Book Review- Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Summer is finally making its appearance here in Salem. It was a comfortable 80ish degrees today, with a smattering of clouds and a light, cool breeze. Pretty idyllic. I spent the vast majority of the day sipping beer on the patio of my favorite brewery in the company of good friends.

Days off don’t get much better than that.

Last week was the final meeting of the first round of books for my Booze & Books book club. That’s what we’re calling it these days. And Wednesday’s meeting lived up to its name.

I made a white sangria, with kiwis, raspberries, and nectarines. It was delicious, and I drank a large portion of it. Then I ate the fruit out of it. It was a dangerous thing. And Thursday morning’s hangover was the proof.

Anyway, we talked a bit about Stardust, and most everybody thoroughly enjoyed it. A couple people said that the language was initially a bit difficult to understand, which I don’t agree with, but I do read a lot more fantasy than most of the other members.

A couple members also mentioned that the movie was quite good as well. I’m terrible at watching movies, but I’ve still added it to my list of films I claim I’ll watch some day.

What I really loved about Stardust was the narration. Straightforward and simple, it felt like I was being told a fairytale, instead of just reading one. The foreshadowing is nicely done, subtle, but noticeable enough to keep your brain guessing.

I was surprised at how little world building there was. The world beyond the wall isn’t really described at all. Gaiman allows the reader’s previous knowledge of fairy tales and bedtime stories to fill in any gaps in the setting, but also uses that knowledge to develop characters very quickly.

I would say that Stardust is a magical little book. It reads effortlessly, mainly because it doesn’t feel like reading, and the plot twists and turns in fresh, yet familiar ways. It’s a satisfying adventure filled with magic, mystery, and romance.

The story will stay with me, and when I recently considered trading the book in to make more space on my shelves, I was appalled at myself. It’s not that kind of book. Not the kind you can read once and be done with. It’s a read, time and again, book. And one I’m likely to share with my children as bedtime stories, should I ever have any.

I also want to point out that this was my first experience with Gaiman. I follow him on twitter, and I love how active he is, but I’d never read anything of his before. Now, I’m quite likely to read anything with his name printed on it.

I suggest you do the same.

I’m sorry for the short review. My brain is a bit mushy, and I have to be up early in the morning. So, just a few updates, and then it’s off to bed with me.

I finished the rough draft of my next Caladria story, Fight of the Best. That’s a working title, and knowing us, we’ll come up with something better in editing. If you haven’t been keeping track, issue #5 of Fab Fables released earlier this week! We’ve dropped the price to £1.25 for each issue, so now is the perfect time to get caught up!

My next story is slated for issue #7, which will also see me editing, so I’m looking forward to a busy couple of months!

I’m still reading The Republic of Thieves, and it’s really good so far. I think a like it better than Red Seas Under Red Skies so far, but I’ll know better when review time comes along.

Summer school was a mistake, but I’m not giving up now. It’s much too late for those kinds of thoughts. We’re reading The Old Man and the Sea this week, and though I hated it in high school, I think it deserves a second chance now that I’m older. Next week is Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko, which I’ve been meaning to read for ages, ever since I attended a lecture of hers back in Community College. So I’m looking forward to that.

And of course, with the first round of books completed, that means book club has a new list! This time, we’ve got six titles, since we now have six members.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
The Princess Bride by William Goldman
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

We’re starting with Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. A couple members began reading already, and the feedback is good so far. I’m hoping that this list will be more entertaining for everyone.

Anyway, bed is calling to me, and I am not one to keep it waiting. I’ll see you soon Blogland!