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Mind the Gap (Hidden Cities #1)

3.4  ·  Rating Details ·  352 Ratings  ·  67 Reviews
You never know when you’ll find yourself
falling through one of the cracks in the world.…

Two of today’s brightest stars of dark fantasy combine their award-winning, critically acclaimed talents in this spellbinding new tale of magic, terror, and adventure that begins when a young woman slips through the space between our everyday world and the one hiding just beneath it.

Paperback, 400 pages
Published May 20th 2008 by Spectra (first published January 1st 2008)
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I lost interest around chapter four. The main character makes no sense, she thinks one thing and does another. Jazz is supposed to be somebody that is extremely hyper vigilant, and it isn't ringing true. She does a lot of screaming when she thinks she is being followed for example.
I don't know, it feels like it's trying to be Neverwhere, and failing miserably.
Jul 01, 2008 Joshua rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Anyone who liked Neverwhere but thought the writing was too good
I've been really looking forward to reading this book. It's a collaboration between two authors that I admire, Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon. Also, Mind the Gap has been touted as the next Neverwhere which is high praise indeed- praise that in the end is totally misplaced. Frankly, this book isn't really any good, let alone the next Neverwhere .

The story takes place in the undergrounds of London where a secret society of people and ghosts live. After the death of her mother, a young gi
Nov 22, 2008 Mary rated it liked it
Shelves: sf-f
Seventeen year old Jazz has been raised by her paranoid mom to be aware of everything that goes on around her and to be particularly ware of the Uncles (her dead father's old friends). One day when she arrives home from school to find her mother murdered and the Uncles staking out her house, it seems as though her mother was right to always be afraid. Jazz goes into hiding underground in the subway and is taken in by a group of underground dwellers who call themselves the United Kingdom. This gr ...more
Oct 09, 2010 Carien rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya
I got very mixed feelings about this book. The story starts out really suspenseful and exciting, but then suddenly turns into some kind of Oliver Twist in the Underground as Jazz meets some people who're not as much persons as rather grotesk caricatures. I was really waiting for the moment Jazz would (like Oliver Twist) run into her benefactor and swoon in his arms and was getting a bit disappointed by the story I must confess. Just when I was about to totally lose my patience however a new char ...more
Oct 01, 2009 Mel rated it really liked it
Kind of a cross between The Matrix and Oliver Twist, if you can imagine that! I love Sci Fi so very much enjoyed this book, but not sure it's for everyone...
Eva Mitnick
Sep 08, 2008 Eva Mitnick rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Teenager Jazz is nearing her London home one day after school when she realizes that something isn’t quite right. Her mother has always drilled into her the urgent need to stay alert and even paranoid, and to trust no one and nothing except her instincts. Jazz’s instincts tell her to scope out her house – and she discovers that the Uncles, a mysterious group of BMW-driving men who have both supported and terrified her mother since Jazz’s birth, have killed her mother and are waiting for her own ...more
Mike Kazmierczak
While I have enjoyed novels by both Golden and Lebbon, I'm not too sure that I would say that I enjoyed this one. Maybe that's too harsh. I didn't not enjoy it but then I didn't love it either. It was more along the lines of a solid "there," existing and potentially fun but not really.

The story follows a teenage Jasmine "Jazz" Towne who comes home from school one day to find her mom killed by her "Uncles." Her Uncles, also called BMW men, came by at irregular intervals while Jazz was growing up;
K. Lincoln
Apr 06, 2011 K. Lincoln rated it liked it
Jazz gets the feeling one day something is wrong.

Raised by her single mother to follow her instincts, Jazz embarks on a skulking, slippery path through London where she finds her mother with her throat slit open and written in blood "Jazz Hide Forever."

Jazz goes underground, meeting up with a band of young outcasts led by a an old thief named Harry, and commences upon a new life of more skulking and thievery...and revenge upon the "uncles" who killed her mother.

Underground she is haunted by Lond
Mine is a limited edition (1000 copies), signed by both authors, and released by Cemetery Dance Publications in January of 2010 as the first book of their Book Club 3.0.

Mind the Gap follows Jasmine “Jazz” Towne as she discovers a secret society of underground dwellers led by a semi-Fagin-esque character (ala Oliver Twist); her family’s secrets, leading to secrets about herself; and her own importance to a world ready to move on.

She returns home to find her mother slain and the “Uncles” who kille
Brian Steele
Apr 18, 2012 Brian Steele rated it really liked it
I find the loosely connected theme in this series to be utterly brilliant. Instead of necessarily focusing on the characters, each book in the Hidden Cities set of novels deals with the secret, magic aspects of a particular city. With our first foray, authors Golden and Lebbon take us into the underground sprawls of London and the centuries of history that are buried there.

