A friend of my told me that I had to read Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere. She literally put it in my hands, so there was no if, ands, or buts about it. To be honest, I’ve only ever read Gaiman’s juvenile fiction. I’m just not usually a thriller girl. Regardless, this book was so up my alley.
Neverwhere takes place in modern London, only the London we see everyday isn’t the only London. There is London Above where everyday people live and there is London Below where everyone who has “fallen through the cracks” go. London Below is a timeless, dark, twisty place where there are monsters and beasts, magical little girls, rats who understood and worshiped and a whole host of random oddities.
Richard Mayhew lives in London Above until an odd looking girl named Door crosses his path and begs him for his help. But that help comes at a cost. In helping Door, Richard falls through the cracks and becomes a Below Londoner. No one Above acknowledges his existence and he is forgotten.
Seeking help from the girl Door, Richard wanders into London Below and becomes entangled in a dark plot. Can Richard survive Below London? Can he help Door avenge her families death? And will he be able to find a way back to his old life?
This book took me longer to read then it should have and I’m not quite sure why. I enjoyed it. It was a non-stop roller coaster ride of action and every page led you deeper into the crazy imagination of Neil Gaiman. No seriously, how do people come up with these things! But still, it wasn’t a book I couldn’t put down. I’m seriously at a loss because I have no bad things to say about the book. Perhaps it was that we only get glimpse of a world I want to know more about.
The world Gaiman built was amazingly complex and vivid. The way he merged reality and the fantastical was extremely well done. In the preferred text we get an extra chapter at the end and I could honestly use one of these for every character we meet Below London. More novellas please!
The characters we do delve into are also mostly a mystery. You learn just enough to spark your imagination. I loved the character Door, a girl of indeterminate age who is both brave and fragile and smart. The Marquis was also stellar and even more so after the bonus chapter.
Overall, I did enjoy the Neverwhere and will probably rent the BBC mini-series, which Gaiman actually wrote before the book. I may even purchase the book for my collection because it was just that oddly weird and complex. Four stars for me.
That’s all for now!