Author: Neil Gaiman
Release Date: Original Release: 1993
Source: Scribd ebook subscription service
For 15 years, Tristan has tried to cope with hearing the thoughts of others. But that was child's play compared to what he must do now. When an old woman appears with a murderer hot on her trail, Tristan is thrust into a world of trickery and manipulation.
With secret societies tracking his every move, Tristan must find the possessed emerald he was destined to protect and learn to control powers he never knew he had. Only, Tristan never was any good at doing what he was supposed to and the consequences for screwing up now could cost him everything he's grown to love..
So, there is probably little I could say about this book that hasn't been said. But it is still one of my favorites, and I'm going to post a review anyway.
If you've never read Stardust, I highly recommend it. Neil Gaiman has a way of throwing out seemingly obscure and unimportant tidbits throughout the book, that more often than not turn out to be relevant later down the line. I think this is a great book to look at as a writer, because it shows how to mix humor, style, and good storytelling to engage and keep a reader throughout the novel. Everything the author does in this book feels intentional, which is a really good quality.
It may be odd to say this, but this is one of the few books I recommend watching the movie for as well. Rather than one being better than the other, I think the movie actually adds a little to it. The ending is different, but some of the smaller scenes really come to life on film (the lightning capturing, for instance). I think it's easy to miss things when you read this book, because you can initially dismiss them as being irrelevant. In the movie, smaller details seem to matter more, and it really illuminates how cleverly everything was worked in.
Overall, this is one of those books I would keep on my shelf just to revisit every once and awhile and smile a little.