Good Omens

by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman

This book focuses on an angel and a demon, who have developed a rather unlikely friendship, living on Earth as the apocalypse rapidly approaches with all its biblical promise.

This book was so hyped-up by my friends and by reviews I'd read that I actually avoided taking the plunge myself for a very long time, for fear of not experiencing the book properly for myself.  This was especially important since I'd enjoyed much of Pratchett's work and absolutely loved much of Gaiman's.

Eventually, however, I did get stuck in and, to my surprise, was still very disappointed.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the book; it's a witty and entertaining look not only at some religious conceits but also at the somewhat indolent modern world.  Pratchett makes his presence felt by any number of mind-bendingly comic concepts, as well as including an incarnation of Death which will be very familiar and very welcome to Discworld fans.  At the same time Gaiman adds his own dark irony to the mix and gives the book a tone appropriate to the impending Doomsday.

The problem is that I had hoped that the combined talents of the authors would be greater than the sum of their parts, which would truly have made it the comic fantasy great that everyone says it is.  Instead, each of the authors seem tied down by the other.  Pratchett is unable to really indulge his flights of fancy and Gaiman is unable to develop the richness and depth that you see in books like 'American Gods'.  I know many will think it sacrilege for me to say so, but I honestly think this book would have been better if written by either author alone, instead of as a collaboration.

Overall, an entertaining and witty book but which fails to live up to either the hype or the potential of these two great authors.

3 out of 5