The Sandman by Neil Gaiman | Book Review
Captured by a cult for nefarious reasons, the King of the Dream realm lies within a crystal prison. Morpheus bides his time, denying the cult even the sound of his voice. After all, what is a human life to one of the endless? But as Morpheus waits for his chance to escape, his realm is collapsing. When at long last the moment of escape arrives, Morpheus finds he has much work to do. Revenge is only the beginning of his tale. Morpheus must collect his stolen tools, rebuild the Realm of Dreams, and capture his freed nightmares.
The audiobook for The Sandman was remarkable. While the story is primarily dialogue-based due to its origins as a graphic novel, there was no confusion or lack of detail evident in the audio recording. The settings were created by a combination of ambient sounds and vocal clues from the characters within them. And the voice acting was so well done, bringing the various characters and creatures to life with unique dialects and accents. There were some moments I found it hard to understand certain characters due to their way of speech, but it made them feel all the more authentic.
The Sandman is not a tale for those faint of heart. Neil Gaiman spares no details as he dives into the dark side of humanity. From humans that will create nightmares to amuse themselves, to the nightmares themselves that use humans for entertainment. There are many facets of savagery and violence shown. Morpheus does what he can to amend the wrongs brought to those undeserving. However, if anyone so much as crosses Morpheus or brings harm to innocents, he will not hesitate to bring about his form of justice. Some may even find themselves living an eternal nightmare.
A few plot lines are left hanging in the balance by the end of this collection. Any story with planned sequels should have some amount of mystery left to solve. But there are characters introduced early on who did not quite line up with the story direction. For instance, there is the universe’s attempt at creating a Sandman when Morpheus is imprisoned. The new hero is a mortal who puts villains to sleep for a swift capture. But as Morpheus’ story progresses, the Sandman fades away. In later chapters, Morpheus takes up the title instead. I hope to see some of the loose ends tied up in later volumes. There is much left to explore in the world of The Sandman.
While I am not a graphic novel reader, I enjoyed the tie-in to the DC Universe. Fans of DC will certainly enjoy the cameo appearances of familiar characters. The Sandman is a thrilling and fast-paced adventure into the heart of humanity’s darkness. With much lore left to discover and a cast of characters yet to be fully realized, I look forward to the second audiobook.
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