Sunday, 26 July 2015

Death by Neil Gaiman **Review**

Death by Neil Gaiman
Series: The Sandman
Pages: 320
Publisher: Vertigo Comics
Release date: 1st April 2014
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon UK | Amazon US | Waterstones

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Goodreads synopsis:
From the pages of Newbery Medal winner Neil Gaiman's THE SANDMAN comes fan-favorite character Death in a collection of her solo adventures!

The first story introduces the young, pale, perky, and genuinely likable Death. One day in every century, Death walks the Earth to better understand those to whom she will be the final visitor. Today is that day. As a young mortal girl named Didi, Death befriends a teenager and helps a 250-year old homeless woman find her missing heart. What follows is a sincere musing on love, life and (of course) death.

In the second story, a rising star of the music world wrestles with revealing her true sexual orientation just as her lover is lured into the realm of Death that Death herself should make an appearance. A practical, honest, and intelligent story that illuminates "the miracle of death."

Plus, Death's first appearance from the SANDMAN series, her tale from SANDMAN: ENDLESS NIGHTS, and much more!

A friend of mine bought Death for me as a random present ... simply because he thought I would fall in love with her character. My friend was absolutely spot on!
I have to admit that I have never read any of The Sandman (although I do have the first volume waiting for me on my shelves now), so Death was an entirely new character to me. By the end of the first story in this collection, however, I really felt like I'd gotten to know her, so by the time I got to the first longer story (there are two in here that are longer and split into three chapters each), I felt I knew her well. Those two longer stories, as it happens, were my favourites, and I really enjoyed how the human characters reappeared in the later stories.

Something I was a little worried about is the art style and how easy I'd find it to become immersed in the story ... the art is very busy in places and quite sketchy ... but I found I had no problems at all. The dialogue was easy to follow (in all but one of the stories, where cursive text is used for the narrative) and I was sucked into the story immediately.

The reason I have given Death 4 stars instead of 5 is because although I really enjoyed the earlier stories, and the two longer, chaptered stories, I didn't enjoy the final story (Death and Venice) quite as much. Although it was okay, I found the other stories far more engaging; I cared about the human characters more and they made more sense (Death and Venice only really made sense at the end, but it didn't feel as rewarding as the others). And as I have already said, I found the cursive text used for the narrative of this story quite difficult to read. (But I did enjoy Death's shorter, pixie haircut ... very cute!).
And the Death Gallery at the very end of the volume adds something extra special to the book as a whole – this is definitely something I will flick through and admire again!

Although I am already an established Neil Gaiman fan, I had never experienced any of his graphic novels before now. But after this wholly enjoyable experience, I know it shan't be my last! I'm ready to get stuck into The Sandman series, and into the two more of graphic novels I have waiting for my attention.
If, like me, you have never had the pleasure of reading a Neil Gaiman graphic novel, make sure you pick this one up – you're in for a treat.


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