Book Reviews: “Good Omens”


Rhododendrites, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Good Omens panel at New York Comic Con in October 2018. Front: Miranda Richardson, Neil Gaiman, David Tennant. Rear: Michael Sheen, Jon Hamm, Douglas Mackinnon.

Urban fantasy has always been a popular genre among the media nowadays. The supernatural being involved with the modern world is a trope that many people love, including dark fantasy and science fiction. I myself enjoy a good fantasy story—especially if it includes some top-notch humor.

Co-written by English authors Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, “Good Omens” was first published on May 10, 1990. The story takes place in London. The book is a comedy about the coming of the end times and the birth of the antichrist.

In an interview with Neil Gaiman, Gaiman tells the story of how he and Terry Pratchett came to write the book together. After meeting each other after an interview as young journalists, Pratchett knew Gaiman had the idea for “Good Omens” in the drafts and suggested they write it together. They collaborated on the project off and on, Neil writing some chapters and Pratchett writing some more chapters until they had their finished product.

The main characters are the demon Crowley and the angel Aziraphale. Existing since creation and getting involved with Adam and Eve, the duo have become good friends over the centuries and have grown fond of humanity’s wiles. They hear the news of the Divine Plan being set in action, which is a great war between the leagues of Heaven and Hell.

Crowley is tasked with delivering the antichrist. But due to a slight mishap with the switch, the antichrist is given to the wrong family. Having lost the antichrist eleven years later, Crowley and Aziraphale team up to prevent Armageddon and save humanity.

In 2019, “Good Omens” had been adapted into a TV series with six episodes. Gaiman helped with directing the show and features David Tennent as Crowley and Michael Sheen as Aziraphale. A second season is currently underway.

The book was immensely enjoyable and full of great laughs. There are times when, if you are familiar with both Gaiman and Pratchett’s works, you can see a difference in writing styles according to who wrote which chapters. “Good Omens” was my introduction to both Gaiman and Pratchett’s works, and going through the book again, I can recognize the differences that I had not been aware of prior.

Consider giving this spectacular wonder of a story a try.