29. August 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Adult Books, Courtney, Fantasy, Graphic Novel, Mystery · Tags: ,

Murder Mysteries by Neil Gaiman, read by Courtney, on 08/18/2014

A young man is stranded in LA around Christmas time. After a brief tryst with an old acquaintance, the man feels like he isn’t ready to go back to the place he’s staying. He sits on a bench for a smoke when an older man walks up to him, asks him for a smoke and then offers him a story. The story is about a time before humans when the angels were still working out things like the concepts of “green” or “love”. The angels all lived in beautiful city in the sky. Each has their purpose as dictated by God. One day, an angel is found dead. It appears that the death is not from natural causes. Some say it might be suicide, but Raguel (the angel of vengeance and justice) thinks otherwise. Who could possibly have killed the angel and why?
This isn’t just any murder mystery. It’s the original murder mystery. The first murder, ever. And since it’s Neil Gaiman writing it, you know it’s going to be tragic and slightly humorous. The artwork is gorgeous and this particular edition has bonus features with commentary by artist P.Craig Russell, as well as early drafts of the artwork. Just because you think you know how it might end, doesn’t mean that there won’t be some completely unexpected twists and turns by the end. It’s a lovely graphic novel, even if it is a touch disturbing.

29. August 2014 · Write a comment · Categories: Adult Books, Courtney, Fantasy, Teen Books · Tags: ,

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, read by Courtney, on 08/02/2014

Gaiman wins again with this gorgeous little gem of a book. The story opens with a man on his way to a funeral in Sussex, the town of his youth. Upon his return, he is inexorably drawn to a house at the end of his lane. A house that he didn’t really remember until he was already walking up to it. As he gets closer, the memories resurface and he recalls a past so strange and mysterious that he can’t really fathom how he forgot it all in the first place.
You see, an evil was released in this sleepy little English town and the only person who could help our young narrator was a girl who lived at the end of the lane. Her name is Lettie Hempstock. She lives with her mother and grandmother. Lettie insists that the pond behind her house is, in reality, an ocean. Our narrator slowly recalls the details of this strange episode in his past as he sits by Lettie’s “ocean” as a grown man.
I don’t even really want to give away any of it, since this book is such a delightful journey to make on one’s own. Fans of Gaiman will naturally love this one. I sensed echoes of Sandman, Neverwhere and Coraline throughout and since these are works that I love through and through, these likenesses only served to make me even more enamored. Gaiman is such a wonderfully skilled writer, he doesn’t need hundreds of pages to create a fully realized tale. Indeed, this can easily be read in one or two sittings, though the atmosphere of the novel will linger long after the last page is turned.

19. August 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Fantasy, Fiction, Kira, Science Fiction, Teen Books, Teen Books · Tags: ,

Interworld by Neil Gaiman and Michael Reaves., read by Kira, on 08/19/2014

interworld-by-neil-gaiman-and-michael-reaves Inter_World917 itrs 8dd7103b2bb3074baa5d7ad59f963f3a Interworld-neil-gaiman-1548448-258-410 interwrld Interworld_by_Neil_Gaiman_and_Michael_Reaves_200_312 50130_interworldThe setting is the Multiverse or all the different possible versions of realities our world could have taken. Two factions at opposite ends of the multiverse continuum are fighting for supremacy, destroying worlds with impunity.

In our world Joey Harker takes a wrong turn, and first winds up in a world very similar to our own, except that his mother has a fake arm, and her offspring is a girl Josephine, who looks very much like him, just a female version.  In the next world, it turns out he drowned in the river a couple years ago, instead of having a close brush with death, and getting a huge lecture from his father on water safety.  Another look-alike Joe Harker look-alike J is sent to rescue Joey Harker before the warring factions can use his soul for energy in their never-ending war.  The Joe Harker look-alikes vary widely from girls with wings, to cyborgs with implants.  This was a quick and enjoyable read.  It leaves room for a sequel.  Lastly, I liked the mudluff sidekick.

24. June 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Short Stories, Tammy · Tags: ,

Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman, read by Tammy, on 06/23/2014

smoke and mirrorsA collection of magical, mystical short stories by a master of fantasy, Neil Gaiman. Explore a world hidden by smoke and darkness. Don’t plan on sleeping well right after reading this beautiful but haunting collection.

 

24. June 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Tammy · Tags:

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, read by Tammy, on 06/17/2014

neverwhereHave you ever wondered what’s beneath your city streets? Some cities have miles of tunnels and passages beneath them. Some built for maintenance others ruins of older buildings streets that have been built over with time.

