BOOK REVIEW: Neverwhere – by Neil Gaiman

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Title: Neverwhere
Author: Neil Gaiman
Genre: Realistic Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Horror
First published: September 16th 1996
Finished reading: January 4th 2016
Pages: 336
Rating 5qqq

“I mean, maybe I am crazy. I mean, maybe. But if this is all there is, then I don’t want to be sane.”

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I finished this read over a week ago, and I’m still trying to get my thoughts together. What I do know is that while I’ve read and enjoyed other Neil Gaiman novels in the past, Neverwhere is without doubt my new favorite by this author. This novel starts out as a fiction story with a dash of magical realism, but soon turns into a dazzling urban fantasy story where surreal descriptions are combined with both scary and funny moments. I simply loved the prose and its underlying messages… The characters really started to grow on me as well; especially the Marquis, Richard and Door. Neverwhere is Neil Gaiman‘s first novel, and for me it’s without doubt the best I’ve read so far. What’s it about? This quote says it all:

“Dear Diary, he began. On Friday I had a job, a fiancée, a home, and a life that made sense. (Well, as much as any life makes sense). Then I found an injured girl bleeding on the pavement, and I tried to be a Good Samaritan. Now I’ve got no fiancée, no home, no job, and I’m walking around a couple of hundred feet under the streets of London with the projected life expectancy of a suicidal fruitfly.”

The part in London Above maybe isn’t that interesting, but I LOVED the descriptions and plot set in London Below. Definitely recommended if you like a good (urban) fantasy story with a healthy dose of horror and humor!

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Richard Mayhew is a young London businessman who seems to have a perfectly ordinary life with a good job, a home and a beautiful fiancée. But everything changes as he sees an injured girl bleeding on the street and decides to help her. His demanding fiancée dumps him for not making it to an important dinner, but Richard wants to help the girl anyway. At home he realizes the girl isn’t just any ordinary girl, and soon his life changes forever… The next day he seems invisible and it’s almost as if he had plunged through the cracks of reality into a world of shadows and darkness in London Below. Against all odds he is able to survive his first moments there, and soon realizes he will have to find and help the girl if he ever wants to return to London Above.

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Neil Gaiman never fails to surprise you with his books; each book has a completely original feel. What I think made Neverwhere into my new favorite Gaiman is the unique mix of realistic fiction, magical realism, urban fantasy and horror. I really liked both the main characters and the prose, and once Richard started having his adventures in London Below it was really hard to stop reading. As you might have guessed from the rating, I absolutely loved this read and I would recommend Neverwhere with my eyes closed to anyone who enjoys the genre.

WWW Wednesdays #72 – January 6th

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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Bout Of Books 15 is really helping me fly through my books! I have started All The Truth That’s In Me by Julie Berry yesterday evening and I’m really looking forward to continue it today… And Serafina And The Black Cloak by Robert Beatty I will finish for sure today; a very entertaining middle grade read that is definitely living up to expectations!

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* The first book I finished this year is The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury. I actually really enjoyed the first part of the book, but then another freaking love triangle was introduced… And things went downhill from there.
* I then finished Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, a book I absolutely LOVED. I think this is my new Gaiman favorite, although The Ocean At The End Of The Lane comes close…
* I was in the mood for a crime read so I picked up Dead Wood by Dani Amore afterwards. It turned out to be a quick and entertaining read.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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As soon as Bout Of Books 15 is over, I’m going to start Illuminae by Amie Kaufman. I’m so excited about this read that it’s getting really hard to wait any longer! I also want to read both Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng and Dark Places by Gillian Flynn; with a little luck I will be able to finish both before the end of the read-a-thon. Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch is my newest TBR jar pick, which is kind of funny because I already had that title on my January TBR anyway. 😉

WWW Wednesdays #71 – December 30th

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I have finally started reading my last TBR jar pick: Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. I’m still not too far into the story, but so far I’m really enjoying it… Hopefully I will magically find time to finish this read before the year is over!

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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Three books finished this week, and only because I managed to finish the last two yesterday…
* The first book is Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle. I ended up quite enjoying the first story, but things went downhill from there…
* I then finished My True Love Gave To Me by Stephanie Perkins and a bunch of other authors yesterday. I loved some stories while I didn’t really like others… But overall it was an entertaining bundle of short stories.
* Last up is The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson. I really like her prose and the story, although I could have done without the love triangle. It’s quite a sad read for the Holiday season though!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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Now I have a copy of Illuminae by Amie Kaufman, I want to start reading it ASAP! Although I might wait until after Bout Of Books 15.0 because it’s quite a long read… I also want to read The Death Code by Lindsay Cummings so I can cross of another series from my to-finish list. The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury looks like a quick read, so I might pick that one up for the read-a-thon… And Serafina And The Black Cloak by Robert Beatty is my new TBR jar pick.

