I had a quick look at the TV show and very quickly decided that i wanted to read the book instead, and i’m rather glad i did. I absolutely, totally, enjoyed Stardust — which was the only one of Neil’s books i’d read before — so i was hoping i was in for another super reading treat with this.
So, suffice it to say, i still have no idea what the TV show was like, and having read the book i really have no interest because the book is so good i just don’t want to spoil the memory of a great story. But i’ll most certainly be reading more of Neil’s books though.
This book really has just about everything going on in it. There’s a dark satirical edge to it, a murder mystery thing, a love story, folklore, lots of action, lots of gods and goddesses and other mythical creatures, and many other things besides. How Neil managed to tie it all up into one complete story is outstanding writing to say the least.
What struck me most about it was the dark satirical edge that i found within it. How so many modern countries are turning their backs upon the old ways and enslaving themselves to modern ideas and ideologies. The continuous tension between those that would hold us back and those who would drive us forward, and the battles that happen when one or both push it too far. Yes, we all see it played out in the political realm every day, conservatives v modernisers, but underlying all of that are the beliefs and ideals of everyone in society and who gets to control and dictate them.
And in the middle of it all is our protagonist, Shadow. What a character. He’s thrown into this world of gods and goddesses as each side attempts to attract him to their school of thought. Just like the political classes, the corporatocracy and religions as they all attempt to enslave us into their ideologies and use us in their battles for ultimate power.
So yeah, super duper read. It’s a big, big book but well worth the time.