Monday, March 26, 2012

[BOOK REVIEW] The Sandman: Season of Mists Volume 4 by Neil Gaiman

Title:  The Sandman: Season of Mists Volume 4

Author:  Neil Gaiman

Artists:  Kelley Jones, Mike Dringenberg, Malcolm Jones III, Matt Wagner, Dick Giordano, George Pratt and P. Craig Russell

Genre: Supernatural / Fantasy / Adventure

Year Published: 1991

Year Read: 2012

Series: The Sandman #4

Publisher: Vertigo Comics

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 16+ (Graphic Violence, Mature Themes and Some Nudity)

After reading more of Neil Gaiman’s classic “Sandman” series, I never would have thought that the stories would get better and better and the fourth volume “Season of Mists” certainly did not disappoint me!  Dream (Morpheus) definitely got his hands full in this volume that will reveal many shocking surprises for the fans of the fantastic “Sandman” series!

In this volume “Season of Mists,” when a family meeting between the Endless ends up revealing Dream’s past horrible deed of condemning the woman he loved, Nada, to the Underworld, Dream decides to go down to the Underworld to rescue Nada.  Unfortunately, Lucifer Morningstar, who vowed to destroy Dream after Dream humiliated him in the first volume, has plans for Dream that might end up turning Dream’s world into a nightmare!  Instead of having separate stories in this volume, this volume is broken up in chapters and it has a total of six chapters along with a prologue and an epilogue.

Neil Gaiman has once again created a story from the popular “Sandman” series that will continue to stand the test of time to many generations!  The fourth volume of Neil Gaiman’s “Sandman” series is just as enjoyable as the first two volumes as it details Dream’s efforts to rescue his former lover Nada from the depths of the Underworld.  I loved the way that Neil Gaiman made the atmosphere of this story extremely dark yet adventurous at the same time as the majority of this volume takes place in the Underworld and I was so shocked at seeing the horrible activities that takes place in the Underworld.  I also loved the religious references that Neil Gaiman brings to this volume as there are many references about the balance between Heaven and Hell and I loved how it was explained through this story.  The character Lucifer Morningstar proved to be an interesting antagonist in this volume as Neil Gaiman did a brilliant job of laying out his plot against Dream step by step and the burden that he placed on Dream was cleverly plotted and as I keep on reading more about Lucifer’s plan throughout this volume, I wanted to know how Dream was going to beat Lucifer at his own game.  Kelley Jones, Mike Dringenberg, Malcolm Jones III, Matt Wagner, Dick Giordano, George Pratt and P. Craig Russell’s artwork were brilliant in this volume as they each brought their own unique flair to the story.  I loved the illustrations of the Underworld that each artist brought because the images of the Underworld were brilliant and disturbing at the same time and it really brought out the intensity in this story.

Like the first three volumes of the “Sandman” series, there is some disturbing content in this volume, especially with the scenes of the Underworld.  In the Underworld sequences, there are many images of people being tortured such as an image of a man who has nails imbedded in his body and chains that pulled at his skin and some images of people being impaled by sharp staffs.  Also, there are some images of nudity in this volume that might offend some people who do not like seeing nudity in images. 

Overall, “The Sandman: Season of Mists” is a truly brilliant and haunting volume for fans of Neil Gaiman’s “Sandman” series and will surely be a pure delight to read for many years.  I would recommend this volume to readers ages sixteen and up since there are many disturbing images and some nudity that some people might not enjoy reading.  Now I am off to read the fifth volume in the “Sandman” series, “A Game of You.”

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