Those of you who read and love Neil Gaiman’s works know his books always take readers on adventures. I’m not sure how he did it, but he has two books out this year – one for adults and one for children – and both are magical.
In The Ocean at the End of the Lane, the adult book, a young boy gets caught in a battle between ancient beings -- one malevolent, naturally, and the others, well, they are forces for good and older than the universe. The good ones (Lettie, her mother, and her grandmother) know how to keep the evil where it belongs, but our young protagonist cluelessly lets the bad ‘un into this world. Lettie vows to protect him by any means. And that’s all I’ll say. The novel is short, but it will linger in your memory, just as it does the protagonist’s, who is drawn back time and time again to the end of that lane.
And just as our unnamed protagonist must relive that story over and over, you will have to read Gaiman’s Fortunately, the Milk a few times for the sheer fun of it and to figure out the time travel overlaps (I'm sure Neil deGrasse Tyson would totally ruin the fun for us if he read it). Fortunately, the Milk is ostensibly for children, but adults -- other than Tyson -- should indulge in it too. It tells the story of a dad who goes out for a carton of milk and returns “ages and ages” later with quite a story regarding his delay. I am now an immense fan of time-traveling stegosauri and hope to encounter one some day. Yes, the dad's the story is ridiculous; that’s why it’s so much fun. Best yet, there are vampires, but no “handsome, misunderstood” ones. And that’s probably how it should be.