Author: Neil Gaiman
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Avon Books, 1998
"As an expert in the termination of bodily functions, I must beg to differ. You are neither of you dead. At a guess, you are both very drunk."Synopsis: Richard Mayhew is an unassuming young businessman living in London, with a dull job and a pretty but demanding fiancee. Then one night he stumbles across a girl bleeding on the sidewalk. He stops to help her--and the life he knows vanishes like smoke. Several hours later, the girl is gone too. And by the following morning Richard Mayhew has been erased from his world. His bank cards no longer work, taxi drivers won't stop for him, his landlord rents his apartment out to strangers. He has become invisible, and inexplicably consigned to a London of shadows and darkness--a city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, that exists entirely in a subterranean labyrinth of sewer canals and abandoned subway stations. He has fallen through the cracks of reality and has landed somewhere different, somewhere that is Neverwhere.
Review: An incredible novel. There's London Above, where 'normal' people live. And there's London Below, also known as Underside, where the people who fell through the cracks in the world live.
Richard winds up a resident of London Below, going on a quest to help Door, whose life he once saved in London Above. They need to find out who killed her family. They are assisted on their quest by the Hunter, Door's bodyguard; the marquis de Cabaras, who owed Door's father a favor; and the bird-loving Old Bailey.
Mr. Vandemar and Mr. Croup are two of the creepiest killers I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. They have been hired to make trouble for Richard and his group. That should be child's play to the two who were responsible for many far worse things, including the Black Plague.
There are talking rats, an angel and many other wondrous and strange creatures and people inhabiting Underside. There is a Beast to be slain and Floating Markets to visit. All in all, I want to move to London Below immediately.
Although I didn't know it initially, this was Mr. Gaiman's first novel. I've already read Stardust, Interworld and The Graveyard Book and loved them all. This book is even better. It has adventure, humor, thrills and plenty of great urban Fantasy. I do not have the words to say how much I loved this story.
Rating: 10 / 10