Tuesday, April 1, 2008
by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams
Will Burrows loves to dig. He helps his father with archaeological digs, and he also digs his own tunnels for fun. Through a series of seemingly random events, Dr. Burrows (Will's father) discovers some passageways below London and goes exploring without telling anyone where he's going. After several days, Will and his sister Rebecca become concerned and call the cops. Will decides to take matters into his own hands and discovers a new tunnel that his father had dug. With his friend Chester, they head underground in an attempt to rescue his father. They end up finding a colony of people controlled by an evil upper class known as the Styx, and the real adventure begins.
I kind of feel sorry for this book. It's been hailed as the next Harry Potter (via a press conference), and really is there any better way to get people's hopes up so high that it can't help but fail? I have no idea how well it's doing, but other than the press conference I haven't read anything else about it.
I liked Tunnels. I think it could have used a good editor; there was a lot of unnecessary information which caused it to get a little long. But, on the whole, I liked it. Will is an interesting character that for the most part I cheered on. His home life lacks something to be desired, and as the story progresses, opens lots of questions.
Tam is my favorite character. He lives in the underworld and really welcomes Will, and helps Will do the things that he wants and needs to do. He comes to the rescue more than once, and he is able to add humor in a place that really lacks it.
I am also really interested in learning more about every member of Will's family. I can't think of what else to say without giving too much away, so I'll stop there. But there are a couple of twists (one I saw coming a mile away and one that really surprised me) that really add to the story.
As to the Harry Potter question. I don't really know if it's the next Harry Potter, but in complete honesty, did you know Harry Potter was going to be Harry Potter after reading The Sorcerer's Stone? Tunnels is a fun story that appears like it will add depth as we learn the background of the Colony and specific characters. It's also very different in that there's no magic, Will is loved by his parents (at least his dad), and so far there isn't an older person watching over and directing his actions. Will is pretty much on his own. So, maybe. If not, it's still a fun read.
I should also mention that the book doesn't really end. None of the characters are in immediate danger, but the story will definitely be continued. If that bothers you, you may want to wait until the next book (Deeper) is released sometime in January 2009. Just fair warning to those of you who are already anxiously waiting for too many sequels as it is.
Posted by KT at 12:00 PM