Stardust by Neil Gaiman
As always, Neil Gaiman is amazing. As far as I’m concerned, everything he touches turns to gold. This fairy tale is about a boy who grew up in a town just outside Faerie. He sees a falling star, and tells a girl that he will go find that star and bring it back to her. So he sets off into Faerie, and has many adventures along the way, of course. He finds that the star is a person, and that a witch is after her, and meets two brothers questing for the rock that knocked the star out of the sky. The world of this tale is slightly sexier and more violent than in most children’s books (which is why it’s marketed for adults), while also being whimsical, colorful, and slightly silly at times. If that seems a strange mix, a delicate tone to set, that’s because it is, and it works because Neil Gaiman is just that good.
I listened to the audiobook of this novel, which was read by the author. Neil Gaiman really has a great voice for storytelling, very soothing and atmospheric and humorous. At the end of the book, there was a recording of an interview with him, where he talked about writing across several genres, the story behind Stardust and its different versions, as well as the process of making an audiobook.