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The Ocean at the end of the lane: Neil Gaiman

I loved this book. It’s my favourite to date by Gaiman. It’s packed with thought-provoking deep-rooted questions of what is real and imagined, and the power of persuasion and magic. Gaiman always writes poetically, moving at a reasonable pace that I wouldn’t call thriller, but not epic fantasy either. The pace felt natural and exactly what the book needed. I had chills at moments in the story and when it ended, even weeks later, I found myself thinking about it.

The main character (never named) is a perfect age for this mix of unreliability and magic in the narration, and took me back to a time when I was a child. I considered what it would mean to face the evil he faced. The moment the main character is pulling a worm out of his foot, I’m locked in.

The theme of this book that resonated most with me is the thin line between reality and fantasy for a boy coming of age, losing his innocence. There is certainly moments where he has to confront his fear of Ursulu (the villain), and his father who is questionably under Ursulu’s control.

The story takes place mainly near the main character’s home, Lettie’s home and the fields and forest in between – of course we can’t forget the Ocean at the End of the Lane, which sets up the whole story.

I didn’t think there were any weaknesses in the story, characters or plot. If there were, I was too absorbed in the story to notice. I can’t even come up with the title of a book that’s similar, because it’s so unique in its blending magic and reality.

If you love a little magic mixed in with a boy’s coming of age story, you’ll love this one. I highly recommend it.

Check out the book here.

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