3.5 out of 5 stars
“Richard watched with respect as the gray water rushed and tumbled, within arm’s reach. This was not the kind of river you fell into and got out of again; it was the other kind.”
Neverwhere was a very fun book. This is the second book that I’ve read by Neil Gaiman and I enjoyed it even more than the first (the first was The Ocean at the End of the Lane).
This story follows Richard Mayhew, a businessman living in London, as his life takes a very strange turn. After attempting to help an injured woman he meets on the street one night, Richard’s life begins to “fall through the cracks”. Under the city of London exists an alter-reality called London Below and Richard must go on a quest in London Below in order to find answers to his own questions and to help his new-found friends.
The book is full of colorful characters with quirky habits. It borders on scary at times but then there are moments of comic relief that add that touch of whimsy back in. Croup and Vandemar, although they are supposed to be the villains from the start, often had me laughing throughout with their ridiculous statements.
“‘What,’ asked Mr. Croup, ‘do you want?’ ‘What,’ asked the Marquis de Carabas, a little more rhetorically, ‘does anyone want?’ ‘Dead things,’ suggested Mr. Vandemar. ‘Extra teeth.'”
On the whole, I really enjoyed this book. It was suspenseful and fast-moving. I didn’t see the twist coming at the end.
I would recommend this book for anyone that likes fantasy. Gaiman builds a subterranean London that rivals other fantasy worlds. The characters in Neverwhere are fascinating and unique. The book is a quick and engulfing read.