No suprises here - this is another excellent children's book by Neil Gaiman. It's set in a time when the Vikings regularly raided places like ScotlandNo suprises here - this is another excellent children's book by Neil Gaiman. It's set in a time when the Vikings regularly raided places like Scotland (which is precisely how Odd's father found, fell in love with, and abducted Odd's mother), and when the gods were real. When Odd's father didn't return one time, Odd's mother eventually had to remarry and Odd's stepfather was cruel. So finally Odd decided to leave the village. What follows is a delightful tale.
This book has a slightly old-fashioned feel to it, which is perfect given its kinship to old myths and legends. The bookshop I work in has this in a new edition lavishly illustrated by Chris Riddell, but this older edition has lovely pen-and-ink illustrations by Brett Helquist which I enjoyed just as much....more
That's all the reader needs to know. In fact, the reader doesn't need to know anything about it because Jamie weaves it into the narrative and you don't notice you're learning something.
So, the gist of the book is that Jamie's older sister, Summerlee, has been off the rails for the last three years (she's now 18). Then on her 18th birthday she buys a Lotto ticket - using numbers that Jamie suggested, but which she later denies - and wins over 7 million dollars. Immediately she moves out and hosts drunken and drug-saturated parties and gets into trouble with the police. And of course, in rebellion to her parents' advice she welcomes the media attraction.
If you've read the blurb you know what happens next - their younger sister Phoebe is kidnapped.
This is an intelligent and excellent novel. It's not action after action after action (though there certainly is major stimulation towards the end) but a novel of suspense, of emotions, of a teenager trying to think things through, of memories, of family relationships and friendship ... I had troubles putting it down in order to sleep!...more
I would like to put some quotes in this review but I had to take the book back to the library. The thing is, we did a couple of library trips this weeI would like to put some quotes in this review but I had to take the book back to the library. The thing is, we did a couple of library trips this week, which totalled 8 libraries visited, and I maxed my card (as did the grandchildren). And I still had reserved books to pick up, which incur a $2.00 fee each if not picked up within the time period stated. None of which has anything at all to do with this book.
Terry Pratchett consistently gives me extreme pleasure. This, this time, is despite the fact that vampires are the plot drivers in the novel. I can't stand vampire stories. I read the Bram Stoker classic years ago. Fewer years ago than that I read a book set in Rome (maybe) which was contemporary. It was quite good, but I didn't like it and can't now remember what it was called. I have less than zero interest in these recent bestseller books and movies which glamorize the truly vile creature that is a vampire.
Using them to poke fun at the pretentious is great - these vampires haven't just come into the modern world (as it were - this is Discworld, we mustn't forget), but they claim to be inured to all the traditional vampire-killing methods, and they have plans to take over the world, or at least Lancre. Of course, the rather dim but very well-meaning King Verence sent them an invitation to his daughter's baptism, being also very modern and believing the best of everybody. So once you've invited them ......
Enter the witches! And a terribly earnest religious nutter (also invited, but to perform the baptism). And the story evolves. And there's philosophy within the general hilarity and excitement. Pratchett at his usual excellence....more