Science Fiction / Fantasy
Author: Neil Gaiman
Published By: Avon Books
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Some time ago, I purchased twenty hardcover science fiction novels on eBay.com for $20.00US. I did so because I was interested in two of the Star Wars books available that I wanted to add to my collection. When I received the books, I noticed a couple that seemed rather interesting to me. Before I started reading the books I received, I had known that I had gotten a major deal on eBay. I just never knew what a remarkable deal it was! The first book to peak my interest – Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman.
Set in the city of London, England, Neverwhere is centered around Richard Mayhew, an ordinary man who has made the major decision to leave Scotland and travel to London where he has accepted a job in a securities firm. He had thought that this would be the hardest decision of his life...until the night an injured homeless girl collapsed in front of him in the street. Deciding to play the Good Samaritan, Richard comes to her aide. Unfortunately, the girl begs Richard not to bring her to a hospital. Unwilling to leave her to bleed to death in the street, Richard takes her home.
When the girl, Door, regains consciousness, she enlists Richard in assisting her escape from horrific assassins, hired by an unknown assailant, to murder her family. Far from being a homeless girl, Door is in fact the sole surviving member of a prominent family from London Below, a secret world below the city of London, where fantasy is reality and nothing is quite as it seems. Unfortunately for Richard Mayhew, helping Door turns his life upside down. Richard soon finds himself an involuntary resident of London Below. His life in the above world no longer exists. What follows is an exciting adventure filled with suspense and intrigue.
As I read Neverwhere, I found myself pulled further and further into the story. I was hooked after the prologue – “I’d watch out for doors if I were you”. Neverwhere brings to mind certain aspects of the old television series Beauty and the Beast – the people who fall through the cracks living underground aspect. I was so captivated by this tale, I couldn’t put it down.
Neil Gaiman is a master at holding the reader’s attention. A professional writer for over twenty years, Neil Gaiman has earned awards and accolades for his diverse styles of work. He has produced children’s stories, short stories, adult novels, and Sandman, a highly acclaimed comic book series for DC Comics.
After telling everyone who would listen that Neverwhere should be adapted into a movie, I happily discovered that the novel actually was adapted into a mini-series for BBC Television. I am now the proud owner of the series in DVD format. Neil Gaiman is so descriptive and weaves such an excellent vision of the tale, that those adapting the novel to television had no problem bringing the characters to life. Every one of them looks exactly as I imagined they would.
Neverwhere is an excellent, fast-paced read and I recommend it to any fan of the science fiction / fantasy genre. Not bad for a novel I purchased for only a dollar!
For more by Neil Gaiman, check out these links: