This Review was first published on Kurt's Frontier.
If you live in London, there is place so close you could reach out and touch it, yet could walk for a thousand miles and never reach. Under London, there is a place most of the citizenry of the city could never dream of. A place of monsters, saints, creatures of legend, and people who have fallen between the cracks.
Richard Mayhew finds out more than he ever wanted to know about London. A simple act of kindness pulls him out of his everyday existence. He is now following a girl named Door and the Marquis de Carabas on a quest of discovery and revenge. A strange destiny awaits him. A battle against murderers and monsters.
What if there were a world that existed alongside our own. Suppose that a simple act could send a person in our world careening into the other. Richard Mayhew worked in a London office. He planned to marry a girl named Jessica. He could best be described as a doormat. Then he helps a girl from the other world. This simple act takes him into a world of magic and darkness but makes him a stranger to his own world.
Neil Gaiman takes the reader into the magical world under London and somewhat out of phase. Richard finds that he no longer exists in his own world. To have any chance of getting back, he has to help Door on a quest of her own. Door is the oldest daughter of Lord Portico. She is the last survivor of her family, and she wants to find out who ordered them killed.
The concept, while not entirely new, has had fresh life breathed into it. The imagery has a dark nature, but the pace is relatively modest. The story was quite enjoyable.