Thursday, March 21, 2013

Stardust by Neil Gaiman - Book Review

Catch a fallen star...

Tristan Thorn promised to bring back a fallen star. So he sets out on a journey to fulfill the request of his beloved, the hauntingly beautiful Victoria Forester - and stumbles into the enchanted realm that lies beyond the wall of his English country town.

. . . .

I’m trying to remember why I thought Gaiman’s prose wouldn’t be as good as his Sandman graphic novels.  The multitude of voices proclaiming him a one-hit wonder?  His almost non-existent presence in nerd culture?  The horrible reviews I’ve seen for his other books?
Truth is, all of that is the exact opposite of what I actually knew about his work prior to reading Stardust.  He’s been proclaimed a creative genius by many of my trusted peers and idols, and yet I still persisted in my misguided notion that I wasn’t missing anything by not delving into more of his worlds.

This novel has effectively cured me of that.  Expect to see me go on a Gaiman binge in the near future.

What do you think of when you think of an adult fairy tale?  Cinderella with blood?  Snow White without the Prince Charming ending?  Or maybe, Snow White getting naughty with those seven dwarves while Charming watches?

Ew.  No.  Get your mind out of the gutter I just callously thrust it in with that unsavory image and think more of the first two.

The world of Stardust is what would happen if we didn’t edit out the scary bad things in order to spare our children’s sensibilities.  Faerie exists just behind the city of Wall, full of whimsy and magic, elves and unicorns and vicious, murderous princes and witches.  It is there that main character Tristran and his fancied Victoria Forrester see a falling star land.  With one thoughtless promise, Victoria sends Tristran on a journey beyond Wall to get that star and deliver it to her…where unexpected things happen, and a star turns out to be more than Tristran could have ever imagined it to be.

Stardust is written exactly how we would expect a whimsical fairy tale for adults to be written; with whimsy.  The words flow and capture, giving us a sense of nostalgia for the days spent on our parents’ laps, being read our favorite stories, but without all the campiness they contained.  This is a novel written for the child that lives in the adult, and I love it to pieces for that reason.

Now I have something to admit; I, queen of finding at least one thing to nitpick about in even my favorite books, honestly can’t think of a thing to criticize, which is almost making me want to bump the rating up to a full 5 stars.  Almost because, while I can’t think of any technical criticisms, it just didn’t feel quite like one of those elite reading experiences to me.  A highly recommended read, fantastic escapism that fell just short of remarkable, but still deserves heaps of praise and every fraction of the four stars I give it.

And oh!  Quick shout-out to my dear friends Pixie and Taylor for recommending this to me, reading along with me, and finally showing me why Neil Gaiman is such a hyped-up author, and for dealing with my incessant “Omg I just got to the part where _____ happened!” texts. (Seriously, I don’t know how they put up with me, but I’m glad that they do. They’re my main go-to peeps, and I’d be lost in this sea of books and blogging and blogging about books without ‘em.)

Stardust - 4 out of 5 stars


  1. Aww you're too sweet! And not too hard to put up with, me on the other hand... well that's another story lol.

    And I'm so glad you loved this, I knew you would though! And now you have to go on a Neil Gaiman reading spree! I'm getting caught up on the books of his I haven't read yet myself.


    1. You're only hard to deal with when you refuse to make me breakfast. Otherwise, we're good.

      Haha I have like a ten-high stack of books to read through, but once I'm done those, I'm going to Gaiman my bookshelf up.

    2. Lol :p

      And awesome! Now you know why I think he's such a genius writer :D

  2. @Kelly: In the meantime watch the movie! It's one of my favourite movies ever & I love it; I love it! :D I've not read it but I may sometime.

    1. I have heard so many amazing things about the movie, I can't believe I didn't l even know about it until I started the book! Tell ya what. I'll watch the movie if you read the book! And even if you don't cuz I'm kind of dying to see it haha.

  3. I agree, I seem to have the same misguided notion of Gaimans prose...yet I have mostly the entire sandman series on my bookshelf. Is puzzling, really. So that's why last time at the library I picked up "Good Omens" on a whim of curiousity. I want to start reading it, but I, leery of reading reviews. Have you read it? Do you recommend another book of his instead? (I've read the graveyard book and loved it)..

    1. Have you started Sandman? I love it! And I'm not even normally a graphic novel fan.

      Unfortunately, Sandman and Stardust are the only two things I've read by Gaiman so far. But give me a couple of months, and I'll probably have a lot more to add to that list lol. I've heard fantastic things about The Graveyard Book, and his American Gods!


As you may or may not know, life is eating up way too much of my spare time right now, so pretty please don't hate me if it takes me a few days to get back to your wonderful comments. I read each and every one from my phone, and they always make my day. <3