Neverwhere is a science fiction/fantasy novel by author Neil Gaiman originally released in 1996 through BBC Books. Gaiman was popularized for several of his other successful works, like Coraline (which was turned into a stop-motion movie a few years back), and American Gods.
Interestingly enough, it was an elaboration of a television series of the same name also on BBC, and the book was released shortly into the series. The book is a fantastical ride through the streets of London and beyond, beginning with a seemingly mundane tale involving a young businessman- Richard Mayhew. However, shortly thereafter a slew of mysterious and sometimes inhuman characters appear and throw Mayhew’s life completely through a loop.
The book becomes increasingly interesting as the “underworld” of the book unravels and an entirely new scene of life begins in parallel to the city above. Gaiman does an amazing job of truly drawing the reader into the book through his extremely detailed imagery. He is able to allow readers to create fully fleshed out characters, with personalities, interactions, and flaws and strengths. This makes for an extremely strong plot that draws you in and forms attachments between the readers and the book.
Fantasy is a difficult genre to master without coming across as too unbelievable or too cliched, yet Neverwhere has a sophisticated style of writing that stays fresh on the mind and is easy to digest. The book is a perfect escape from the modern world, and allows ones mind and creativity to expand to different horizons and possibilities. Some instances in the book may seem too unearthly to be reliable, yet the author always finds a way to tether down some of these aspects to reality and truly touch the reader. Although it’s a pleasure read, it is more than enough to be completely emerged into, and will hopefully be encouragement enough to explore more of Gaiman’s work.