and in a moment of passion, finds himself laying down with her the same night. Sadly, this is the last time he ever sees her again, because as the market leaves, so does she.

On the following June, Dunstan marries Daisy, which has been planned for quite some time. Things are going fine, until several months after their wedding, when a basket containing an infant boy is left at the edge of Wall, along with an attached message that reads “Tristran Thorn”. That’s when this beautiful story skips forward 17 years, and falls into the perspective of young Tristran Thorn.

Upon gazing into the sky and watching a falling star plummet into the distant land of Faerie with his teenage crush Victoria Forester, Tristran makes a deal with her — one that she jokingly accepts. The deal is that he will cross the Wall into Faerie, find the fallen star, and bring it back to her in exchange for her hand in marriage. And with a quick goodbye he leaves the town of Wall, venturing out into the unmarked world called Faerie.

From talking animals, to gnomes, to magic trees, to unicorns, and even to evil witches — and from thrillingly scary moments, to incredibly humorous ones, this book has it all. Neil Gaiman’s writing style is beautifully poetic, flowing majestically from sentence to sentence and from chapter to chapter. Straight from the first word of this enchanting novel I was completely drawn in, dropped straight into the magical world of Faerie right a long with Tristran. The only downside to this book was that I couldn’t put it down — I really didn’t want to read it so fast, but I did, I just couldn’t stop. If you enjoy a good, creative fairy tale, aimed specifically at adults, you will indeed love this. Neil Gaiman’s Stardust will make you believe in magic again.

(5/5)

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