Author: Neil Gaiman
Series or standalone: Standalone
Publisher & Date of Publication: HarperCollins, 2006
Summary: “Hopelessly crossed in love, a boy of half-fairy parentage leaves his mundane Victorian-English village on a quest for a fallen star 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.” (Goodreads)
Review: I’ve been trying to broaden my reading horizons lately, so I decided to start with Stardust. I already knew I loved the story because the film adaptation of Stardust is one of my favorite films. However, my love of the film definitely did detract from my reading/listening experience.
As always, let’s start with the positive. The writing in this book is beautiful. This is my second experience with Gaiman’s writing; I’ve read Coraline prior to this. I prefer Stardust’s style. I found it to be a lot more eloquent and magical which adds to the fairy tale feeling of the novel. The descriptions were beautiful and I really loved the subtle humor that was present in the book. The humor was darker than the humor in the film, but it was still great.
The characters in the novel were fantastic, as well. Tristran’s father is really fleshed-out, unlike the movie. The first part of the book actually follows his father and his adventures when he was young. I enjoyed having the background on the character. Yvaine was also a really lovable character. She was very sassy which is always one of my favorite traits in a character. Her interactions with Tristran were sweet, albeit very toned down. The romance in the novel is a lot more subtle than in the film. I feel like I almost missed it, in a way. I listened to this as an audiobook which could be a reason why I feel like I missed it. Perhaps if I had actually read the book I would’ve picked up on it more. Despite this, I still loved Yvaine and Tristran’s relationship.
Now on to the negatives. I first just want to make a disclaimer that if I had read the book before watching the movie I wouldn’t have any negatives; this book would be completely perfect. However, because I saw the movie first and loved the movie so much, I definitely had some disappointments. My first was the lack of Captain Shakespeare. In the film, Captain Shakespeare is played by Robert De Niro and he’s one of my favorite characters. He’s a pretty big character, as well. However, in the book, he’s really not a big deal. I found myself wanting more of him. There was also a lot less drama. In the book, the subplot of the evil queen seemed to be resolved way too quickly. The ending just felt too easy.
Rating: 4 stars
*Note: This is a prewritten review from mid-2016*