"Stardust" by Neil Gaiman, a Book Review by Local Author, Ally Aldridge

About Local Gal, Ally Aldridge

Ally is a young adults Fantasy Romance author residing in Felixstowe where her novels are based. She is happily married to her high school sweetheart, and together they are raising their son, daughter, and two cats. When Ally is not writing (or at her day job), she loves spending time with her family at the local beach, in the forest, or watching way too much Netflix. Ally loves a cup of tea and has been known to order one on a night out. Here she is with her review of "Stardust", by the lovely Neil Gaiman, and then a little bit about her author-adventures...

I always loved the movie Stardust. I found it funny when the girl at the start refers to Ipswich as a faraway place when Tristan, the main character, wants to know why she’d accept another guy's proposals over his. This is the catalyst that starts his goal to get her something even better than an engagement ring from Ipswich. He decides to go on an adventure to retrieve the fallen star and win her hand in marriage.

Quote from the film: 

Victoria : [laughs] Well I can't exactly say no after he's gone all the way to Ipswich. 

Tristan : "All the way to Ipswich"? Victoria, for your hand in marriage, I'd cross oceans or continents.

All this time, I never knew the film was based on a book. Once I discovered this, I borrowed the audio version from Borrowbox with my Suffolk County library card. This was one of the best audio books I have ever listened to. The narration is done by BBC Radio 4. There is a main narrator telling the story but every character had their own voice actor. 


Life moves at a leisurely pace in the tiny town of Wall - named after the imposing stone barrier which separates the town from a grassy meadow. Here, young Tristran Thorn has lost his heart to the beautiful Victoria Forester and for the coveted prize of her hand, Tristran vows to retrieve a fallen star and deliver it to his beloved. It is an oath that sends him over the ancient wall and into a world that is dangerous and strange beyond imagining…


The story was as magical as I remember. It is a perfect modern fairy tale that will be loved for many years to come. Beyond the wall, Tristan encounters witches, sky pirates, and uncovers secrets about himself. There is plenty of magic and action throughout, and the characters are vivid and would come to life even without the voice actors adding to the experience. Stepping beyond the comfortable, familiar world of Tristan’s hometown, he grows as a person and discovers true love. This sweet and inspiring tale is suitable for the whole family. It encourages you to listen to your heart and step beyond the unknown.

My own adventures:

Last year, I did my first book festivals. It was scary at first, but with every event I get more confident. This year, I have already done the Foreword Festival in Bury St Edmunds in February. During May, I shall be spending a weekend in Herfordshire for the Herts Book and speaking on their Fantasy Forum panel. In June, I will be at Trinity Park for CapCon, which will be my first time doing this event. In August, I shall be at Stonham Barns again for Legends Comic Con. Come find me to chat about my books, buy a signed copy and get an exclusive bookmark (while stocks last). 

I am still working on releasing Sky Heart and don’t dare set a release date until I know everything is finalised. It is with my editors for the third final edit. Yes, you read that right. Last year, I had a lot of challenges trying to get this right. I don’t want to rush the book out and cause disappointment, so I will keep working on it until it is ready to publish. I promise to let you know as soon as I have set a release date. 

In the meantime, if you have not yet read Ocean Heart, you can borrow it from Suffolk County Libraries. Currently, signed copies are available to buy at Dial Lane Bookshop in Ipswich, but you can order a copy in at any local bookstore or via Bookshop.com and nominate the commission to go to your local bookshop. If you prefer an eBook it is available from most popular eBook stores such as Kindle, Apple, and Kobo (free on Kobo Plus).