Rating: 4 Stardust
Author - Neil Gaiman
in the magical realm. The star proves to be an attractive woman with a hot temper, who plunges with our hero into adventures featuring witches, the lion and the unicorn, plotting elf-lords, ships that sail the sky, magical transformations, curses whose effects rebound, binding conditions with hidden loopholes and all the rest
I came across Gaiman a few years ago with the release of the movie Stardust and then again with Coraline and a few episodes of Doctor Who. I really enjoyed adaptations so I thought it was about time to read the source material.
I have seen the movie several times and have enjoyed it each time so I had a high expectations for this book. Stardust the movie and Stardust the book are very different, it's almost like reading two parallel stories that draw upon each other but are fundamentally very different.
This book has all the makings of a wonderful play, it reminded me a little of Shakespeare's play A Midsummer Nights Dream with a lot of magical creatures and a fairytale like setting.
Unlike the movie, the book goes to great lengths to set up the story of Dunstan Thorn and the town of Wall. It is a magical place where the creatures of the other side can have a more dynamic relationship than suggested in the movie making Tristan's story much mote believable.
Gaiman also created a beautifully intriguing encounter between between the very beautiful elven princess Una and Dustan Thorn. Their relationship while brief is painted into a much more convincing and realistic relationship.
The one thing that I really love that the movie has created is Captain Shakespeare, while his character exists within the novel, he is not as flamboyant and dynamic. The Captain within the novel helps Tristan as he is part of a "fellowship" which goes otherwise unexplored.
The one thing that did disappoint me about this book is Tristan himself, he is very naive character who doesn't seem all that intelligent of curious. He seems completely unaware that Victoria Forester is not interested in a boy of his social class. He is pretty much my expectation of what an average Victorian man is like which I suppose is pretty what he is.
The novel is very Faerie orientated with Lions on crowns, unicorns, actual fairies and witch queens and many more wonderful creations rather than the explosion orientated movie creation. Gaiman had a gift with story telling, his story is extremely visual and follows with a natural ease that is hard to find in a lot of books.
I really liked reading this book and would definitely read another Gaiman book. I give it a rating of 4 out of 5 stars for a brilliant visual and dynamic story.
Publisher: Headline Review, 2005
Author's Website: http://www.neilgaiman.com/