The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman


A man returns to his childhood home in Sussex, England, and memories from his childhood come flooding back to him, nagging at him, drawing him to the home of a childhood playmate, Lettie, and events that, looking back, don’t seem like anything other than fantasy. What was real, what was the imagination of a lonely little boy? Evil creatures, world domination, murder, the spirit world and much more will lead readers into a whirlwind of action and fantasy.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman,   is in the genre that I lovingly refer to as “Magical Realism”, and it doesn’t come up on my site very often because it is a bit of a dark horse in the world of literature. Magical Realism simply means that the author has taken “real” life people and settings and inserted fantasy and/or magical elements into that world. Neil Gaiman has a number of novels on my top favorites list, and if you haven’t read him, but you like dark fantasy, you don’t want to miss out on his work. Examples of other magical realism novels are:

Neil Gaiman’s “Neverwhere

John Connolly’s “The Book of Lost Things

Christopher Moore’s “Practical Demonkeeping

Ransom Riggs’ “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Doyce Testerman’s “Hidden Things

Anyone who likes to see an average person suddenly brought into a situation involving evil fantastical beings will probably like this genre and The Ocean at the End of the Lane would be a good place to test out those waters. Check it out if you dare.

Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

Diana Bishop is back in the second installment in the All Souls Trilogy-the first book of which was called A Discovery of Witches and was insanely popular among paranormal romance readers. In Shadow of Night, Diana and the sexy vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont have time traveled back to Elizabethan England to find the famous manuscript, Ashmole 782,  that started the saga in the first novel. Diana and Matthew must get the manuscript to keep it out of the wrong hands, and every supernatural creature wants the book for his kind, and is willing to take out Diana and Matthew in the process-but the hero and heroine are determined to save the supernatural world by preserving the book and the current status quo between the species.

Christopher Marlowe, William Shakespeare, Queen Elizabeth, and MANY other historical figures make their way into the plot of the story, so if you love historical fiction, you will be tickled by the references made and the excellent attention to detail that the author, Deborah Harkness, is well-known for. If you read the first novel, you won’t want to miss the second, and if you haven’t, I suggest you start from the beginning!

Readers who enjoyed The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, by Katherine Howe, and The Witch’s Daughter, by Paula Brackston, will love the A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night. Paranormal romance with a touch of history and elements of magic with hints of time travel….