Monday, May 4, 2009

The Skellig by David Almond (5/5 stars)

This book was recommended to me because I like "The Graveyard Book" by Neil Gaiman. This book was very much in a similar writing style Gaiman's work. The story telling in this book is superb. The book itself is a short but sweet story.

Michael and his family have just moved into a new home. Unfortunately Michael's baby sister was born way too early and she is very sick. Micheal is struggling with his parents' lack of attention as they try to deal with saving his little sister's life; when he stumbles into the shed in their backyard to find a parched, old crusty man alive in the back corner. The old man calls himself a Skellig; exactly what is a Skellig?

I thought this book was excellent. The story telling was top notch. The characterization was wonderful; I thought Michael's character was well done and even the parents were well characterized. This is a very short book but is a great littlenovella . The plot moved quickly and was full of mystery and suspense. It was interesting that the story ties in with deeper aspects of life; like dreams and spirituality. Some parts were a bit of tear jerker as Micheal's baby sister fights for her life, but the Skellig was a truly intriguing character.

Almond's writing is detailed and brings both the characters and surroundings alive; he manages to add a sort of thought-provokingvagueness to aspects of the story while brushing against some things that humanity struggles with as a whole. I was surprised at how deep and well told this little story was. It's a book that I am keeping on my shelf and it made me want to read many more of David Almond's books. He seems to be a very creative and adept storyteller.

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