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.
My first introduction into the Neverwhere universe was in the short story "How the Marquis Got His Coat Back", which was one of many fantastic short stories in the Rogues Anthology. I picked up Rogues solely to read the Lightning Tree by Patrick Rothfuss which is a short story in the Kingkiller Chronicle universe, but looking at the list of other stories in there the name Neil Gaiman stood out at me.
I went back to the 'Library' in iBooks and saw Neverwhere by the same guy sitting there, already downloaded and ready to be read. I had seen Neverwhere being recommended many times in "what should I read next" threads on Whirlpool and Reddit, and had already planned to read it on my holiday!
This is a bit of a long introduction, but what I'm trying to say is that the short story in Rogues caught my attention hook, line and sinker. I fucking loved the main character, the universe it was set in, and the fast paced, anything might happen next writing style. Needless to say, the next thing I read was Neverwhere and it did not disappoint!
"Young man," he said, "understand this: there are two Londons. There's London Above - that's where you lived - and then there's London Below - the Underside - inhabited by the people who fell through the cracks in the world. Now you're one of them. Good night."
I devoured this book like a black hole eating a planet made of candy, and I'm usually a goddamn slow reader.
I highly recommend it to one and all, it's not super heavy scifi or fantasy, it's light and fun but also very dark and deep in a way that's hard to describe. The characters are lively, the universe full of surprises and pacing fast.
Fun fact: Neil Gaiman also wrote Sandman, one of the most critically acclaimed graphic novels of all time - that is also on my 'to read' list!