There's an obvious homage to "Oliver Twist" to be found here in this book, and sometimes I felt the details of thieving took
I am not really a fan of dark fantasy. And there is a YA feel to this book, maybe to most fantasy, despite the "dark" trappings.
So there is this clever, self-sufficient girl named Jazz, a teenager, raised by her mom to "trust no one!". One day this girl is coming home and senses something wrong, sneaks into her house via her neighbor's attic, finds her mother murdered, and manages to evade the bad guys even though they are in the house. She hides in the London Underground (which is so strange a
Jul 03, 2009 Thee_ron_clark rated it liked it
Shelves: action, mystery, other
This story revolves around a girl who returns home from school to find her mother murdered and the people who have been watching over her and her mother responsible for the murder and waiting for her as well.

The girl, Jazz realizes she must find a safe haven to avoid the powerful group that is hunting for her and ends up London's abandoned underground where the adventures begin and the reason these powerful people turned on her family is eventually revealed.

Over all it was a decent read. I enjoy
Nov 15, 2011 Macjest rated it liked it
I found one of the reviews on to reflect my own feelings about this book. The book takes place in modern day London but features older glimpses of London as well. The main character opens the book mentioning how she's learned to be paranoid about her "uncles" but you don't learn much about them until almost of the way through. Unfortunately the teen girl, Jazz, drops the f-bomb a lot. While I understand that it can be necessary to some characters, and I'm no prude about cussing, I fo ...more
May 10, 2010 Aaron rated it really liked it
Googily moogily, I loved this book. In fact, I think that if I had read it when I was fourteen or fifteen that it would still be standing the test of time as one of my all-time favorites.

There are numerous plot twists (some of them heartbreaking) and several horrifying images (the Hour of Screams among them) and some fantastic characters that a reader grows to really care about. This was recommended by my girlfriend, who was disappointed in it. The book itself wasn't what she was expecting goin
Kelly Flanagan
Apr 20, 2010 Kelly Flanagan rated it really liked it
I don't know what it is I want to say about this book. I can say the points of this book that stick in my head today, I read it yesterday.
The first is of course, the mother's death. It is a haunting horrid thing that is constantly in mind throughout the book. The thought of her writing those words in her own blood, hoping to finish before she fades....*shiver*
The second is the 'Hour of Screams'.. especially the last time you experience it in the book.
the third is the feeling of
Michel B.
Mar 11, 2009 Michel B. rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009-reads
Good - in that it's a page turner that is hard to put down. It might have been 'very good' but I thought it lacked... something! Not sure how to express it. Description is pretty good - quite concise, which is nice for a change (as compared to some 1000+page books I've recently read which take 3 pages to describe a room in a pub which is of no consequence to the story). I guess my problem lies in the lack of information about the central theme of the book - which in the end turns out to be not s ...more
Jul 17, 2008 Deb rated it really liked it
Shelves: favoritefantasy
I really enjoyed this. Jazz has been raised with an atmosphere of paranoia, which stands her in good stead when she comes home to find her mother murdered and the mysterious "Uncles" apparently waiting for her. She ecapes to the tunnels of London's Underground and is adopted by one of the groups that live there. There is also magic and mystery in this underground world, ghosts from London's past, the fearsome Hour Of Screams, lindering magic that some people want to harness for power and some wa ...more
Ryan Mishap
Dec 22, 2008 Ryan Mishap rated it liked it
Raised by an overly paranoid mother, Jazz comes home one day to find out that her mother wasn't nuts--the Uncles are there and her mom is dead. Jazz flees to the London Underground--no, even farther, under the Underground and comes across a makeshift "family" of thieves. She works crimes with them while trying to find out what happened to her mom, who her father was, the mysterious stranger who seems to know a lot, ghosts of WWII Londoners, and more.
Everything you read here has existed in some
Mar 25, 2009 Alycia rated it it was ok
Shelves: scifi
This was an odd book, and I'm still trying to figure out how many stars to give it.

After the murder of her mother, Jazz hides in the London Underground with group of orphans. These kids are guided and protected by an older thief who truly seems to care for them. Jazz soons finds herself confronted by his past, the reasons for her parent's deaths, London's ghosts and a mysterious cabal who ties them all together.

The ending was nothing that I could have predicted and both more and less satisfying
Stacy Palm
May 21, 2010 Stacy Palm rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010-books
As a general response to this book I would say that it was better than I expected. The plot was highly entertaining. I was enthralled after the first chapter. It revolved around things that I very much enjoy, underground London, Magic, and thieves. The ending was unexpected and I did not foresee the answer to the problem surrounding the story. Some of the characters were really strong and connectable. Overall, I felt this was worth the read and very entertaining and I will plan to read the next ...more
Dec 22, 2008 Samantha rated it it was amazing
Best way I can think to describe this fun, fast read is "action thriller vs. Oliver Twist vs. Neverwhere vs. a ghost story." The action starts off almost right away, dragging you right into the story, and pretty much runs continuously. I found I didn't want to put it down. I suppose there's nothing really SUPER original about it, but I didnt care; found it quite enjoyable. The title stems from the fact that most of the action takes place in London's Tube system & surrounding tunnels.

