An outstanding read, although it's a collaboration between Neil Gaimon and Terry Pratchett. I'll be honest, I'm not the fan of Gaimon that others are...moreAn outstanding read, although it's a collaboration between Neil Gaimon and Terry Pratchett. I'll be honest, I'm not the fan of Gaimon that others are - I like him, but I'm not a faaaannn. In this novel, the two authors simply bring out the best in each other.
The story is fun, but almost background to the characters and the writing. Adam Young is a boy who could easily be hanging with Tom Sawyer or Huck Finn, and you root hard for Azraphale and Crowley in their allegiance together rather than with their origins above and below. It's well-conceived and a pleasure to read.(less)
I LOVE Pratchett's work; he astounds me as an author. The Fifth Elephant is one of my favorites of the Discworld series and the Night Watch set is my...moreI LOVE Pratchett's work; he astounds me as an author. The Fifth Elephant is one of my favorites of the Discworld series and the Night Watch set is my favorite sub-series in it. The humorous satire on the human condition is, as always, a delight and yet I found even more in the solid storyline and characterizations. I especially enjoy the interplay and dialogue between characters; it is a real skill to create a novel that is so vivid and yet doesn't waste time on descriptive narrative. I'll work to review every one of his novels so other readers, who may not have considered this series otherwise, might pick one up and find the intellectual joy and laugh-out-loud play that is found in every novel in Discworld.
Vimes, Carrot, Detrius, Cheri, and Angua continue to develop as characters and the complexity and interplay of the political background in the novel is great fun!(less)
This is my novel so I'm naturally biased. I have learned that mine is the kind of novel that many people enjoy and several rave about but there are, o...moreThis is my novel so I'm naturally biased. I have learned that mine is the kind of novel that many people enjoy and several rave about but there are, of course, those for whom it just will not appeal. Although it is fantasy/science fiction it is NOT an action-adventure and it is not fantasy in the sense of an alternate magical world. Think more along the lines of Koontz and Crichton; exclusive readers of vampire/lycan fantasy will probably be disappointed. More than anything else, the responses I get let me know it's the novel I set out to write: a science-fiction mystery and a mental thriller that also throws a few twists in, shocking enough to feel like a quick, cold plunge. Thanks for reading!
Here is the Kirkus Review ("The Toughest Critics In the World"):
A witty, fast-paced novel about a hack journalist and an unbelievable headline come to life.
Matthew Granger, a once-promising journalist living in the shadow of an illustrious father, travels around the rural news beats for the Fortean publication World News Explorer, looking for scoops on bat boys, Hitler’s heads and even the faintest insinuation of a UFO. Taylor renders the psychology of the younger Granger in an authentic, competent indirect discourse; Granger’s thoughts, observations and anxieties are at once charming and exasperating as his witty, keen consciousness charms readers to his side. Armed and cursed with a photographic memory, Granger is made an all-too keen observer of the most significant and trivial details of his stream of consciousness, but it’s this special ability that allows him to pierce the veil while rummaging through the gossip and local folklore of another backwater town with a tall tale to tell.
Peppered throughout the opening passages of the novel are unsettling interludes of Granger’s experience in a room, vacillating between sensations of piercing light and darkness, until eventually it is revealed that these disjointed episodes are the calling cards of a personal abduction that he had previously treated as mere copy fodder. The novel remains true to its title and without breaking the carefully plotted suspension of disbelief, Granger uncovers the reality behind the panoply of abduction mythology without resorting to extraterrestrial vistas or campy cosmic journeys. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t wonderful elements of fantasy; his relationship with the creature Little One and Granger’s attempt to develop fluent telepathic communication are rendered with humor and insight as he finds Little One’s lack of extraverbal communication frustrating and intriguing. Taylor writes carefully and craftily in a story that pays homage to the absurdity and pathos at the heart of a culture that wishes crop circles were more than just pranks on a grand, if not cosmic, scale.
A romp through mystery, science fiction and popular culture that will please readers looking for a smarter breed of fantasy. (less)