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Tunnelsby Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams
Synopses & Reviews
Fourteen-year-old Will Burrows lives with his family in London. He has little in common with them except for a passion for digging which he shares with his father.
When his father suddenly disappears down an unknown tunnel, Will decides to investigate with his friend Chester. Soon they find themselves deep underground, where they unearth a dark and terrifying secret — a secret which may cost them their lives.
"Although it arrives from the U.K. amid plenty of fanfare — and to fandom here, too (see Galley Talk, Dec. 10) — this first in a planned series seems full of holes, as if its raison d'tre were to set up the action for future books. The plot builds on a secret subterranean culture, a cruel, hierarchical English society that is deeply hostile to 'Topsoilers.' As the book opens, the punningly named Will Burrows and his archeologist father are tunneling beneath a disused train station, as this is Dr. Burrows's passion. Their bond established, these two major characters soon go off in different directions; as they do later, the authors lengthily follow one protagonist and seemingly abandon the others. Dr. Burrows, having discovered underground passages in local cellars, disappears after a quarrel with his useless wife; Will and a friend go after him. Encumbered by verbose and flat descriptions ('His whole being emanated evil, and his dark eyes never left Will's, who felt a wave of dread wash over him....[Will] was unable to tear his gaze from the sinister man, whose thin lips twisted into a sardonic smile'), the novel is nearly one-third over before the boys enter the underground Colony — where they are promptly imprisoned and tortured. The narrative at last begins to twist and turn, but the authors still have trouble tracking their cast — and because the offstage characters seem to figure so punily in the others' thinking, readers have little incentive to stay invested in their fates. Ages 8-14." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Will is determined to rescue Chester, and his quest leads him up against gruesome cruelties and startling betrayals. Dense but exciting." Kirkus Reviews
"[A] rollicking subterranean adventure in a world that's both decidedly sinister and deliciously complex....It's been ages since a fantasy book sucked me in with as much speed and force as did this one, and perhaps even longer since I was so surprised by the unexpected twists a story has taken." Alison Morris, Publishers Weekly's "Shelftalker" blog
"There is a genuine Potteresque momentum to the story..." The Observer (U.K.)
"Wonderfully imagined subterranean fantasy that draws you completely into its world." Publishing News
"[A] classic fantasy tale with a science fiction edge..." The Independent (U.K.)
Will Burrows has little in common with his strange, dysfunctional family. In fact, the only bond he shares with his eccentric father is a passion for archaeological excavation. So when his dad mysteriously vanishes, Will unearths the unbelievable: a subterranean society that time forgot.
Fourteen-year-old Will Burrows has little in common with his strange, dysfunctional family. In fact, the only bond he shares with his eccentric father is a passion for archaeological excavation. So when his dad mysteriously vanishes, Will is compelled to dig up the truth behind his disappearance. He unearths the unbelievable: a subterranean society that time forgot.
"The Colony" has existed unchanged for a century, but it's no benign time capsule of a bygone era. Because the Colony is ruled by a merciless overclass, the Styx. Will must free his father — is he also about to ignite a revolution?
14-year-old Will Burrows has little in common with his strange, dysfunctional family. In fact, the only bond he shares with his eccentric father is a passion for archaeological excavation. So when his dad mysteriously vanishes, Will is compelled to dig up the truth behind his disappearance. He unearths the unbelievable: a subterranean society that time forgot. "The Colony" has existed unchanged for a century, but it's no benign time capsule of a bygone era. Because the Colony is ruled by a merciless overclass, the Styx. Will must free his father--is he also about to ignite a revolution?
KIDS DIG TUNNELS!
"My eyes were my gray metal shovel and my dark unexpected tunnel was the book. I kept digging my way deeper into the plot to find out what was going to happen next."--Alexa, age 12
"...a unique mix of fantasy and adventure that keeps you wondering what's going to happen next....the vivid descriptions will transport you to a whole new world."--Matt, age 14
"...I was on the edge of my seat until the last page. It was intricately mystifying. Full praise to TUNNELS--I want more!"--Garrett, age 12
Kafka's Metamorphosis meets Gregor the Overlander in this supernatural literary drama wherein Evan is slowly turning into a wuftoom, large wormlike creatures who can speak and have their own civilization underground. In fact, many creatures we would think of as insects have dark civilizations below, and as Evan discovers more of their struggles, wars, and desires, he realizes he must give up everything he once held dear.
Everyone thinks Evan is sick . . . Everyone thinks science will find a cure. But Evan knows he is not sick; he is transforming. Evans metamorphosis has him confined to his bed, constantly terrified, and completely alone. Alone except for his visits from the Wuftoom, a wormlike creature that tells him he is becoming one of them.
Clinging to his humanity and desperate to help his overworked single mother, Evan makes a bargain with the Vitflies, the sworn enemies of the Wuftoom. But when the bargain becomes blackmail and the Vitflies prepare for war, whom can Evan trust? Is saving his humanity worth destroying an entire species, and the only family he has left?
About the Author
RODERICK GORDON and BRIAN WILLIAMS are coauthors of the international bestsellers TUNNELS, DEEPER, FREEFALL, and CLOSER. Williams divides his time between London and his native Liverpool; Gordon lives with his wife and children in Norfolk, England.
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