Probably hard to have two more contrasting books in the one review as Iron Gold by Pierce Brown and Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, but here I am, revelling in it. I’ve been trying to catch up on some reading around writing and work, and I'm most definitely better for it. Sweet jebus, they're excellent. And I mean, just the banter between Aziraphale and Crowley warms my heart.
I know the TV series of Good Omens is coming, which is part of the reason I wanted to make sure I’d read the novel before its release. However, if Good Omens TV is anything like American Gods TV… holy hell, I am E.X.C.I.T.E.D.
Good Omens is the perfect amount of humor, light and dark, when approaching a topic like the end of the world, the end of days and the four horsemen of the apocalypse actually riding toward their apocalypse. Gaiman and Pratchett (seemingly effortlessly, though I suspect there was actually a great deal of effort involved) create characters you can't help but admire and cheer for, even when they're the antichrist, or a demon.
Take Crowley for example. As per my twitter feed, I actually want to date Crowley, the 'Angel who did not so much Fall as Saunter Vaguely Downwards'. This will only be aided by the fact he's being played by David Tennant, btw.
If you haven't had the pleasure of Good Omens yet, I highly recommend it (re: read it you pillocks).
In other news, I also recently finished #IronGold by Pierce Brown.
On a whim last year I picked #RedRising off the shelf in a local bookstore. As I was reading the cover, trying to decide if sci-fi space was the new fantasy direction I wanted to take myself, a random customer walked by and said ‘oh, that series is amazing. I finished it last week’. Smiled. Then walked away.
Personally, I never have other customers tell me about their reading materials. Half the time everyone in the bookstore seems to be like me; slightly introverted and having emerged briefly from their caverns to restock the TBR pile. The sales staff will of course offer recommendations, and I know they have to, but hearing it from a passerby kind of sold me on it.
I paid. I left.
Truthfully I’m a little in awe of Brown’s storytelling. I feel like a novice when I finish one of his books. He didn’t just reimagine the world - he reimagined the entire fucking universe. Planets that are terraformed, cultures within cultures, segregation across star systems and a hierarchy that breaks down personality archetypes and social constructs within our own society that pretend to define a persons worth. Its /phenomenal/.
When I finished #RedRising, I raced down to the bookstore before it could close and bought #GoldenSon and #MorningStar. At the end of #MorningStar, I sat for half an hour and just… let my brain melt. At the time, I didn’t know #IronGold was coming. I didn’t know there was going to be more to one of my new favourite series. I wasted away in the land of Bereft of Books.
Then, a few weeks later, hope…
Browsing twitter, I caught wind of Iron Gold’s coming release. I nearly imploded.
And better yet, (#SPOILERS AHEAD) Iron Gold is no longer just Darrow’s story. The novel instead follows multiple people’s POV, all of them vastly different after the war. In the beginning, we followed Darrow because he was redefining the world from the ground up, from the lowest colour to the highest. Now we see what that actually meant not just for Red but for Grey, Gold, Obsidian; everyone. We see that even his own colour doesn’t necessarily believe in him anymore, even though his conviction to do the best for EVERY colour has not changed.
Side note: Darrow and Sevro’s relationship is still something I adore, and I wonder even now if I’d have what it takes to be a Howler.
I won’t say anymore, because in truth, I want everyone to read it. I want everyone to tell me what they loved and what they hated; I want people to commiserate with me over the people lost and decisions made. I want to share in this with other readers, not explain it.
So please, read it if you haven’t. Then come to me and yell at me for ruining your day by recommending it. Totally cool, I can take it. Just so long as someone is there to share the emotions with me!