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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

160) Stiltskin by Andrew Buckley

The Blurb :

What would you do if you found an evil dwarf in your bathtub?

In Robert Darkly’s case you scream like a girl… and then you get taken on a journey to an entirely different world living just on the other side of our own reality; a world where fairy tales are real but not in the way we’ve come to expect them.

The aforementioned dwarf, Rumpelstiltskin, has escaped the Tower prison of Thiside determined to finish the sinister plot he started so many years ago.

Robert Darkly, oblivious that he is the son of the Mad Hatter, must partner with the mysterious ‘Agency’ to pursue Rumpelstiltskin across our world and the world of Thiside and uncover the treacherous secret that threatens to throw both realities into eternal chaos.

My Thoughts :

The first book I read in 2013 was called Death, the Devil, and the Goldfish.  It was as weird as the title makes it sound but it was a wonderfully fun read and I loved it.  So when the author asked if I would like to read his new book I couldn't say no.  I had no idea what to expect from Stiltskin but I knew that if the author kept to the surreal and witty style I experienced from his debut book then I was going to adore it.

Just like Andrew's first book the reader gets thrown into the deep end straight away.  Expect the unexpected, be prepared for anything and ignore that feeling of being totally out of your depth.  Stiltskin confuses, surprises and explores some places you didn't want to go but within a few chapters you are guaranteed to be hooked and eager to see how all the mess gets cleaned up. After all it isn't every day someone finds an armed dwarf in their bathtub.

As Stiltskin unravels you can't help but grow attached to the characters.  The strange world and the concept it houses is not an easy one to put down.  The enchanting mix of Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of OZ and various fairy tales is fun and well put together.  I enjoyed figuring out the references and piecing together who was who.  It was clever and well thought out, something to be admired.

Any Jasper Fforde or Douglas Adams fan will fall in love with this author after reading a few pages.  There are some shocking similarities and a few big differences between Buckley and these famous authors but they all have an unique, wacky and fantastic imagination.   While there is a lot to laugh and giggle at inside the pages of Stiltskin, there are also some pretty serious moments and a huge amount of mystery.  The book manages to be dark and twisted at the right moment and light and fluffly the next.  A great combination, a work of art.

So I am highly recommending this second release from Andrew Buckley.  It was an excellent read and even though it didn't win me over as much as Death, the Devil, and the Goldfish, it has still left me eager for more and has secured the author a place on my must read list.   So try this out if you want something different, need a trip away from your boring life or don't mind going down the rabbit hole.  The yellow brick road will show you the way but beware of werewolves and the other weird things running around.

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