I was really looking forward to reading Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman and finally jumping into this iconic book in 2018 was one of my goals. Luckily a friend of mine wanted to read it and so I did a buddy read that made me open the book. My first impression when starting this book is that it was typical Gaiman, throwing me into a story without really explaining anything. I like that about his writing, I like to figure things out while I’m reading. The character Richard Mayhew gets sucked into the world of London Below and now people in Above London can no longer see him. He then goes down to London Below to help his new friend Door and to fix people being able to not see him.
I liked the setting and imagery of this novel quite a bit. Each portion of the book visiting new places was the highlight of the novel. I think because this was first envisioned as a television show that the emphasis on the visual makes sense. I’d love to see an updated version of Neverwhere now. The characters were good but the only one that really has any growth is Richard. I related to Richard with his choice that he had to make between what is expected and forging his own path but I can’t say I ever liked him as a character. The other characters had cool moments that I really liked but nothing that changed me or made me feel much emotion.
I think I was hoping for more plot in this novel. If you took away all the cool places that are visited in Underground London, you have a very simplistic story. There was one point where I was really surprised but it turned out to be a trick by Gaiman to make me think something that wasn’t true. I would have liked the book more if that trick was actually true. I just would have liked more complexity around the halfway or three-quarters mark. Regardles, I did enjoy the book. I can tell it was one of Gaiman’s first novels but I’m glad to have finally read it.
13/25 Possible Score
2 – Plot
2 – Characters
4 – World Building
3 – Writing Style
2 – Heart & Mind Aspect