Book Review: Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Posted September 26, 2013 by Debby in Reviews / 8 Comments

Book Review: Stardust by Neil GaimanStardust by Neil Gaiman
Published by William Morrow on October 28th, 1998
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 283
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased

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.

4 Stars

I finally read my first Neil Gaiman book – ever! And oh boy it was just as, if not more, beautiful as I expected. Stardust is brilliant. It reads just like a fairytale, and Neil Gaiman shows what a brilliant storyteller he is.

I think Neil Gaiman’s talent is obvious by how easily he creates a story that appeals to all ages. Stardust honestly has something for everyone: romance, adventure, magical creatures, even some graphic battles. Also, it is a rather simple and straightforward story, but it’s so meticulously worked out with beautiful details and intricacies. The story is just solid. It works, and it’ll work for almost every reader. I read it with full enjoyment the whole time. It’s the kind of book that can easily pull you out of a reading slump.

So I loved every bit of the adventure – not much to say there – and of course, the romance between Tristran and Yvaine worked absolutely perfectly for me. I’m such a huge fan of hate-to-love romance progressions, and this was yet another great one. Even at the end, there’s some quote about more or less how being called an idiot was the best thing. That gets me every time :’) Maybe the transition could have been expanded a little more to make it more gradual and memorable, but I honestly loved it anyway.

If I have to nitpick, I’ll say that the beginning was quite slow, with the story starting focused on Tristran’s father and mother, before his birth. Though it was more or less a prologue, it took quite some time and I hadn’t seen the movie recent enough to remember where the story was going at that point. The story really picked up for me when Tristran finally set out on his adventure. Then I became addicted to turning the pages. And a second minor point would be that I wish the story was a bit longer. A lot of the adventure part and the development of the romance were just so quick… It left me wanting more! (But is that really that negative? My gut says no.)

Summing Up:

This story was beautiful, the writing was so fluid and amazing, and it was just like a fairytale; Stardust definitely lives up to its reputation. I can easily see why so many people love it and pick it as their favorite Gaiman book. As for me, I’m so excited now to read more of his books little by little (and hey, I already read Coraline, and that review will be up next). He really is a natural storyteller and I can’t wait to go on more of his adventures. And Stardust is a book I’ll happily recommend to any reader.

GIF it to me straight!

Recommended To:

Fans of fairytale-like stories and beautiful fluid writing.

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8 responses to “Book Review: Stardust by Neil Gaiman

  1. meg

    AHH! I'm so glad you loved it! I totally agree, it was over too soon. It's been too long since I've read it for me to remember specific details (perhaps its time for a reread), but I definitely remember it being a lovely,solid (I like that word for it) adventure. And the romance was so sweet! I'm more hesitant about the hate-to-love because a lot of times I think it comes off as forced but Gaiman pulls it off completely.
    My recent post Review: Shadows by Robin McKinley

  2. msjessieee

    Yay! You liked this! I had a feeling you would — but still, isn't it WONDERFUL. Oh Neil Gaiman, you wonderful weird bastard, you.

    I really do agree that this is a book for all ages. I think kids could read it and love it, and so could teens and so will adults. Such a wide appeal. The fairytale aspect really works too – it's not too sickeningly sweet, or too dark, but a lovely balance of both.

    And I am right there with you on the hate-to-love relationships. I will ship Tristan and Yvaine FOREVER. They are pretty much perfect.

    YES I WISH THIS WAS LONGER. After the bit it to get going, I wanted more time before it ended . Sigh. I guess I will just have to keep rewatching the movies. Not like that is a problem… *replays for 14520957th time*

    Anyway! SO GLAD you ended up reading and enjoying this.
    My recent post 15 Day Blogger Challenge – Blog Appeal

  3. cfiel25

    I didn't read your review for fear of getting spoiled. This book is on my TBR pile and your 4.5 star rating makes me want to drool, Debby! Hahaha. 😀

  4. Shannelle (The Tracery of Ink)

    The Graveyard Book wasn't very remarkable for me, but this sounds promising. It doesn't really seem like it's geared for middle-grade kids, which was the whole reason why I couldn't fully enjoy The Graveyard Book.

    But I'm just so happy your review doesn't have any spoilers. I'm just so wary of Neil Gaiman now, but I want to love and read more of his work.
    My recent post What If: Goodreads Loses Its Power

  5. Catherine Siborutorop

    I’ve watched the movie and I truly loved it! I’m such a huge fan of fairytales and sweet romance. I’ve heard so many great things about Neil Gaiman, but I haven’t found the urge to read his books. Well, until now. Definitely on the top of my TBR list!

  6. […] “I think Neil Gaiman’s talent is obvious by how easily he creates a story that appeals to all ages. Stardust honestly has something for everyone: romance, adventure, magical creatures, even some graphic battles. Also, it is a rather simple and straightforward story, but it’s so meticulously worked out with beautiful details and intricacies. The story is just solid. It works, and it’ll work for almost every reader. I read it with full enjoyment the whole time. It’s the kind of book that can easily pull you out of a reading slump.” — Debby of Snuggly Oranges […]

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