Well I have to admit to something. As a book nerd, I have only ever read one other Neil Gaiman book and that book was Coraline. Gaiman is a legend inWell I have to admit to something. As a book nerd, I have only ever read one other Neil Gaiman book and that book was Coraline. Gaiman is a legend in writing circles and I was a little red faced to say that I hadn't really read any of this novels. That being said, last weekend at the Ontario blogger meetup I was lucky enough to win a signed ARC of The Ocean at the End of the Lane. I mean a signed copy! What luck! As soon as I finished my current read, I dove head first into this story. It is a magical work involving alternate worlds, monsters and enchanted kittens. I really enjoyed this story and since it is so short I pretty much read it in a day. The characters are so enticing and you can't help but fall in love with them. I especially loved Lettie Hempstock. She is a precocious, wise beyond her years, 11 year old who takes the narrator on a journey that is beyond his imagination. Her mother and grandmother are also a part of the story but it seems that the two are often interchangeable. In fact, Lettie seems to fall into this interchangeable category as well. Since magic is at play and the book was full of metaphor, I had to wonder if all three were really the same person but from different eras or times of their lives. The three hold a tremendous amount of power in the novel and come to be the saviours for the young protagonist.
The book is cleverly written and the idea of memory is often brought up. How accurate are our memories and how do they shift and change over time? It is fascinating to think that what we remember of one event may not be how someone else remembers. It is also interesting to think that our perception of what occurred may change as we age. This story explores that through the lens of magic.
Overall, I quite enjoyed this novel. The only thing that bothered me a bit was the fact that at times it was slightly confusing. Different situations would pop up that were out of the norm and as a reader I was expected to piece together what was going on. I think that with a little bit more explanation/background information that the story would have been bang on. While it was quirky, it was unique and I would definitely recommend this to others. Great work Gaiman! I will have to pick up your other novels now to add to my ever growing TBR pile. ...more
I have loved every one of McKenzie's novels thus far so when I saw that there was a new one out in June, I had to rush to the store to pick it up. AllI have loved every one of McKenzie's novels thus far so when I saw that there was a new one out in June, I had to rush to the store to pick it up. All of Catherine's stories have had premises that are unlike any others that I have read. That says a lot considering the amount of novels I read in a year. Hidden is about a man named Jeff who is killed in a car accident. Jeff leaves behind his wife, a son, his brother and a woman named Tish who may or may not be his mistress. The book is told in the perspectives of Jeff's wife Claire, Tish and Jeff himself. I really liked hearing from all three perspectives throughout the story. I especially liked Jeff's perspective because for a majority of the novel he is dead. It is not told in a weird ghost-like narration but the story weaves between the past and the present.
This story is heartbreaking and you find yourself feeling something for each the characters you're introduced to. A story with a cheating element can be polarizing but I found that I didn't dislike anyone involved in the triangle. The whole novel is almost like a mystery because you are never quite sure if Jeff cheated on his wife or not. I really enjoyed how McKenzie writes and keeps up the suspense throughout the entire story.
I couldn't get enough of this novel and I as soon as I was done with the story I feel like I truly was in a book hangover. The last line of the novel really stuck with me and I couldn't stop thinking of how McKenzie tied everything all together. She kept me guessing right til the end. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who doesn't mind getting a little teary eyed every once in a while. Overall another great story from a great author. ...more
I was very excited when I heard that Joe Hill had another book coming out and I immediately requested it for review. I was happy when this shiny book showed up at my doorstep a few weeks later. I have to first off apologize that this review is going up a little later than I would have liked but my personal life has been a bit of a rollercoaster lately. Things are on the upswing so I'm glad to be getting a bit of reviewing done again.
I have read Hill's other two novels (Horns and Heart Shaped Box) and I quite enjoyed both of them. They are creepy and imaginative and you can't seem to peel yourself away from them once you start reading.
I have to say that this novel is just as creepy and just as imaginative as the other two novels I have read. NOS4A2 follows two different stories that eventually come together in a macabre underworld. At the beginning of the novel Vic McQueen is a young girl who can find anything that is lost. All she has to do is travel across a magic bridge with her bike. Charlie Manx kidnaps children and brings them to a magically scary place he calls Christmasland. There bad things happen and the children somehow change. One day Vic McQueen crosses paths with Charlie Manx and somehow survives and gets away. Charlie Manx never forgets this and without giving too much away he ensures that he crosses paths with McQueen another time.
I have to admit that the size of this novel is a little daunting. It is almost 700 pages and at times the story can drag a little. I did find my mind wandering at times and for this reason I think that some of the story could have been cut down a little.
That being said, I really did enjoy the world in this novel. There is a such a disturbing magic in this novel and I wouldn't expect anything less from Hill. When you read this book you can't help but become immersed in the story because the writing is so descriptive. You really feel like you are right there in the book.
As for the characters, I was on the fence about Vic McQueen. She is endearing when she is younger but as she gets older I begin to feel like she becomes slightly selfish at times. She is difficult to like at times but in the end I came around to liking her.
There is no way that anyone could really like Charlie Manx but I did find his character to be fascinating. He was just so weird and creepy and for some reason I am drawn to that.
Overall I have to say that I enjoyed the book but I can see how some people may find it to be slightly too long. ...more