Sunday, October 20, 2013

[BOOK REVIEW] Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman


Title:  Neverwhere

Author:  Neil Gaiman

Genre: Fantasy / Horror

Year Published: 1996

Number of Pages: 370 pages

Date Read:  10/20/2013

Publisher:  William Morrow Paperbacks

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 18+ (Some Scary Situations and Strong Language)

“Imagine living in a world where you think that everything has become familiar to you, but then you realize that there is a different world far beyond the one you know.”

I have not read much of Neil Gaiman’s books geared towards adults, until I first read “American Gods,” which was a book that I enjoyed intensely.  But now, I have a new favorite from Neil Gaiman’s books geared towards adults and that is “Neverwhere!”  Full of adventure, horror and romance, “Neverwhere” is certainly one of Neil Gaiman’s greatest works yet!

Richard Mayhew was an average young man who lived a normal life and had a fiancée named Jessica.  One night however, Richard meets up with a young girl named Door who he found bleeding on the London sidewalk and he immediately goes and try to tend to her wounds.  But, once Richard performs this heroic act, he will soon discover that his life will change forever when he seems to have vanished from the face of the earth and ends up in an alternative world of London, London Below.  Now, Richard must help Door from being killed by the murderous Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemar or London Below will be in great danger!

Wow!  This book was simply amazing!  What made this book such a joy to read was the fact that Richard ends up in an alternative universe of London and he realizes that London Below is far more dangerous and different than the London he knew from above! I loved the way that Neil Gaiman made this story so intense and even scary at times, especially whenever the scenes involving Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemar showed up in the story.  I was seriously scared of Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemar as they were hired by a mysterious person to kill Door at all costs and they are certainly professionals in that field!  But, what was the most chilling aspect of Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemar’s characters was that they would just calmly tell their victims about how they will torture them and their torturing methods were truly graphic and disturbing to say the least!  I really loved the characters featured in this book, especially Richard Mayhew and Door as they were truly interesting characters and they brought so much depth and intensity to the story. I did find it heartbreaking that Richard could not get back to his real home in London and all the other characters telling him that it would be impossible to get back to London Above definitely made me feel even worse for Richard.  At the same time, I loved the fact that Richard was such a caring and curious person as I completely sympathize with his confusion in understanding the strange cultures of London Below.  I loved the way that Neil Gaiman went into so much detail about the different cultures of London Below from London Above and I also loved the fact that Neil Gaiman included some historical notes about London’s history and weaved them into the story with such clarity.  Door was another character that I really enjoyed as she was such a strange yet interesting character. I loved the fact that Door just plunges into a situation because of her knowledge of London Below as it proves that she is a truly brave character!  I really loved the Marquis de Carabas, even though at first, he annoyed me a bit at the beginning.  But, once the story starts progressing, I found myself loving the Marquis de Carabas more and more as he proves to be quite a surprising character. I loved the eerie atmosphere of this story as I was literally sitting on the edge of my seat, wondering if Richard, Door, Hunter and the Marquis de Carabas will ever find their destination and try to survive London Below without being killed by Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemar.  What really stood out for me in this story was the fact that it was like a darker version of “Alice in Wonderland” and I really liked that dark and gritty aspect to this story.

The only problems with this book are that it has some strong language, although it does not occur frequently and some scary situations involving the characters being placed in great peril. Some readers might find some parts of this book a bit too dark and creepy, such as the scenes involving Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemar.

Overall, “Neverwhere” is a truly brilliant book that deals with deciding what you really want out of life and is probably one of the best books that use dark fantasy in its finest!  I would strongly recommend this book to any fan of Neil Gaiman’s works!

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