Under the streets of London there’s a place most people could never even dream of. A city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, knights in armour and pale girls in black velvet. This is the city of the people who have fallen between the cracks.
Richard Mayhew, a young businessman, is going to find out more than enough about this other London. A single act of kindness catapults him out of his workday existence and into a world that is at once eerily familiar and utterly bizarre. And a strange destiny awaits him down here, beneath his native city: Neverwhere.
I’ve always been a bit hit or miss with Gaiman’s work. I love Sandman, most of it is pretty brilliant. I was head over heels for The Ocean at the End of the Lane and The Graveyard Book. I love Stardust but there were some parts of it that were kind of ‘meh’ for me within the story, but overall it’s still great. I’m not really all that keen on American Gods if I’m being honest. Couldn’t get into it.
Anywho. Neverwhere. I think I have mixed feelings on this one? Or rather no strong feelings in either direction. I liked it but I didn’t love it and so it’s really hard for me to talk about it. How do you write a review for a book that was perfectly fine but you nevertheless feel indifferent to? What can I say? This one failed to engage me on an emotional level. I guess that’s the long and short of it. There’s nothing at all wrong with the book, I just think it was maybe not the right book at the right time with the right reader. I wanted to like this one a lot more than I did and maybe if I read it again some time I’ll love it.
This review will be a bullet pointed list because that’s how indifferent I feel about this book.
Things that I liked:
- I love the idea of an underground London. A place that is like a different dimension where magical things exist and everything is just a bit off. Almost like the way the wizard’s world in Harry Potter exists hidden alongside the regular human world, but much more intriguing. Gaiman’s imagination is at full-force here.
- Door was amazing, I loved her character. I wish we got the story from her POV instead of Richard to be quite honest.
- I liked how they overcame the big bads.
- I listened to the auido and Gaiman read this himself and listening to him read his own work is always a delight.
Things that were kind of whatever:
- Richard. I didn’t really like him. Yeah, this story is really all about his personal growth and normally that’s my favorite part of any story, but I still don’t think I liked him much by the end of things. Because I didn’t care much about him, the rest of the story failed to engage me.
- Gaiman has a habit of mixing light and dark and sometimes it works out great, other times it feels incongruous to me, and I think it does here a bit.
- The pace wasn’t great, in my opinion, parts of it felt like it dragged. And it’s not even that long of a book!
So, yeah. That’s it. It was a good book and I’m sure a lot of people love it. Maybe I’ll try reading it again some time and feel differently. 3/5 stars.