Teaser Tuesdays #74 – December 29th: Neverwhere

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TEASER TUESDAYS is a weekly book meme originally featured at A Daily Rhythm. To participate, just open the book you are currently reading to a random page, and choose two ‘teaser’ sentences from somewhere on that page. (no spoilers!)

It’s time for the last Teaser Tuesdays of 2015! I’ve finally picked up my latest TBR jar pick: Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. I’m not too far into the story yet because I haven’t been having a lot of spare time to read, but so far it looks really promising.

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My teaser (7%):

She was well hidden, she knew, under a pile of newspapers and rags. And it was possible that the intruder meant her no harm. Can’t he hear my heartbeat? she thought. And then the footsteps came closer, and she knew what she had to do, and it scared her.

What are you reading right now?

WWW Wednesdays #70 – December 23rd

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below. But first: Happy Holidays!!! I hope everyone will have a wonderful time.

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  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I have started reading The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson the other day and so far it’s just as good as I’ll Give You The Sun. The story is a bit sad though; not exactly the right mood just before Christmas. That’s probably why I’m going to try and finish Let It Snow by John Green today or tomorrow as well.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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Four books finished since last week, although two of them were short and quick reads…
* The first book I finished is The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. It’s not a terrible read, but somehow this project would have been more interesting if it was about someone with a less privileged life and more interesting goals… I don’t mind the author wanting to be happier, but she did come over as a tad arrogant.
* I then picked up my last pending ARC of 2015: Rough Roads With Reckless Drivers by Lara Pass. A short read, which was probably the only reason why I actually finished it because it wasn’t good at all. More details in the upcoming review…
* I also finished Memories by Lang Leav; a collection of poems and thoughts that wasn’t necessarily bad, but I just couldn’t relate to the sad broken relationship poems…
* The last book I finally finished is The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater, a book I have been wanting to read for too long now. I really enjoyed it and it’s definitely a lot better than the Wolves Of Mercy Falls series, but I did have some minor issues with it.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I want to try and read My True Love Gave To Me before the Holidays are over, and I have been wanting to read The Young Elites by Marie Lu as well. I might pick up The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury as well and Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman is still my latest TBR jar pick.

WWW Wednesdays #69 – December 16th

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I have started Rough Roads With Reckless Drivers by Lara Pass yesterday evening since it’s my only pending ARC… I’m not too far into the story yet, but hopefully I will be able to finish it today. I’m also about halfway through The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, a book I picked up at a hostel book exchange during our trip to the capital… And I’m still trying to finish The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater as well. Let It Snow by John Green I’ve put on hold for now because the first story is just too sappy… Hopefully I will be in the mood to continue soon.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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December is a difficult month to actually read! Still, three books isn’t that bad considering I was away for two days.
* The first book I finished is November 9 by Colleen Hoover, which I absolutely loved even though I’m not into the genre.
* I then picked up My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by Rachel Harris solely to help complete the When Are You Reading? challenge. Which is probably why I actually finished it, because I didn’t like it at all.
* The last book I was able to finish is Hamlet by William Shakespeare, which means I was able to finally complete the When Are You Reading? challenge! 😀

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I want to read Memories by Lang Leav next, a collection of poems and one of the last two titles I need to complete the full BINGO of the Bookish Bingo 2015 challenge. I will probably try to read My True Love Gave To Me at some point before Christmas as well.. And if I’m in the mood for fantasy, I’m going to try and pick up either The Young Elites by Marie Lu or Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (latest TBR jar pick).

WWW Wednesdays #68 – December 9th

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is hosted by Sam at Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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Since I’m still not completely out of my reading slump, I have been trying to read genres I haven’t been reading a lot lately… Romance is one of those, so I started November 9 by Colleen Hoover the other day. I think this might actually one of the first romance novels to receive one of the highest ratings; I’m loving it so far! I started Let It Snow by John Green as well, but I put it on hold because I don’t really like the first story so far. And I’m trying to finish Hamlet by William Shakespeare so I’m one step closer to finally completing my last two pending challenges. It’s been too long since I last read his work!

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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Only two books this week… Between my reading slump and Christmas decorating I just didn’t have a lot of time to read.
* The first book Takeover by Lisa Black was mostly a disappointment with very boring characters, plot and prose in general. More about my complaints in the full review…
* I then finished Paperweight by Meg Haston, a very well written book about eating disorders. The main character is not exactly likeable, but very realistic. Recommendable!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I have a new ARC pending: Rough Roads With Reckless Drivers by Lara Pass. I will probably read that one next… I also want to read Memories by Lang Leav, a collection of poems I need for a challenge. If I’m in the mood for fantasy, I’m going to try and pick up either The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater or Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (latest TBR jar pick).