After reading Neverwhere for the second time, it remains one of, if not thee, favorite book of mine by Gaiman. There really aren't many flaws to this...moreAfter reading Neverwhere for the second time, it remains one of, if not thee, favorite book of mine by Gaiman. There really aren't many flaws to this book. I love the world and the idea that the people who 'slip through the cracks' exist in this other world beneath the world. I even love the slight ambiguity that it could be that Richard is actually just crazy, through I prefer to think of it as real.
I love the way the story unfolds. We are given information piece-meal, receiving it as our protagonist receives it, and, like our protagonist, we just sort of go along for the ride and start taking the craziness for granted, because it's told in such a convincing way that you don't really ever stop to think it couldn't be true.
I love the characters. Richard is a bit dull and gets annoying sometimes. Door is interesting though, in a way, oddly underdeveloped. The Marquis de Carabas is one of my faves, though, and who doesn't love the creepy, funny insanity of Croup and Vandemar?
I love the wording. Gaiman is evocative without being overly desriptive or trite. The story moves along at a good pace, and the words wrap around you, creating the world and the story, with turns of phrases that just linger on the tongue and in the mind.
And, lastly, I love the ending. There are many self-referential nods to Wizard of Oz throughout the story. It's obvious - the journey to the angel to get knowledge, or power, or to go home. Even Croup and Vandemar as a substitute Witch, as they hound the heroes with threats throughout the story. But in this Oz, which I still choose to think of as more than a dream, the theme is that getting what you want, what you think you wanted all along, isn't necessarily the best thing for you. I always thought Dorothy was better off in Oz, just like Richard truly belongs in London Below.
There are few perfect endings to books, but I think this is one... I always sigh happily to myself when it's over...
Ok - I lied, that's not the last thing I'm going to say. I also really like how Richard, our bumbling hero, isn't always the hero. Yes, he passes some ordeals - but he still has to be saved from his encounter with heights. And he doesn't really rescue to damsel, even though it seems that's how it's going to turn out. Rather the damsel rescues them all, through cleverness.
And I also like how it doesn't become a romance between Richard and Door. I don't have anything against romances, as evidence by my reading list, but it's nice that it doesn't have to be that way.
Overall, there's not really much to dislike about this book - unless you're just a big curmudgeon or something ;)(less)
So - despite my tough girl exterior, I'm rather a romantic at heart. I'm also a sucker for all things Fae, and this was one of the first books I read...moreSo - despite my tough girl exterior, I'm rather a romantic at heart. I'm also a sucker for all things Fae, and this was one of the first books I read that presented the Fae in the various, and often nasty, guises they are said to have been, and not the Victorian butterfly thing.
I liked Kaye - I, personally, found her mostly believable and rather relatable. She was, in turns, fragile and brave, needy and independent. And I sort of go swoon for Roiben, but, then, I have a penchant for falling for the darkly mysterious and brooding types.
I liked the romance of the story, and how it was handled - but, then, I'm a "fade to black" kind of girl. I like my romance to be romantic - butterflies in the stomach, that swoop in your chest, weak kneed, giddy romance... But I'm also not someone who seeks out just romance stories. It's the blending of the romance with the self-discovery/quest-adventure story, set in the marvelously unique world of Faerie with its endless variations.
I also love some of the expressions of the story. The visual imagery - the random weird thoughts that Kaye has, like the sun's slit wrists and the murderous moon. They both remind me of my own sometimes outre thoughts, but also left me envious for the turn of phrase. I loved the description of Kaye going from blithe, empowered by the sea and the air, to drained and exhausted. I've had these moments... I know them well... and it's often we see something like it in stories.
I loved some of the notions of magic, the idea that the twilight - the mysteries of blood and bone - are just as real and valid as the other, nicer ones. I liked how it showed the deceit of the Seelie - leaving both courts, and solitary, in some ways, morally grey.
