This is a book I got as a Christmas gift from my youngest sister’s boyfriend. I believe he said it was his favorite book. I’ve read a couple books by Neil Gaiman and liked them. So I figured this would probably be a good read as well. I’ve not read any Terry Pratchett, although the titles of many of his books are pretty humorous.
This is kind of a fun look at the end of the world. Now, I almost put the book down right away when it started talking about how old the Earth is. When it said dinosaurs weren’t real? Well, as a former science teacher, I just about was done with that. But, I gave it a shot, as I know it was supposed to be funny, and in a way, reminded me of episodes of Supernatural. Which I guess that show would have to not think dinosaurs were real, and I love that show. It also began by reminding me of another favorite book of mine by Christopher Moore, Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal.
The book begins with an angel and a demon, Azariphale, and Crowley. I love the name Crowley too, as it is one of the big demon guys in Supernatural. And they both get the message that it is time to start the end of the world. By the delivery of the baby that will be the Antichrist, and he must be switched with another baby. Well, the switch goes wrong, and the baby doesn’t end up with the family it is supposed to be with. And so as certain people, nannies, tutors, etc., are sent to help get him ready to end the world, it doesn’t seem to work. Plus, the angel and demon we met at the beginning? Well they both kind of like humans, and don’t really want the world to end. So the angel sends people to try to counter the evil of the nanny, etc. At a certain age, a dog is supposed to go meet the Antichrist. Crowley is waiting to see it, but it never shows up. At least not with the child they’d thought was the Antichrist. Instead we soon learn that the baby went to a small town and grew up pretty normal. Now, things may happen that are unexplained, but nothing major. And he does get a dog, but the dog isn’t quite what is expected, or at least it changes. Now, all of these events have been predicted by a witch named Agnes Nutter. And some other characters in the story are Witch Finders, who are supposed to find them, and of course burn them. And then we also have a witch that lives in the small town, or has just moved to the small town, where the true Antichrist lives.
It’s a lot funnier than I make it sound. There were parts I had a little bit of an out loud chuckle. In the fashion of British humor I guess you would say. I did notice that one of my favorite authors, Maggie Stiefvater, gave the book 5 stars. Which doesn’t surprise me really, as her Raven Cycle books include ley lines, which it talks about in this book as well. If you enjoy parodies of religious stories, and British parodies of anything, you will enjoy this book.