That’s right! My second surprise is that you’re getting a twofer today! Aren’t I just the best?
Okay, so maybe I decided to do this post because I wanted to gush about the first book I read this year. It didn’t really have anything at all to do with the fact that I haven’t been posting much lately. But I made you feel special for a second, didn’t I?
Anyway, I’ve been curious about this meme for a while because one of my favorite bloggers (Gerry at The Book Nook UK) does it almost every week. When I saw this week’s topic, I knew this was the week I would finally give it a shot.
The first book I read in the shiny new year was Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman.
If you ever read the Amazon Affiliate portion of my posts, you know I’ve been pimping out this book on almost every single post I’ve done so far this year. The story follows Richard Mayhew, a young man living in London. One day, he stops to help an injured girl and his life changes forever.
In order to return his life to normal, Richard must join the Lady Door on her quest to avenge her family. With infamous conman the Marquis de Carabas and notorious monster slayer Hunter on their side, Richard and Door’s journey through London Below should be a piece of cake. But they’re being hunted and treachery is afoot. Nothing is as it seems.
You know those books that latch right onto your soul and feel like they’re a part of you? Yeah, that’s this book. I’m so in love with it. It’s beautifully-written, an exquisite tapestry of metaphor and introspection. The world-building is phenomenal. The characters are wonderful. Everything about this book is fantastic.
Gaiman set out to write a portal fantasy for adults, a story world that makes the reader feel as they did when they read The Chronicles of Narnia and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland as kids. I am so happy to report that he succeeded. Although, if I had to compare the atmosphere of this book to anything it would be Shades of Magic by V.E. Schwab (though Neverwhere came out almost two decades prior).
Gaiman’s humor shines through his writing. Sometimes it’s the narration that gets you, others it’s a character (usually Richard). But it never overtakes the heart of the story. Gaiman finds a perfect balance between humor and raw human emotion.
The world-building is so well-done. Not only that, but it’s unique. The same can be said of the character development. I also appreciate that all the relationships (aside from that with Richard’s ex-fiancé) remain solely within the realm of friendship. There are suggestions that Richard and Door’s relationship could turn into more, but for now they’re happy with just being friends. Not enough stories embrace the importance of platonic relationships. I am so happy this one does.
I could genuinely go on and on about how much I love this book. I’m pretty sure this meme is supposed to be a brief post. But I just can’t be brief about Neverwhere. I am certain this is going to be the book I won’t shut up about all year long. I adore this book with everything in me.
I don’t know if this is also part of the hop, but Gerry from The Book Nook UK always shouts out posts other bloggers have written. In the spirit of paying it forward, I would like to give Gerry herself a shout out. I love her Fairy Tale Friday series. Every two weeks, she takes a fairy tale and discusses its different versions, how she feels about them, and how she would interpret them for a retelling. It’s a new series on her blog, but one I find very interesting. You can really feel her passion for fairy tales. Her last post is about Rapunzel. I highly recommend you check it out.
All right, so there you go. Two posts in one day. This… will not be something I do often. But you’re welcome. Even though I mainly wrote this second post as an excuse to rave about Neverwhere.