So I thought I would kick off my summary/review/critique blog with a book that I finished reading… about 20 minutes ago.
That way, at least it is fresh in my mind.
(FYI, there ARE spoilers below).
Picked up this book two days ago at the library. In all honesty, I’m not quite sure what it was that I expected from it after reading the summary on the inside cover… On one hand, it is written by Neil Gaiman, for whom I’ve developed immense respect from the 20-something pages I’ve read of his Good Omens (i’ll be finishing it as soon as my bought copy arrives), so surely that meant that this would be an interesting read, right? On the other, I found the inside summary to be lacking. It’s come down to the fact that if the publishers cannot write a good, interesting, curious summary, I am likely to pass over the book (I’m set on breaking the habit soon though).
I guess, in the end, I decided to take it out because of all the positive reviews I’ve heard about the writer.
I’ve got to admit: I was an inch away, numerous times, from putting the book back into my backpack and finding something else to do. The beginning is not catchy, the plot is not riveting and the language was too dry for my taste. I think the reason I pushed through it was because I’ve read worse, and although this did not captivate me, it certainly did not repulse me (that and the fact that I hate not finishing books that I have started).
The book follows the early years of the main characters, Bod’s, life, and it wasn’t until he was older (about 3/4 of the way in) that the story began to actually move in set direction. Everything up until the point were separate encounters as he grew. I can’t say I minded the longer-than-necessary set up of Bod’s life, but the last 1/4 of the book felt a bit too rushed. Quite a bit was revealed in the last segment, and I would have honestly liked for the author to expand on the world in the book some more (that or a sequel).
It’s an odd feeling when you have serious trouble getting through the first half of the book but then are borderline desperate for more at the end.
Kudos for tying up the bigger loose ends, though. It’s a personal pet peeve of mine to have an author leave the loose ends hanging, which these were not.
I was disappointed with the ending though. It was common sense that Bod would have to leave his home sooner or later, but I thought that having him “grow out” of the Graveyard’s Protection was unnecessary. We’ve already established that Bod enjoyed being with humans, but there was no need for Gaiman to (figuratively) kick Bod out from the Graveyard. Bod could have, just as well, left on his own and kept the Protection.
Ah. Well. I guess I’m slightly biased against bittersweet endings.
The bottom line? I won’t be harassing my friends to read this, but I would love to discuss this book with fellow fans. It definitely won’t be dropped from my mind any time soon. :)