My rating: 4 of 5 stars
“Fat Charlie Nancy’s normal life ended the moment his father dropped dead on a Florida karaoke stage. Charlie didn’t know his dad was a god. And he never knew he had a brother.
Now brother Spider’s on his doorstep – about to make Fat Charlie’s life more interesting….and a lot more dangerous.”
With the summary on the back, you’d think this would be an okay story – maybe. If you didn’t know Neil Gaiman’s brilliance before starting to read this, you might doubt the quality of this tale. I even doubted the quality – I don’t even know why.
You’re wrong. I was wrong. This was a great story.
If you want a book that will literally have you on the edge of your seat – and I am using literally correctly here – waiting to see what will happen and how things going wrong will be fixed – this might be for you.
So much went wrong, and Neil Gaiman beautifully moves the characters into different situations like chess pieces, making a seemingly simple situation into a tangled ball of yarn that eventually finds itself untangled – and when finally everything is calm, you’re almost shocked that everyone is okay, that nothing, in all reality, has gone majorly awry.
Characters have changed and grown, and have been put through the ringer, but there’s this strange feeling you get at the end – that despite all of that, everything will be fine.
You almost convince yourself that if any of these things happened to you, that you might have a chance of getting through them. Or you’re able to compare problems in your life with the problems of Charlie Nancy, and Spider, and all the other characters that are sprinkled throughout the plot, and say to yourself, “Well, this problem isn’t as bad as that. How can I fix it? How can I get through this?”
You worry for Charlie Nancy, and Spider, and even the villain that you’re supposed to hate for putting Charlie through so much trouble.
All of the characters are humans, or are human-like, and therefore you cheer for them every step of the way.
If you’ve read Neil Gaiman before, this is almost as good, if not as good, as Neverwhere, and Good Omens. If you haven’t read Neil Gaiman before, I recommend you do. Whether it’s with this book or any other book he’s written.