Review: Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

I tried Grammarly‘s check for plagiarism free of charge… because cool cats aren’t copy-cats.

Review: Neverwhere by Neil GaimanNeverwhere by Neil Gaiman
Published by HarperCollins
Pages: 400
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Source: Purchased myself
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Richard Mayhew is a young man with a good heart and an ordinarylife, which is changed forever when he stops to help a girl he finds bleeding on a London sidewalk. His small act of kindness propels him into a world he never dreamed existed. There are people who fall through the cracks, and Richard has become one of them. And he must learn to survive in this city of shadows and darkness, monsters and saints, murderers and angels, if he is ever to return to the London that he knew.


Thoughts: Neverwhere is one of those classic novels that everyone loves to love. It is heralded as a masterpiece in urban fantasy and… maybe it was when it was written. Neverwhere was published in 1996 which – while not exactly the stone age – was a primordial era for the UF genre. And unlike the early Anita Blake books – which have aged beautifully – Neverwhere doesn’t make the muster.

That’s not to say it isn’t a wonderful book. It is an homage to the city by someone who obviously loves it. It is a creative piece of work that – now that I think about it – made me feel like I was visiting the Night Vale version of ol’ Londontown. That said, there were two major issues I would be remiss not to point out.

The first: the characters. Despite the 300+ words of the novel, the characterizations were weak. Very, very weak. I had no sense for any of any of their motivations – not even those of our narrator and protagonist. Gaiman spent his words on the world building, and not on the characters. I honestly can’t believe this is by the same man that wrote The Doctor’s Wife… but I’m willing to forgive because on the whole it-was-pioneering-at-the-time thing.

My second issue was with the overwhelming familiarity of the plot: London is weirder than we’d suspected, male protagonist is thrown into aforementioned weird world, and male protagonist learns the ropes and falls in love with it. Dull. If you loved Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch or A Madness of Angels by Kate Griffin, you will probably adore Neverwhere. It is feels like the inspiration for both of those books and – as the original – is significantly better. But I just couldn’t learn to love it.

Bottom line? Neverwhere is well-written but lacked any and all emotional depth. That said, it is a classic urban fantasy novel. You may want to pick it up just on that.

April TBR: New Authors (mostly!)

April 2013 TBRSo, my last monthly TBR pile turned into a two-month pile. That’s my life: lots of books, way too little time! Although I know I can’t read all of these books, I’m glad I have monthly pile. It gives me a bit more focus, rather than just staring at my TBR Mount Doom in terror.

I’ve got a few newbies on this month’s TBR pile: books I’ve received for review that I might not have found out about otherwise.

Also, I’ve got a few on the pile that I kinda “need” to read – namely, Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (ebook). I am desperate to listen to the BBC radio version of this classic UF novel, so I need to finish off the real thing first! To be honest, I’m finding it a bit hard going at the moment – great but a bit confusing. I also really really really want to get to Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor and The Killables series by Gemma Malley.

I’ve also got a few newbies off of Netgalley (Ink by Amanda Sun and The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau) though the likelihood of me getting to those this month is very, very, very low. But I will! Any day now…

Waiting on Wednesday: Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that are being eagerly anticipated.

Fortunately, the Milk by Neil GaimanFortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman
Goodreads – MG – September 2013 by Bloomsbury

Fortunately, the Milk will be a time-travelling adventure for young readers featuring aliens, dinosaurs, volcano gods and a pint of milk that saves the universe! The book will be illustrated throughout by Chris Riddell, and will be the third Neil Gaiman project that Chris Riddell has worked on. Chris has previously illustrated the tenth anniversary edition of Coraline and The Graveyard Book, for which he was Kate Greenaway Medal shortlisted.

Thoughts: Ok, first off, who isn’t a Neil Gaiman fan? Seriously, who? If you’ve ever meet one, make sure they report to hospital for brain damage – because that ain’t normal.

Fortunately, the Milk sounds like the wackiest, most brilliant thing ever. Reminds of something Douglas Adams would come up with (and, no, I don’t have a higher compliment than that one). If you still aren’t sold, let Neil pitch it himself:

Book Haul: October 2012

Another week, another book haul a-la In My Mailbox (The Story Siren) / Stacking the Shelves (Tynga’s Reviews) / Mailbox Monday. I got bought some great titles this week – including some that have been on my wishlist for quite a while…

October Book Haul 2012
  • Pretty Monsters by Kelly Link – I bought this short story collection for my Short Story Challenge.
  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman – Is it weird to be a fan of an author that I’ve never read? Because if it is, then I’m super weird ’cause I adore Neil and have never read a thing of his.
  • A Study in Sherlock (Anthology) and Professor Moriarty: The Hound of the D’Urbervilles by Kim Newman – Nothing beats a bit of Sherlock fanfiction.
  • Hounded by Kevin Hearne
  • Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King – I admit it: I only bought this because it had wolves on the cover. I thought, “Well, since I’ve always been meaning to try Stephen King, I might as well try this wolf-y one.” Also, short stories!
  • The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemesin – I have yet to read a bad review for this book, so I am rather excited to see what I think!
  • Iron Crowned by Richelle Mead  – I haven’t started Mead’s Dark Swan series yet (this is book 3) but I trust her enough to buy the books as I see them!
That’s all for this week! What did y’all find in your mailbox?