I don't understand what some people found so hard to follow. Yes, the attraction happens rather quickly - though that happens a lot in stories and movies, so I guess I just accepted it. I understood Kaye's infatuation, her anger, her desire and longing...
There were some parts were the dialogue was a little clunky, and where the poetic language seemed to stumble a little bit - but considering my overall enjoyment of this book, and it's compulsive readability, these moments are few and far between, and not nearly enough to impede my enjoyment.
As a caution - I will say that I would recommend this for older teenagers, probably 16 and up. I remember at 16 I did smoke, and curse, and I wasn't quite unicorn pure, either. The only thing I didn't do much of in the book at 16 was drink - but I knew people who did. And that was 14 years ago - from what I've seen kids have gotten less conservative, not more. Of course there are exceptions who don't do those things, but that doesn't make the behavior in the book unbelievable. (I never got the big thing with cursing, anyway. It's part of my everyday vernacular, and it was 'back then', too. *shrugs*)
But if you think that some teenagers drinking, cursing, smoking and talking about sex is "too dark and freaky", then you'll really hate when you get to visit the Unseelie court - so this book is not for you.
For those of us who were or are the weirdos and freaks, this might be right up your alley.(less)
It wasn't a bad story, but Green's plots are all generally the same. I like Nightside, but I'm not really interested in reading another variation of i...moreIt wasn't a bad story, but Green's plots are all generally the same. I like Nightside, but I'm not really interested in reading another variation of it. I'll probably pass on the rest of this series.(less)
I'm behind in the series because I've been putting them off for awhile. I'd started to feel the series was getting too formulaic. But then I heard...more3.75
I'm behind in the series because I've been putting them off for awhile. I'd started to feel the series was getting too formulaic. But then I heard 'Changes' turns everything on its head, and I thought I lights catch up.
Perhaps the break was exactly what I needed, 'cause even though the general formula of the story was still there, I really enjoyed it. I'd forgotten about the banter and character quirks and interactions which makes the books work. And, for a little less than midway through the climax, I was really tense and uncertain about how everything would work out, and what would be left.
It was fun to hang out with Harry & Co again, and the gang really was all here. And I mean, all of them.
I look forward to the next installment, though I still think I might put off 'Changes' until book 13 comes out.(less)
I'm not really a big fan of first-person stories, and this book is a perfect example of why - first-person only works if the narrator isn't completely...moreI'm not really a big fan of first-person stories, and this book is a perfect example of why - first-person only works if the narrator isn't completely annoying...
I suppose this would be called first-person stream of consciousness, since we get every random thought which flits through our "heroines" brain... and what we learn is that our heroine is sex-crazed with attempts at being cutesy... and that her thoughts are way, way too repetitive. (Either that, or her metaphors far too limited.)
One more "mental note"... one more "oogy"... and I think I was going to have to kill someone. And when she sees a hot guy and "drops an egg" or whatever - my inner feminist died a little...
So why two stars instead of one? Because the premise was interesting and while I found reading the narration to be torturous at times, I was rather intrigued by the story... enough to read the next in the installment (in the hopes that the inner monologue got toned down a bit (it didn't))... (less)
I'd originally rated it three, but I can't remember why I rated this three stars... except, perhaps, in that while it's not a 3 star book, per se,...more2.5
I'd originally rated it three, but I can't remember why I rated this three stars... except, perhaps, in that while it's not a 3 star book, per se, it is better than the first one which I rated 2 stars. (I tend to rate books in series against each other instead of as stand alone ratings... )
Anyway... the inner monologue still painfully annoying... the premise and actual plot still interesting.
And I hate cliffhangers. Now I have to read the next one... because I'm a completionist psycho person, or something. I just hope the next one wraps things up... because, obvious masochism aside, I don't think I have it in me for a fourth unless the next seriously improves...
*edited to add, the more I think about this character the more it annoys me, and since I don't remember the cliffhanger and clearly don't care for the series, I am officially stopping with this one. If I ever decide I care I'll read the summary on wikipedia...(less)