I finally read my first Neil Gaiman book - ever! And oh boy it was just as, if not more, beautiful as I expected. Stardust is brilliant. It reads just like a fairytale, and Neil Gaiman shows what a brilliant storyteller he is.
I think Neil Gaiman's talent is obvious by how easily he creates a story that appeals to all ages. Stardust honestly has something for everyone: romance, adventure, magical creatures, even some graphic battles. Also, it is a rather simple and straightforward story, but it's so meticulously worked out with beautiful details and intricacies. The story is just solid. It works, and it'll work for almost every reader. I read it with full enjoyment the whole time. It's the kind of book that can easily pull you out of a reading slump.
So I loved every bit of the adventure - not much to say there - and of course, the romance between Tristran and Yvaine worked absolutely perfectly for me. I'm such a huge fan of hate-to-love romance progressions, and this was yet another great one. Even at the end, there's some quote about more or less how being called an idiot was the best thing. That gets me every time :') Maybe the transition could have been expanded a little more to make it more gradual and memorable, but I honestly loved it anyway.
If I have to nitpick, I'll say that the beginning was quite slow, with the story starting focused on Tristran's father and mother, before his birth. Though it was more or less a prologue, it took quite some time and I hadn't seen the movie recent enough to remember where the story was going at that point. The story really picked up for me when Tristran finally set out on his adventure. Then I became addicted to turning the pages. And a second minor point would be that I wish the story was a bit longer. A lot of the adventure part and the development of the romance were just so quick... It left me wanting more! (But is that really that negative? My gut says no.)
This story was beautiful, the writing was so fluid and amazing, and it was just like a fairytale; Stardust definitely lives up to its reputation. I can easily see why so many people love it and pick it as their favorite Gaiman book. As for me, I'm so excited now to read more of his books little by little (and hey, I already read Coraline, and that review will be up next). He really is a natural storyteller and I can't wait to go on more of his adventures. And Stardust is a book I'll happily recommend to any reader.