Recommended Age: 18+
Tags: British, Religion, Angels and Demons, War, Diversity
- Mature language: many F bombs, along with other swearing and crude terms.
- Moderate violence: descriptions of murder and torture.
- Moderate sexuality: allusions to sex, sexual humor, and brief kissing scenes.
If you enjoyed the Amazon series for Good Omens, you would definitely like the book. Some stories have a bigger gap between page to screen, but the author made sure all the changes were ones that helped the story fit the visual dynamic in a way that stays true to the tone.
This book opens with Aziraphale, an angel, and Crowley, a demon, discussing the difference between right and wrong while watching Adam and Eve leave the Garden of Eden.
Fast forward to the 21st century: a baby Anti-Christ is placed on the Earth, destined to lead the world to an Apocalypse. Unfortunately, the Satanist Nuns misplace him and he ends up in a normal family, uneducated on good and evil. Crowley and Aziraphale are best friends now, having lived on Earth a long time and feeling distanced from their coworkers. They are supposed to be keeping tabs on the Anti-Christ, but it takes them 11 years to figure out they’ve got the wrong kid, which sends them into a frenzy as they work desperately with some surprising characters to track him down.
The plot switches between Crowley and Aziraphale, the Four Horsemen, Anathema the descendent of Agnes Nutter, and Adam Young and his merry gang of the Them.
Everyone has their view of how the Apocalypse should turn out but ultimately, unlike in the beginning of the story, it’s Adam’s choice.
Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchet wrote this book together, and it feels like they were trying to outdo each other with quirky humor. Gaiman admitted that Crowley is loosely based on himself, and it makes me wonder if Aziraphale is somewhat similar to Pratchet. Crowley and Aziraphale are the main plot, giving the reader a careless and ironic approach to a very religious topic.
Anathema feels the weight of her ancestor’s prophesies, to the point of basing all of her actions on Agnes’ book: The Nice and Accurate Prophesies of Agnes Nutter. Agnes knew that one day her descendent would become friends with the Anti-Christ, and enlighten him with life-changing views that could influence the Apocalypse. But, like everyone else, Anathema is completely affected by Adam’s devilish charisma.
No one, not even Adam, knows who he truly is.
Adam Young is a typical British schoolboy with doting parents and a dog (who used to be a hellhound). He has great friends and fun adventures, and somehow no one can say no to him or remember when he’s supposed to be in trouble. His hometown summers are always blissfully warm, and he always has a perfectly white Christmas. In other words, he lives an elevated life beyond the usual ups and downs of life and weather. Adam has no idea why he’s a charismatic kid, he’s never known anything different. But sometimes, if he really searches, he can feel an underlying power just waiting to be unleashed.
This book has religion in it, it deals with angels and demons, but it’s not religious. It isn’t moralistic, it’s casually satirical and witty. It’s full of randomness and clever witticisms and satirical humor. It doesn’t take life, or itself, too seriously because why bother with such seriousness when you can just go home and have a cup of tea anyhow?
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