2 Book Reviews

Title: The Sandman vol. 9: The Kindly Ones
Author: Neil Gaiman
Genre: Graphic novel
Pages: Hardback, 352
Published: 1996

"Distraught by the kidnapping and presumed death of her son, and believing Morpheus to be responsible, Lyta Hall calls the ancient wrath of the Furies down upon him. A former superheroine blames Morpheus for the death of her child and summons an ancient curse of vengeance against the Lord of Dream. The "kindly ones" enter his realm and force a sacrifice that will change the Dreaming forever."

Thoughts: While this is the second-to-last in The Sandman series, I would argue that it actually brings everything full-circle and wraps up the series. In some ways, the series doesn't always seem to follow one storyline; however, The Kindly Ones brings in threads from several of the previous volumes. In that way, I feel that it is truly the end of the series. Gaiman takes a lot of the loose ends in previous books, brings them together, explains them, and ties them up nicely for an end.

This is the longest of The Sandman series sitting at 352 pages. But it also encompasses several sub-plots. Unlike the previous books where it is sometimes hard to see the connection between the disjoint plots, Gaiman does a wonderful job of showing the interplay between everything. Even the simple boon asked by Nuala is shown to have serious consequences.

The Kindly Ones was amazing! I had a hard time putting it down. If it wasn't obvious that Gaiman is a master storyteller, I feel that this graphic novel really showcases that. And, unlike previous volumes, I felt the art style was able to lend to that. Normally, I would not appreciate Marc Hempel's style, but something about it really worked for the story.

"The Kindly Ones was obviously meant to be the grand finale that capstones the Sandman experience and it succeeds on every level."

Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Currently: This Side of the Grave by Jeanene Frost
Pages: 5242
Horror/Urban Fantasy Challenge: 11/24


Title: The Sandman vol. 10: The Wake
Author: Neil Gaiman
Genre: Graphic novel
Pages: Hardback, 192
Published: 1997

"The King of Dreams is dead -- long live the King of Dreams. Now ancient gods, old friends and enemies gather to pay tribute and to remember in the strangest wake ever held.

"The echoes of the death reverberate in the final volume in the story of The Sandman: we see them touch a man who will not die, and a Chinese sage whose path into exile takes him through a desert of dreams. And, at the end of his life, William Shakespeare fulfills his side of a very strange bargain."
~ Jacket copy
Thoughts: As far as The Sandman series goes, this was a disappointment. The first part of the graphic novel follows a wake for Morpheus. It is attended by all of the dreamers, gods, some old enemies, and The Endless. At some level, everyone knows him and remembers him. While it is strange, I would argue that it is typical for a wake. However, Dream -- the new Dream King -- cannot attend the wake.

As stated in the jacket copy, the rest of the graphic novel briefly follows Hob at a renaissance faire, a Chinese sage going into exile, and Shakespeare completing his final play for Morpheus. I could understand and see the connection between all of these stories and the final wake/funeral of Morpheus; however, I felt that they did nothing for the story. The opening part was really interesting, but everything following was boring. At several points, alluded to Dream bringing everyone together to formally introduce himself to his siblings. I wish this had happened.

It just fell short.

Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆
Currently: This Side of the Grave by Jeanene Frost
Pages: 5242
Current Progress:
17/50 books


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    "If you’re a freak like me, Wave your flag! If you’re a freak like me, Get off your ass! It’s our time now, To let it all hang out!" I am a recovering English major, closet bibliophile, breve addicted, zombie lover with a rockabilly and heavy metal fetish.