Neverwhere - Neil Gaiman
"Under the streets of London...It's a place most people could never 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."
In Neverwhere, an ordinary officer worker, called Richard Mayhew, slips through the cracks in London & discovers a whole new, secret side of the city called "London Below."
I absolutely loved the concept of this book! As soon as I read the blurb in the bookshop I knew I had to buy it. I found 'Neverwhere' because I wanted to read more by Neil Gaiman after finishing Good Omens and this book did not disappoint! I literally couldn't put it down. It got to the stage where I was sneakily trying to read more pages without my boss seeing at work.
What made this even more enjoyable was the fact that I was commuting to & from London for work at the same time as reading the book! I felt as though I was at the heart of the story. I must admit, during some particularly hard days, I may have even imagined dropping down to London Below myself!
Neverwhere has all of the classic, must have elements you want from a book. There's romance, mystery & betrayal, all of which make it such an easy and enjoyable read. To go with this there are also fun, whimsical and amazing characters. I promise to try and not spoil too much of the book but I have to talk about some of my favourite characters. So this is your spoiler warning!
"He had noticed that events were cowards: they didn't occur singly, but instead they would run in packs and leap out at him all at once."
Richard comes across as quite a naive character in the beginning. Not only because he is new to London Below but even before, he would never really fight for what he wanted. It was nice to see his character develop throughout the book as he finds his inner bravery/strength and faces obstacles he didn't know he could overcome. However, he is so frustratingly focused on going home and going back to normality, he doesn't appreciate what is right in front of him.
Please forgive my pun but Door is a-dor-able! Sorry I couldn't resist!
She has the unique ability, inherited from her family, to open anything including doors. She's independent, badass & funny with an empathetic side which is shown when she goes back to help Richard. (We won't mention how she technically abandoned him in the first place!) There has been a special connection between her and Richard since he saved her. For reasons unknown she is being chased by relentless assassins hired by a mysterious benefactor. On top of all of this, she is dealing with the death of her family, determined to avenge them at any cost.
The Marquis de Carabas
It is impossible to talk about this book and NOT mention the Marquis! I absolutely adore this character. He's mischievous, arrogant & confident. A natural trickster who collects favours to cash in later but is also fiercely loyal to Door when she needs help. The perfect song to describe the Marquis would be 'Pas de Cheval' by Panic at the Disco.
"It's the greatest thing that's yet to have happened - imagine knowing me!"
The beat and the lyrics just fit so perfectly - honestly give it a listen!
These characters are definitely going to stay with me for a long time. It's all the small details as well that make the book really special. The use of the tube names was so clever and an angel called Islington - how cute! And how the rats are treated like royalty. Seriously, there are so many things that I loved about this book, it's impossible to get them all down in one review. If you haven't read this book then you definitely need to! I'm now off to bingewatch the TV series of the book!
Thank you for reading my thoughts and I hope you enjoyed my post! What did you think of Neverwhere? Let me know if you have any recommendations for what I should read next! You can find me on Twitter and Instagram!