Welcome to ‘London Below’. As a respectable member of ‘London Above’ (such as our protagonist Richard Mayhew), or whichever other city you hail from, you’ve probably never had the opportunity to visit London’s disused Underground network, or parkour your way onto untenable roof tops. The closest you’ll have got to the vibrant world of ‘London Below’ might be seeing rats scurry hurriedly along train tracks, or occasionally clocking someone sleeping rough. This might seem quite innocuous, but Neverwhere will show you a world where rats have places to be, and things to get done, and that’s just the start of it.
On your many journeys across London, mainly on the Underground, you’ll meet many namesakes you once took for metaphor including the Black friars of Blackfriars and the Earl of Earl’s Court, to mention just a couple. ‘London Below’, despite your better judgement, will become the place you wish you could backpack around for a couple of months, because just like the rats Richard is constantly on the run. Richard, the tag-along to the Lady Door, her bodyguard Hunter, and her contractually obliged yet undeniably dodgy acquaintance the Marquis de Carabas only have one objective to not be murdered while tracking down who ordered the death of Lady Door’s family. This proves to be an exceedingly difficult task indeed.
Suitability: A couple of gruesome descriptions and allusions to murder, but otherwise a clean read.
Suggested age range: 12+
Last chance to convince me: Aside from how wonderfully creative this book is in excavating the world of ‘London Below’, Neverwhere empowers the overlooked and underestimated.