The Ocean at the End of the Lane

The Ocean at the End of the Lane CoverI want to call this post Neil Gaiman but, let’s be honest, there are going to be more Neil Gaiman posts and that’d just get confusing.

I am on vacation right now. The weather is amazing. There are mountains, that whole thing. And probably, somewhere out there, a bunch of fun-sounding stuff you can do on or near mountains – biking is different on them, they often have slides, rafting, there’s that insane thing where you get inside a giant inflatable ball and roll down them (hopefully that’s safer here than Russia but I probably wouldn’t do that even if I knew where to go).

But I brought books with me. So I’m indoors. I’ve got the window open so…that’s outdoorsy, right?

And one of the books I brought was The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Which I started reading this morning and am now done with. Which tells you several things: it’s very short (less than 200 pages), it’s also very good, and I am not really all that great at being outdoorsy. (I’m working on that last thing. We’ll see.) Oh and you can deduce that I am now hungry because reading and snacking are hard to do simultaneously.

This book, like everything else Neil Gaiman has ever done including his Christmas cards, is great. The characters are well developed, the plot is enthralling and believable and it is something about which I/you/the reader care and will need to read the conclusion. I even read the acknowledgements even though they start “This book is the book you have just read. It’s done. Now we’re in the acknowledgements. This is not really part of the book. You do not have to read it. It’s mostly just names.”

Literally the only complaint I have about this book is that it’s YA and I thought it was going to be not-YA. And that it’s too short. Okay, that’s two complaints. And now they’re done.

The protagonists are 7 and immortal-11 which made the book no less enthralling. And though there are plenty of adult characters, it’s very clearly the story of children. But it’s not written above them or down to them so it’s a perfectly fine book for all ages.

I’m going to go ahead and call it Science Fiction although that doesn’t feel exactly right. Because that means I get to rejoice about a thing that I so rarely get to in Science Fiction – the ladies! Are well represented! As fully rounded characters who are both good and evil, smart and dumb, you know like humans (although very few of them are humans). I’m just saying, there’s a lady monster who does terrible things but means well. So you should probably read it.

Oh, and my edition is a signed first edition. *Dances around*