In this story Richard Mayhew’s simple act of kindness sends him into a fantastical city beneath the city of London. A city of monsters, angels, and knights awaits him.

23. June 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Tammy · Tags:

Stardust by Neil Gamain, read by Tammy, on 06/12/2014

stardustA boy who is half mortal half/fairy leaves his Victorian-English village on a search for a fallen star. The star’s path leads him into a magical realm. The star turns out to be much more than just an ordinary star and leads him into adventures with unicorns, elf-lords and ships that can sail in the sky and many more fantastical adventures.

05. June 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Tammy · Tags:

MirrorMask by Neil Gamain, read by Tammy, on 06/05/2014

mirrormaskThis is one of those rare books that comes after the movie. Neil Gaiman wrote the screenplay for MirrorMask which was directed by Dave McKean. The book contains images from the film as well as original art by Dave McKean. This novella tells Helena’s story in her words.

Helena was raised in a family of circus performers so she’s used to things being a bit unusual. However, when an unusual tune draws her into a different realm her place is stolen by a runaway from this other world. To earn her way home, Helena must first rescue the realm. A visually stunning story.

01. June 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Tammy · Tags:

Signal to Noise by Neil Gaiman, read by Tammy, on 05/22/2014

signal to noiseA graphic novel that tries to express emotion through visuals of sound. What is the signal and what is just noise in our life? How do you tell the difference? What gives life purpose? What is a good life? All of these questions are addressed in this unique work. I recommend you read the introductions first that explain the growth of this work and it’s main story from a few pages in a magazine, to a radio play and back to a full-color graphic novel.

01. June 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Tammy · Tags:

Violent Cases by Neil Gaiman, read by Tammy, on 05/14/2014

violent casesGraphic novel telling one man’s memories of an event that happened in his childhood when he met a mafia leader.

 

01. June 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Horror, Tammy · Tags:

Harlequin Valentine by Neil Gaiman, read by Tammy, on 05/10/2014

harlequinHarlequin sets out to win the heart of his next valentine, but with Harlequin there’s always a trick. Also includes a brief history of Harlequin character.

 

01. June 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Paranormal, Tammy · Tags:

The Facts In The Case Of The Departure Of Miss Finch by Neil Gaiman, read by Tammy, on 05/24/2014

miss finchA spooky tale of three friends and a new acquaintance, Miss Finch attend a unique circus performance.

 

28. April 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Tammy · Tags:

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gamain, read by Tammy, on 04/14/2014

ocean at the end  A haunting tale set in Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home for a funeral and finds himself drawn to the farm at the end of the lane. He suddenly begins to remember what happened to him in this place when he was seven and the most remarkable girl he met there, Lettie Hempstock. He is joined at the edge of a lake by Lettie’s mother and grandmother who haven’t changed at all even though it’s been forty years. This is his story and Lettie’s and of what happened that day long ago when Lettie promised to protect him, no matter what.

 

 

 

01. April 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Kira · Tags:

Fortunately, the Milk. by Neil Gaiman , read by Kira, on 03/31/2014

milkA cute piece of froth wherein the father goes out to purchase some milk for his children’s cereal, and when he arrives later than expected he spins a tale of time-traveling dinosaurs flying in balloons visiting talking volcanoes, purple ponies, vampires, and GaimanMilk_1_photo_Brady_Hall080713pirates.  Not Neil Gaiman’s usual fare.

31. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Paranormal, Science Fiction, Tammy · Tags:

Black Orchid by Neil Gamain, read by Tammy, on 03/30/2014

black orchidNeil Gaiman writes a unique, dark and moving super hero story of a crime fighter trying to discover who she really is. I would recommend reading the introduction after reading the graphic novel. I think the intro gives to much away. The illustrations of Dave McKean make this a hauntingly beautiful story while the unique lettering technique of Todd Klein helps the reader follow the multiple story lines.

 

31. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Fairy Tales and Folklore, Fantasy, Tammy · Tags:

Instructions by Neil Gamain, read by Tammy, on 03/29/2014

instructionsAn instruction book for any adventure you might want or need to take into fairyland or fantasy. Aimed at children and very brief with beautiful illustrations. I enjoyed the story though and think that adults will recognize fairy tales where the main characters didn’t follow the rules and bad things happened.

20. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Fairy Tales and Folklore, Fiction, Kira · Tags:

Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman., read by Kira, on 02/16/2014

Odd is a kid who smiles all the time, even after his father dies.  The village people do Not understand him.  Then he attempts to use his father’s giant axe, and in the process Odd & the Frost Giants - Cover +injures his leg; he builds himself a crutch and drags himself home.  His mother remarries a man who doesn’t care for Odd.  But Odd perseveres, using the talents he has, he is able to help out the Norse gods, Odin, Loki, and Thor, who have been turned into different animals.  This was a AdamStower_OddtheFrostGiants01fun short read.universe_within

10. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Kira · Tags:

Black Orchid by Neil Gaiman, read by Kira, on 02/08/2014

Black Orchid tells or retells the story of one of DC comic’s superheroes (or superheroines).  The Black Orchid had appeared in DC Comics of the 1970′s.  Neil Gaiman performs a twist on the usual narrative of a superhero.  The story begins with our superhero getting killed in the beginning pages.  Then a former friend uses the woman’s DNA to create a plant/human hybrid, that has different superpowers.  It is a very violent story, with death upon death of the both the good and the bad guys.  Lex Luther is the main bad guy, while other superheroes/villains make cameo appearances.  This title is credited with helping to break the way for lessindex traditionalimagesBlackO graphic novels.

10. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fairy Tales and Folklore, Fantasy, Fiction, Kira · Tags: ,

Harlequin Valentine by Gaiman, Neil, read by Kira, on 02/09/2014

Harlequin_valentine_cover

Apparently the Harlequin is a stock character in European and British theater specifically, the Commedia dell’Arte format – along with a whole host of other characters – including Columbine – his love interest.  In this retelling of the Harlequin’s usual story, Gaiman adds a twist to the standard narrative.  Even though I was not familiar with the standard narrative, I could see that giving the woman powers and moving her into a main character status is a twist on the standard narrative where the woman is often the object, and Not the subject.  Interesting piece.harqp3

28. January 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Multicultural Fiction, Noelle · Tags:

Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman, read by Noelle, on 01/23/2014

One of fiction’s most audaciously original talents, Neil Gaiman now gives us a mythology for a modern age — complete with dark prophecy, family dysfunction, mystical deceptions, and killer birds. Not to mention a lime.

Anansi Boys
God is dead. Meet the kids.

When Fat Charlie’s dad named something, it stuck. Like calling Fat Charlie “Fat Charlie.” Even now, twenty years later, Charlie Nancy can’t shake that name, one of the many embarrassing “gifts” his father bestowed — before he dropped dead on a karaoke stage and ruined Fat Charlie’s life.

Mr. Nancy left Fat Charlie things. Things like the tall, good-looking stranger who appears on Charlie’s doorstep, who appears to be the brother he never knew. A brother as different from Charlie as night is from day, a brother who’s going to show Charlie how to lighten up and have a little fun … just like Dear Old Dad. And all of a sudden, life starts getting very interesting for Fat Charlie.

Because, you see, Charlie’s dad wasn’t just any dad. He was Anansi, a trickster god, the spider-god. Anansi is the spirit of rebellion, able to overturn the social order, create wealth out of thin air, and baffle the devil. Some said he could cheat even Death himself.

Returning to the territory he so brilliantly explored in his masterful New York Times bestseller, American Gods, the incomparable Neil Gaiman offers up a work of dazzling ingenuity, a kaleidoscopic journey deep into myth that is at once startling, terrifying, exhilarating, and fiercely funny — a true wonder of a novel that confirms Stephen King’s glowing assessment of the author as “a treasure-house of story, and we are lucky to have him.”

28. January 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Eric, Fairy Tales and Folklore, Fantasy, Fiction, Paranormal, Short Stories · Tags:

M is for Magic by Neil Gaiman, read by Eric, on 01/25/2014

“M is for magic. All the letters are, if you put them together properly.” This tasty tidbit is from Neil Gaiman’s introduction to the book, and wonderfully sums up my view of most of his writing. He has a way of stringing letters together which makes the mundane magical, or at the least, a bit odd. I like a bit odd, and so enjoyed this collection of short stories. It also was interesting to compare stories written earlier in his career to more recent ones, both of which are in this collection. I had read a couple of these tales before, and one in particular (The Witch’s Headstone) became a chapter in Gaiman’s 2009 Newbery winner, The Graveyard Book. Short stories are a great introduction to an author, and so if you are one of the five people not familiar with Neil Gaiman, this collection is a decent place to start. Although it is a collection intended for younger readers, the content is pretty mature, including older cultural references I doubt young readers will understand.