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Book Review: ‘Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch’ by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

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Who’s ready for the apocalypse say “I”! While Heaven and Hell have both been gearing up for this big show-down since time began, not everyone is on the same page. Turns out that a demon (Crowley) and an angel (Aziraphale) have grown to quite like life here on Earth. They’re not at all ready to have everything end in a blaze of glory. Furthermore, they’re not really sure that they’ll be happy even if their side wins. They decide that they have to do something about this whole apocalypse thing. But they seem to have misplaced the antichrist, the key to the whole thing. Now where could he be? Find out in Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (hereafter known as simply Good Omens) by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman.

[Warning: My review of Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch contains some spoilers for the book and the first season of Good Omens now on Prime Video!

Good Omens centers around some unlikely friends and the end of the world

Since The Beginning, Aziraphale and Crowley (originally Crawly) have been different from their cohorts. And that difference has drawn them into an unlikely friendship. Neither is completely convinced that their side actually knows 100%  what’s going on. And neither thinks that their side is 100% right. This has allowed for common ground between the two and their friendship has blossomed. 

Then eleven years ago Crowley delivered the antichrist to a hospital to replace a human baby that was being delivered that night. But there was more than one baby born that night and the satanic nuns who were supposed to make the swap managed to over-shuffle the babies. The family that was supposed to get the antichrist was given a perfectly normal baby (not their own though) and the antichrist went home with another family, completely unnoticed.

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman

Now that baby is coming into his powers. Strange things are happening and supernatural armies are massing. It’s almost time for the party to get started. But now Crowley and Aziraphale have decided that the party would be better if it was canceled. In order to cancel it they have to find the guest of honor and make sure he doesn’t start it in the first place. This is where the fun starts. Up till now, no one knew that the babies had been switched improperly. Everyone assumed that Baby A was the antichrist, but he’s not. So now they have to find the real antichrist before he starts the party on his own and the apocalypse destroys everything these two angels love so much.

A front seat to the apocalypse with a healthy dose of humor from Gaiman and Pratchett

Most books about the end of the world are, well, downers. I mean it makes sense, the end of the world is bad. But does it have to be so depressing? Turns out it doesn’t. By all accounts, Pratchett and Gaiman had a riot writing this book together and it shows. Crowley’s interpretation of “fair” is hilarious every time. Unsurprisingly, most of the humor comes from the evil side of the equation. But Aziraphale has his moments, especially toward the end of the book as the stress of stopping the apocalypse starts to get to him. 

There are also some really great supporting characters. They may not be all together if you know what I mean, but that just makes their scenes even better. My only real gripe about the characters is with the kids. I’m not sure if Pratchett and Gaiman were reaching back to their own childhood memories or if they’ve never actually met kids before, but they just weren’t quite right. They were more like what the media wants kids to be than what kids actually are.

I grew up in the same time as this book is supposed to be taking place and I know that my friends and I were nowhere near as immature as the antichrist and his friends. If I didn’t realize that he was eleven years old I would have thought that he was closer to five or six. He just has no concept of the world around him, nor do his friends. But aside from that (I just pretended he was younger than he was to help my cognitive dissonance) the kid scenes are pretty funny, especially once the antichrist starts to come into his powers.

Good Omens makes its way to the screen on Prime Video

In the back of Good Omens, there are interviews with the authors. I found it funny that when they’re asked if there will be a movie of Good Omens they both express doubt that it will ever happen (Pratchett more so than Gaiman). Of course, now we know that Prime Video did just that in 2019 (well sorta, it’s a streaming series but close enough). And now Amazon is getting ready to release season two at the end of July.

Now season one covered everything in Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch. And it even ended with Agnes’s second book being burned, meaning no more prophecies. It was a very satisfying ending and I’m not sure where the new season will go. Gaiman and Pratchett never wrote a second book although the rumor is they did work on an unpublished sequel called 668: The Neighbor of the Beast and season two is based on this work. 

Good feelings for Good Omens

How often can you say that the apocalypse gives you a good feeling? Not often. But that’s exactly what Good Omens gives you. Even when it’s looking really bad and you’re not sure that Crowley and Aziraphale can pull it off, you’re still chuckling at what’s happening. It’s just funny. I mean the four horsemen of the apocalypse as bikers, bearing the gang name of “Hell’s Angels” to boot! Or replacing a paintball gun with a real gun because “it’s what he wanted”. But then replacing everyone’s gun because “now it’s fair.” It’s comedy gold. If you want to feel better about the end of the world, read Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, it’ll fix you right up!

My Rating: 8/10

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman is available now! Will you be reading this book in anticipation of Good Omens 2? Let us know on Twitter or in the Cosmic Circus Discord!

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Luna Gauthier

I've always been a bookworm and fantasy is my favortie genre. I never imagined (okay, I imagined but I didn't think) that I could get those books sent to me for just my opinion. Now I am a very happy bookworm! @Lunagauthier19 on Twitter

Luna Gauthier has 214 posts and counting. See all posts by Luna Gauthier