Thursday, 10 March 2016

Book Review - Neverwhere

Book Review - Neverwhere
By Neil Gaiman

'Under the streets of London there's a world most people could never even dream of. A city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, and pale girls in black velvet.
Richard Mayhew is a young businessman who is about to find out more than he bargained for about this other London. A single act of kindness catapults him out of his safe and predictable life and into a world that is at once eerily familiar and utterly bizarre. There's a girl named Door, and Angel called Islington, an Earl who holds court on the carriage of a tube train, a beast in a labyrinth, and dangers and delights beyond imagining... And Richard, who only wants to go home, is to find a strange destiny waiting for him beneath the streets of his native city.'

I picked this book up on a whim in a local bookshop one day, desperate for something new and exciting to read, something a bit different, a bit out of the ordinary. Well, I certainly got what I was looking for! An unusual world, strange and intriguing characters, a plot full of twists and turns, and a big helping of adventure, what more could you ask for?

The Writing - I think Neil has a great way of writing, the words flow easily and the story moves forward quickly without feeling rushed. Characters and events and places are well described so that you really do feel as if you are right there in the story. Dialogue is well written, fast paced and with no unnecessary burble. The book is written mainly from the perspective of the main character, Richard Mayhew, and during the story you really feel as if you have come to know him and how his mind works. It did at first take me a little while to get into the story as I didn't really feel as if I got where it could possibly be going, but a few pages later and it soon had me hooked.

The Plot - I found the plot very interesting, it had several twists and unexpected turns and kept me guessing right up to the end, if you ask me that is exactly what a good plot should do! Neil dropped pieces of information throughout the book leading you to double guess yourself or to form new ideas, these were all wonderfully brought together at the end which was, I thought, really quite dramatic. Even after the climax the last few pages kept me on the edge of my seat wondering what decision would be made, and there was no way I was going to put the book down until my curiosity had been sated. 

The Characters - I think the characters were wonderful. I've heard that good characters can make or break a book, and I've certainly read books where I've found poor characters to be very disappointing, but this was not one of them. Neil's characters are strange, unusual, flamboyant, innocent, intriguing and imaginative, but most of all they are real. There was a depth to each character that made you feel as though they were not merely ideas in someone's head but could in actual fact exist somewhere in reality, of course we know they couldn't, but what I am trying to say is that they are utterly believable. Not just the 'good' characters but the 'bad' characters as well, and I'm a sucker for a well written baddie! 

Overall I found this to be a wonderfully entertaining and interesting story, I enjoyed the characters and the plot and the writing was wonderfully descriptive and flowed very well. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is looking for something a little bit different to read, and to those who aren't. (I've currently leant it to my mum!) 
Definitely looking forward to reading more of Neil Gaiman's work.

Rach x

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