REVIEW: Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Originally published 2015-05-29: Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman TBR Pile Challenge 9

Never having read Gaiman before (I know, I know…), I was really impressed. In fact, it’s in the top two I’ve read this year (2015), and probably the top ten I’ve read in the past decade.

cover of fantasy novel Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman


This is the story of Richard Mayhew, a young London businessman with a good heart and an ordinary life, which is changed forever when he discovers a girl bleeding on the sidewalk. He stops to help her—an act of kindness that plunges him into a world he never dreamed existed.

Slipping through the cracks of reality, Richard lands in the Neverwhere—a London of shadows and darkness, monsters and saints, murderers and angels that exists entirely in a subterranean labyrinth.

The Neverwhere is home to Door, the mysterious girl Richard helped in the London Above. Door, a noblewoman whose family has been murdered, is on a quest to find the agent that slaughtered her family and thwart the destruction of this underworld kingdom. If Richard is ever to return to his former life, he must join the journey to save Door’s world—and find a way to survive.

My Rating

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman is a roller-coaster ride through a fantastical nightmare. In the beginning, the main character is just boring enough to be a charming every-man. By the end, he’s a champion, but he doesn’t lose his self-deprecating naivete.

The setting is as much a journey as the quest itself — like stepping into a long-lost fantasy world. And the characters! Somehow, Gaiman manages to draw them in intricate detail without puking out chunks of exposition. I felt absolutely drawn in from about the second chapter, and by the end, I was gobbling it up.

Five of five stars! If you like the kind of topsy-turvy journey that Lewis Carroll gave us with Alice’s nightmares, you will absolutely love this book.

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