Review: Coraline – Neil Gaiman

coraline book cover

SYNOPSIS: Coraline’s often wondered what’s behind the locked door in the drawing room. It reveals only a brick wall when she finally opens it, but when she tries again later, a passageway mysteriously appears. Coraline is surprised to find a flat decorated exactly like her own, but strangely different. And when she finds her “other” parents in this alternate world, they are much more interesting despite their creepy black button eyes. When they make it clear, however, that they want to make her theirs forever, Coraline begins a nightmarish game to rescue her real parents and three children imprisoned in a mirror. With only a bored-through stone and an aloof cat to help, Coraline confronts this harrowing task of escaping these monstrous creatures. – via Goodreads

GRADE 7.5I watched this movie many years ago when it came out (though it must be said I watched it in passing, and didn’t catch all of it), and I quite liked it. Coraline is quite a sweet yet bizarre journey, one that zips by quickly, and keeps you entertained throughout. I know the story is about Coraline wanting to find her parents in this strange alternate reality, but I have to say, I didn’t really care for her real parents – I found them to be rather neglectful. Anyway, that is just my opinion. I quite liked the character of the cat, and I really like Gaiman’s style. Also, our main little girl Coraline is quite cool – she is sweet, caring, brave, quirky, and so curious. I really like that about her! Coraline is a super quick read, but I loved the dark tone it took, and the way it wove the story. It flowed well, and even in such a short space, Gaiman managed to create characters that you liked and that were just meh, and others that were rather sinister, too. The concept was strange and different, but I liked it. Coraline is such a short book that I cannot really say too much about it, other than the fact that I liked it, and would highly recommend it if you are looking for a filler read, or even just to say that you have read a Gaiman novel, or that you have read the story of a young girl and an alternate universe.

Review: American Gods – Neil Gaiman

american-gods neil gaiman cover

SYNOPSIS: Days before his release from prison, Shadow’s wife, Laura, dies in a mysterious car crash. Numbly, he makes his way back home. On the plane, he encounters the enigmatic Mr Wednesday, who claims to be a refugee from a distant war, a former god and the king of America.

Together they embark on a profoundly strange journey across the heart of the USA, whilst all around them a storm of preternatural and epic proportions threatens to break.

Scary, gripping and deeply unsettling, AMERICAN GODS takes a long, hard look into the soul of America. You’ll be surprised by what and who it finds there… – via Goodreads

GRADE 8So Josh of JJames Reviews recommended that I read this (last year, if I am being honest here). I know it has taken me a damn long time to get to it, but I will usually look into the recommendations I get from my readers. I was not sure what this book was about, and I had no intention of finding out any other way than reading it – no synopsis, nothing. I was pleasantly surprised. Personally, I have never read any of Gaiman’s work, though I have a friend who absolutely adores his work, and I think that this was a great place to start. I am always fascinated by mythology as well as old gods. This book was good. Initially it started up, with Shadow and in prison, and progressed to meeting Wednesday, and I was fascinated by Odin. Truly, he was a pretty darn interesting character. The book breezes by pretty quickly, which I enjoyed, but it never felt like a brainless read – definitely not a light one. It was stimulating. Actually, it got you thinking quite a bit. I was not a particularly large fan of how gods were introduced and most were given a little more fleshing out than some, but the new gods, against who this entire war was being waged, had no names or descriptions or anything really. I suppose you sort of had to make your own conclusions about it. I enjoyed the imagery that was portrayed, it was a pretty cool journey to undertake with Shadow, and later Wednesday when he joined up. It offered another look into how the gods have shifted and changed over the centuries, and how fads come and go all the time nowadays. Nothing is certain, the world is a different place, people are different creatures. This was definitely something very fresh and different for me to read, and the way the world was constructed by Gaiman was fascinating and impressive and it draws you in. I thoroughly enjoyed the read, though this is not the easiest book to recommend. If you are looking for a light read, this is certainly not the one for you. If you are interested in mythology and old gods, this might be a novel little read for you, and I would highly recommend you check it out.