This was the second Neil Gaiman book that I’ve read, and while I enjoyed it, I have to admit that I was expecting more.
Firstly, a description of the book:
Under the streets of London there’s a place most people could never even dream of. A city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, knights in armour and pale girls in black velvet. This is the city of the people who have fallen between the cracks.
Richard Mayhew, a young businessman, is going to find out more than enough about this other London. A single act of kindness catapults him out of his workday existence and into a world that is at once eerily familiar and utterly bizarre. And a strange destiny awaits him down here, beneath his native city: Neverwhere.
The world of Neverwhere or London Below is completely fascinating and it’s the main reason of why I enjoyed this book so much. I loved things like minding the gap, Knightsbridge made me tear up, and the market was a wondrous place to behold. The Marquis was my favourite character, followed closely by Old Bailey. Anastasia’s story broke my heart and I cried a little.
For the world building alone of London Below I would recommend this book.
Where I felt that the book faltered was in the plot. By about 70 pages in or so you know who the big bad is going to be, so you’re not surprised – or at least I wasn’t surprised – when everything happens exactly how you assumed it would. For a minute there I was almost convinced that a different character was the big bad, but that passes quickly, and the book travels along the same trajectory that you knew it was going to be on from the beginning.
Overall, a decent read, and a fascinating new world to get lost in with London Below.