Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Genres: Childrens, Fantasy, Horror, Illustrated
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: 2002

3 OUT OF 5 STARS

“’Because,’ she said, ‘when you’re scared but you still do it anyway, that’s brave.’”

The locked door leads straight into a brick-wall, or at least it did until Coraline opened it again. On the other side is a world much like her own, populated by her other mother and her other father. They’re nearly the same as her real ones, save for the fact they have black button eyes and are much more exciting. It’s a nice place to visit, but Coraline doesn’t think she’d want to stay. Her other mother has other plans. She wants Coraline to stay. Forever.

A short book with a small cast which Gaiman has written fantastically. Coraline manages to be heroic without ever seeming too old. The other mother and her creations are all fabulously twisted. The cat is just as a cat should be, mysterious, aloof and just slightly affectionate.

The world Gaiman spins is whimsical, but not large. The book is simple and straight forward (as children’s books often are) but that didn’t damage it’s pleasantness. It’s fast pace both helps and hinders the tale. While there is barely time for a dull moment so much is left unanswerd and unexplored. What is the Other Mother, what is the tunnel. Gaiman has set up a world and left a great portion of it a mystery. A few more explanations, or even a more clear-cut ending would have made the book quite a bit more enjoyable.

Delightfully creepy if a bit of a bare-bones tale. As stated before the characters ARE wonderful, but some are barely fleshed out. Coraline has depth but even her real parents don’t feel quite real. The story was also rather predictable. It would have been nice to see a bit more flourish to create depth in Coraline’s real world, and perhaps a bit more mythology to support the tale. As it is the story was exciting but feels slightly hollow at the end.

BUY THE BOOK

Read this if you’re a fan of: Alice in Wonderland

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