The theme of people “living below,” near, and yet separate, has always interested me. I think what first piqued my interest was hearing about the tunnels at Disneyland for cast members. The idea of people enjoying the park while employees went about their daily business right beneath the feat really caught my imagination in elementary school. Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere
, also touching on this theme, impressed and fascinated me a few years later. Though Downsiders
seems less complex and more juvenile than Gaiman’s work, it had some of the same qualities that drew me in and I enjoyed it.
It’s a quick read through the middle, though it starts and ends slowly. The beginning is slightly confusing, and I’m still not sure how the chasm between Lindsay’s father’s two homes was supposed to work. But Lindsay’s first introduction to the Downside is wonderful, as are the plot threads that eventually entwine and come to a satisfying conclusion. There were a couple things that seemed to be unresolved, but may be waiting for a possible second book. The narrative style is also interesting and a little different than I was expecting. There’s even a little bit of fun wordplay.