Jul 27, 2008 Heidi rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: teenagers
Recommended to Heidi by: found on my own
I recently read this and I can understand Jazz's belief that her parent, although hinky in the head, had a reason for why she parented Jazz the way she did.
It hooked me because I could understand the perspective of the child toward the mother.

It had a little of the believability that a child has no perspective of the impact of first friendships, dealing with a constant danger/threat, and a bit of the looking for and wanting to find tribe and belong.

Well written though I wanted more to be foun
Oct 06, 2011 Anna rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
It's interesting that so many readers were far from thrilled about this book. I enjoyed most of it, probably because it merges two of my favorite genres --- young adult with strong heroine and (mostly) non-violent semi-art theft suspense. Yes, I did find the heroine's relations to various men a bit repetitive, and you could kinda tell it was written by men in that it failed the two-female-characters-have-a-real-conversation-about-a-topic-other-than-men test. But otherwise, I enjoyed the world be ...more
Feb 09, 2009 Jennifer rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya-fantasy-scifi
This book wasn't bad, but it wasn't nearly as good as I wanted it to be. It sounds good, a teenage girl is forced to go on the run after her mother is murdered and discovers hidden worlds under the city of London. The blurb on the cover lauds the blend of fantasy and realism, but I wanted a bit more magic. The pacing was also a bit uneven for most teen readers. The slow bits were too slow, and the action bits too short. Still, some teens might identify with the main character's search for the tr ...more
May 14, 2010 JW rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy, gave-up
87 pages into a 368 page trade paperback and NOTHING IS HAPPENING! How the hell do books like this get made? Maybe the publisher only read the first 20 pages and didn't get to this slow, boring middle part. If you have to set something up, fine, but make it interesting somehow. Maybe some people find a gang of teenage pickpockets living in bomb shelters inherently fascinating, but I'm here to tell you that it can be made dull and tedious.
Steven Koch
Jan 21, 2011 Steven Koch rated it it was amazing
Another Great book by Christopher Golden,and even though it is subtitled as a Hidden Cities book the other books in the series are not related to one another...this book, unlike the other two ,is young adult friendly and is a unique idea with a Dickens' like tone to it. And the young heroine Jazz is superb....but be forewarned the other two The Map of Moments, and The Chamber of Ten, are more adult oriented with lots of sex and violence...great books as well but not for the younger readers.
If you liked Gaiman's "Neverwhere", then you'll enjoy this one.

Running from men she knows only as "the Uncles", who have just murdered her mum, Jazz finds a haven of sorts under London when she's taken in by a modern-day but kindly Fagin and his band of lost souls. But the abandoned tunnels of the London underground harbour their own ghostly dangers, and something hidden wants to draw Jazz back to the life she left behind.
Nov 06, 2008 Reita rated it liked it
Recommends it for: any Sci Fi reader
Jazz's mother has trained her to be paranoid so when she comes home one day, she feels something is wrong. Her mother has been murdered and the "Uncles" are after her. She goes into hiding in the old subway tunnels under London. It's hard for her to trust anyone but she finds a group of kids led by an adult who steal things to survive. Magic and mystery is involved as Jazz tries to find out why her mother was killed. A pretty good read.
Jun 11, 2008 Clarice rated it liked it
This was a quick read. Think Neverwhere but somewhat more realism to it and more sorrow overall. And a bit more confusion. Certain aspects of the story were way too mysteriously told, specifically the whole set up of the main characters upbringing by her super paranoid mother. It made me a little crazy and I wonder if there could've been a different way to handle it. I did enjoy the story itself though.
Jennifer Busch
Sep 30, 2008 Jennifer Busch rated it liked it
The subtitle "A Novel of the Hidden Cities" really didn't make a lot of sense until I got to the end of the book and saw that there are other books with this same subtitle. While it takes place under London, it' really isn't (to me, at least) a story about the city under London.

The story seems undeveloped and rushed. While the main character is interesting, I found the other characters to lack depth.
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Christopher Golden is the award-winning, bestselling author of such novels as The Myth Hunters, Wildwood Road, The Boys Are Back in Town, The Ferryman, Strangewood, Of Saints and Shadows, and (with Tim Lebbon) Mind the Gap. Golden co-wrote the lavishly illustrated novel Baltimore, or, The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire with Mike Mignola, which they are currently scripting as a feature film ...more
More about Christopher Golden...

Other Books in the Series

Hidden Cities (4 books)
  • The Map of Moments (Hidden Cities, #2)
  • The Chamber of Ten (Hidden Cities, #3)
  • The Shadow Men (Hidden Cities, #4)

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