An Aurora YA Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Standard

Rating:  5 stars out of 5

The Ocean at the End of the Lane cover The Ocean at the End of the Lane starts with a middle aged man heading back to his childhood home for a funeral, but it doesn’t stay there for long. Rather it goes back to when he was a child and the adventures he had with the mysterious Hempstock family down the road when he got a new babysitter who was more than she appeared to be.

This book was by far one of the best I had ever read. I went into it with very high hopes simply because I love most of Mr. Gaiman’s works. It exceeded every single one of my hopes for it. There was beautiful imagery, but without slowing down the pace or being too out of character for the point of view it was told from. He was able to tell the story while still adding in imagery that made it more interesting, without going on a tangent about what things looked like.

The story was interesting and the characters grabbed my attention and kept me caring what happened to them while still being realistic. The main character is a very young boy throughout the majority of the narrative and is kept accurate to being so young. There are times when he is exceptionally brave or clever, but never in a way that it is unbelievable for a boy of his age to be. For example, when the boy escapes his house and his evil babysitter, he’s smart enough to get away, but almost as soon as he gets to his neighbors’ house, he breaks down, which seemed very believable to me considering his age, without making him seem entirely helpless.

If I had to pick one thing I wasn’t overly fond of in this book, it would be that I didn’t care as much about the Hempstocks as I could have. However, as the story progressed, I began to like them more and more because they did seem to be almost arrogant, but then as the book went on it was made clear that they didn’t just talk, they could actually handle situations.

Cover Artist: I couldn’t find the actual cover artist.

At first glance, the cover of The Ocean at the End of the Lane is certainly interesting, and eye-catching. As I went on reading the book I did start to wonder where the cover fit into the story. By the end, I understood what it was and it became better for that understanding. Overall, the cover is fairly simplistic, but it does its job

Sales Links:  Amazon   The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Book Details:

ebook, 143 pages
Published June 18th 2013 by William Morrow; 1st edition (first published January 1st 2013)
original titleThe Ocean at the End of the Lane
edition languageEnglish
charactersLettie Hempstock, Ursula Monkton, The Nameless Boy
settingSussex, England (United Kingdom)

literary awardsNebula Award Nominee for Best Novel (2013), Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel (2014), Goodreads Choice for Best Fantasy (2013), Specsavers Book of the Year (2013), Paris Review Best of the Best (2013)