Title: The Sandman and the War of Dreams
Author: William Joyce
Page count: 222
Rating: 4/5 stars
*this a spoiler-free review, but some spoilers may slip in accidentally. If you find one, grab `em in the neck and hand `em right over to me, kay?
The Sandman and the War of Dreams is the most recent instalment in the Guardians of Childhood series. You know, that one series that was also the inspiration for the Rise of the Guardians book, and the one I`ve already done several reviews for.
This is, like I said, the most recent instalment. It`s the 4th book in the series, which means the storyline is by now well underway. And wow, are things getting dramatic.
New characters get introduced, the story develops, things get darker and darker, the background stories are worked out even more, making you feel ALL the things. No really: what Pitch has done throughout the books is inexcusable, but once you see where he came from you`ll find you have a lot more pity for him than expected.
These books, although aimed at children, have very adult themes going on. Orphans, abandonment, growing up, war. These are just some of the themes I have picked up. And it may be because I look at these books from a (semi-) adult perspective, but beneath the simplified language -albeit with more advanced level words thrown in casually- and the main, basic storyline, there is a rich background with interesting and complicated characters. I even found some Shakespeare references (only realised recently because I don`t actually have any experience with Shakespeare).
So why, you ask, only 4 out of 5 stars? Why not the 5th one as well?
Really the main reason for that is because of the promise of a certain character, who did not show up in the end. I`m still hoping he`ll be there in the last book, but so far, alas. I have also by now noticed some discrepancies in the continuity. Bits and pieces of the story`s history change according to which book you`re reading.
This 4th book also felt strangely rushed to me, like Joyce was in a hurry to finish it for some reason.
Still, if you liked the other books in the series, I recommend reading it. It was exhilarating, exciting, very dramatic but it also cleared up a lot of mystery and background story.
If you haven`t read the other books yet: go read them first. You`ll need the background story. But do read them: they`re good. (And they look very pretty on your bookshelves)