Just read this book today. Never seen the movie. Though I wouldn't be surprised if it stuck pretty close to the book. It wouldn't be that hard to do.

Overall impression, not a bad book. Characters aren't bad, though they might be a bit cliche. The story actually has some emotional resonance at its core. I can see how it would speak to someone. However, I feel like it fails at a pretty basic level for a novel. It's on the short short, which isn't the problem, a short novel can be good, but it's a symptom of the problem which is that the story is just really simple, too simple for it to feel like a novel. It's just like a long kid's book. Now you're probably like, "Duh, that's exactly what it is. It's called The Last Unicorn, what did you expect?"

Here's the thing, first off I'm not even sure what the target audience is really supposed to be. Given the simplicity and the subject I would say kids, but at the same time the author uses some really abstract concepts at times to make a point or at important plot junctures. There's the leader of this band of thieves who starts out seeming rather juvenile but then goes on at length about the nature of celebrity in this sort of world and the evolution of a person's story from fact to myth over years. Then to get past a crucial barrier a talking skull tries to explain to the protagonists that they have to be able to see time as a relative concept and not a fixed constant. Then there's discussions about the nature of emotions and truth, and then there's the unicorn. Probably the main character, her perspective as an immortal being is just so different from the perspectives of the human characters. I liked that. I thought it was great, but as the main character in a book for kids? She'd be completely unrelatable.

So there's some great introspective, even philosophical moments, so adult target audience? Maybe it's supposed to be Shrek where there's something for everybody? I just didn't feel it. It's too straight forward. Unicorn decides to go and do this, she goes and does that, the end. Ok, maybe it's not quite that simple. She gets sidetracked a but it's like 5 minutes here and there, and all the story turns that might have been really interesting the author telegraphs from about 4 chapters away. The book isn't long enough that you can get away with putting a Chekov's Gun on the wall and surprise people when you pull it down later. That and the writing style doesn't lend itself to that. It's too tight to build in surprises. And honestly the style has more flaws than that. It can get a little flowery, but not overly so, and it can be kind of distractible, but I sort of like that. The main thing I picked up on was something that I see now when an author is doing a third person omniscient thing. It slips into sort of a game of musical perspectives, where he's hopping from one person's thoughts and feelings to another's without any sort of transition and no apparent rhyme or reason, but then leaving out this person or that person because if you knew what they were thinking and feeling it might spoil things. It makes the narrative feel at the same time unfocused and incomplete.

Anyway, I'm getting kind of nitpicky. It was a decent book with a premise and story that while simple was still enjoyable and interesing-ish. Most of the characters are pretty one-dimensional, but still sort of fun for that, and it's a little one-off fantasy story. Can't ask for too much development I suppose. It's worth a read if only because you can get through it pretty quickly. Wondering if I should see the movie at some point. Thoughts from people who have?