Book Review: Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

Rating: ★ ★
Genre: Fantasy
Publication Date: May 1, 1990
Format: Kindle
Length: 412 pages
Description from Goodreads:

According to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes NutterWitch (the world’s only completely accurate book of prophecies, written in 1655, before she exploded), the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday, in fact. Just before dinner.

So the armies of Good and Evil are amassing, Atlantis is rising, frogs are falling, tempers are flaring. Everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. Except a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon—both of whom have lived amongst Earth’s mortals since The Beginning and have grown rather fond of the lifestyle—are not actually looking forward to the coming Rapture.

And someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist . . . 

I first learned about this book back at NYCC when they were doing a bunch of panels about the upcoming TV show. When I got home, I looked up the book and thought that it seemed like an interesting story. Fast forward a few months and I’ve finally gotten around to reading it.

I didn’t end up loving the book like I thought I did, but I loved the premise, so I’m still going to watch the show. Maybe I’ll enjoy the story in a different medium? (Plus, let’s be honest, it’s kind of hard to dislike anything with David Tennant in it…)

Characters

I loved Crowley and Aziraphale, and I think that’s largely why I was disappointed in this book. I was so into these characters when they were introduced, but then suddenly all these other random characters and random subplots were introduced and we don’t hear about Crowley and Aziraphale for several chapters. That’s why I think I’ll enjoy the TV show more, because from what I’ve seen so far, it seems like the show will focus more on the two of them.

I think maybe I just don’t like Neil Gaiman, because I’m pretty sure this was a complaint I had about American Gods too. I like books with multiple viewpoints, but in Gaiman’s books, those viewpoints seem to be randomly introduced and sometimes the characters don’t even become main characters. It’s hard to get invested in a character when you don’t know if they’re even going to be in the rest of the story, so I always feel a bit detached when I read his stuff.

I like being able to latch on the characters and follow their journeys throughout the story, and I just didn’t really get that from this book.

There were also a few groups of characters (mainly the Them) that I found really annoying and always wanted to skip ahead when I got to scenes with them in it.

Setting

I loved the setting of this book. I love London, so it’s almost guaranteed that I’ll love any book set there. I also loved the idea that there are angels and demons walking around disguised as humans. It’s such an interesting premise for a book.

Plot

When I learned what this book was about, I was so onboard with it. I love the idea of a demon and an angel teaming up and working together to stop the apocalypse. I thought the overall plot and some of the subplots were incredibly clever. But like I said above, I think there was just a bit too much going on for me.

I liked the beginning and I liked the end, but just couldn’t get into the main part of the story.

Pacing

Meh. I felt like the addition of random characters and weird subplots kind of threw off the pacing for me a bit. Maybe it was just the mood I was in when reading, but it always took me a while to realize that what was happening was part of the bigger story and not just some random scene.

Writing quality

I think the prose in the book is lovely. This book is hilarious and that’s largely is a testament to the writing.

There’s no doubting that Neil and Terry are some of the greats and it definitely shows.

But, there were a few moments that felt a bit like they were trying too hard to be clever. This was especially true when I was really into the story and felt like the plot was being put on hold for the sake of a joke.

Overall

I felt pretty disappointed throughout most of this book, which was a shame because I tried so hard to love it. Hopefully the TV show will change my mind on the story. I think it’s a great premise, the book just wasn’t for me, unfortunately.

10 thoughts on “Book Review: Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

    • Jenna says:

      Yeah, it’s a bummer, but I’m glad that so many people seem to love it. Just wasn’t for me. But David Tennant can do no wrong, so I’m sure the show will be great!

      Like

  1. quiteayarnblog says:

    I really loved Good Omens! Sorry to hear it didn’t grab you, but then not everything will 🙂 On another note, I just finished The Rest of Us Just Live Here – clever and funny! I really enjoyed it quite a bit, so thanks for the recommendation!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna says:

      I know that I’m definitely in the minority on not liking Good Omens. Pretty much everyone I know who has read it is in love with it. Guess it just wasn’t for me, but maybe I’ll revisit it after the show comes out to see if I feel differently.

      And ah, that’s so exciting! I’m glad you enjoyed it. It’s such a fun little read. Always makes me wonder what’s going on with the background characters in other books I read 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • quiteayarnblog says:

        There are always going to be thing that just aren’t for you. I have stuff like that – everyone likes it, I feel like I should too, but I just don’t! I’m a little dubious about the show, to be honest. But hopefully it’s good!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jenna says:

        So true. There are so many things that I’ve hated over the years that I’ve tried to force myself into liking because everyone else did. Finally stepping back and understanding I don’t have to love the same things as everyone else.

        And yeah, don’t really know how it’s gonna play out. But it seems like Neil Gaiman had a lot of input and is proud of it, so I’m hopeful. I’m honestly 90% into it only because of David Tennant 😀

        Liked by 1 person

    • Jenna says:

      I think I may have to read it again at some point because everyone I talk to seems to love it, haha. Maybe I just wasn’t in the mood for it at the time? And yeah, I hope I at least enjoy the show!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kaleena @ Reader Voracious says:

        No book is for everyone, so don’t feel like you need to re-read this to see if you “get it” a second time. I HATED Six of Crows and DNF’d it after two attempts and only getting 70 pages in. That’s a story I look forward to consuming on Netflix because the writing style isn’t for me. lol

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jenna says:

        So true. I feel like in this case I might enjoy it down the road? I don’t know. It truly just feels like I wasn’t in the mood for this type of book at the time. Though I guess I haven’t really enjoyed any of Gaiman’s other books so maybe I’d still hate it, lol. I guess I’ll see if I ever do try to reread it. And fair enough, I hope you enjoy the Netflix series. I haven’t read those books and don’t really have any interest, but maybe I’ll catch it on Netflix too.

        Liked by 1 person

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