Monday, May 4, 2015

Review: Stardust

Title: Stardust
Author: Neil Gaiman
Release Date: August 29th, 2006
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Pages: 248  
Rating: 4 cows

Goodreads Description: Hopelessly crossed in love, a boy of half-fairy parentage leaves his mundane Victorian-English village on a quest for a fallen star in the magical realm. The star proves to be an attractive woman with a hot temper, who plunges with our hero into adventures featuring witches, the lion and the unicorn, plotting elf-lords, ships that sail the sky, magical transformations, curses whose effects rebound, binding conditions with hidden loopholes and all the rest.

           I’ve never read anything by Neil Gaiman.  There, I said it.  Master story teller that he is, I never managed to pick up any of his books, and even if I had, I wouldn’t have known where to start.  I’ve heard nothing but good things about a majority of his books! Lucky for me, I won a copy of his book, Stardust, a while back from a fellow blogger (thank you Sarah!) along with the movie version of it.  So now I had no choice but to read Gaiman and it eliminated having to decide which book to pick first!
            That being said, I absolutely adored this book.  I knew as soon I as started reading it was I going to love it.  Other than the obvious factors that often fuel my love for a good old fairytale - magic, witches, journeys through dark and enchanted woods, the usual – I fell in love with his writing style.  I think I’m starting to get the references people often make in their reviews of Gaiman’s work, of his typical writing style.  Honestly, if all his books are written this way, I can’t see me not getting on with any of them.  It’s hard to put into words just what makes his writing so unique, but I would wager to say it’s one of those things you have to experience for yourself. 
            If, like me, you have yet to experience the pleasure of reading anything by Neil Gaiman, I want you to know this is probably one of the best books to start with. I know, you’re probably asking how I can say this since I’ve never actually read any of his other books.  What I mean to say is that Stardust is a short and quick read.  Compared to some of his lengthier pieces, I think Stardust would be a good introductory read for any newcomers of Gaiman.  At least, that’s what I found when reading this.  I read it in a few days, and the story itself is a fun one you’ll quickly get wrapped up in.
            The story of Tristran and his search for a fallen star is SUCH a beautiful one.  Having grown up reading penny dreadfuls, Tristran’s head is full of stories about heroic men going on journeys to save damsels in distress, and fairytales in which the boys go on a quest in order to win the favor of their loved one.  So when the most beautiful girl in town, Victoria Forester, tells him he may have whatever wish he wants from her if he finds a fallen star, Tristran doesn’t think twice about beginning his journey, even if that journey takes him outside the Village of Wall, which he’s never left before.  
            The backstory is one of my favorite parts of this book as well.  Tristran’s dad played a big role in some of the mysteries surrounding Tristran, such as where he came from, and why he has such intuition about the workings of Faerie, even though this is his first time having left the Village of Wall to come to Faerie.  Throughout his journey Tristran learns more about his past than he even realizes, and by the ending one last secret of his past is revealed.  Gaiman did a remarkable job of entwining all the characters’ lives together.  Many of them are connected in numerous ways, and their journeys become wrapped up in one another’s.  One of the reasons Tristran’s own journey becomes so complicated is because the reader finds out more people are looking for this fallen star than just him.  Unfortunately many people want to use this fallen star to their advantage, and are willing to do anything to obtain it.
            Overall, I highly enjoyed this book. I can see myself reading this again in the future, and I can’t wait to watch the movie when I get a chance.  I’m excited to see what the film adaptation of this is going to be like! What do you guys think?  Have you read this book?  Any Gaiman fans out there?  If so, do you have any suggestions for me on what Neil Gaiman book I should read next?



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