Thursday, September 30, 2010

Review: The Graveyard Book

Jack killed the mother, the father, and the sister without a qualm – but somehow, he let the baby boy escape. Nobody Owens made his way into a graveyard, where the ghosts of the Owenses promptly adopted him. With the help of Silas, a mysterious not-quite-human not-quite-ghost being, they raise Nobody as best as they can. They teach him to Fade, and walk through walls, and do all the other things proper ghosts do.
But as happy as Bod is in the graveyard, the other ghosts can never forget that he is, in fact, alive. And the man that killed his parents is still out there, searching for his one mistake and waiting for the chance to finish the job…

Entertainment: ★★★★

I was a little surprised to find that The Graveyard Book was illustrated, but the occasional pictures were actually pretty cool (in an abstract kind of way). Anyways, I thought it was a very funny book and I liked reading it.

Plot: ★★

I give the plot two stars because there really wasn’t a central plot. There were a lot of side plots revolving around Nobody, but no ultimate goal or quest or whatever, not really. Also, the side plots themselves were a little cliché and none too surprising.

Characters: ★★★★★

Nobody himself was actually pretty bland – grey eyes, grey clothes, grey personality – but the ghosts and the Jacks more than made up for him. The ghosts were funny, and author does an excellent job of giving them all unique personalities and voices. Silas was interesting, although a little too mysterious for my tastes – we never found out what, exactly, he is, although I’ve made an educated guess – and the Jacks were decent villains, although most of them didn’t come off as particularly scary.

Writing: ★★★★

The writing could have been a little more descriptive, but besides that it was pretty good. The action moved at a nice pace, the characters all had their own unique voices (except for Nobody, who really didn’t have a voice at all) and Gaiman does a good job of crafting an interesting world in the graveyard.

End Result: four stars.  A good book, definitely worth your time.

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