(Cover picture courtesy of Goodreads.)
Fourteen-year-old Will Burrows has little in common with his family. But he does share one bond with his odd father: an obsession with archaeological digs. When the two discover an abandoned tunnel buried beneath modern-day London, they think they’re on the brink of a major find.
Then Dad vanishes.
With the help of his best friend Chester, Will decides to investigate the truth behind his father’s disappearance—and the deeper they descend, the deadlier the threat to their lives!
This book is 474 pages long and yet I read it in about two hours, so this is more of a Middle Grade than a YA novel. (Despite the fact that it is classified as YA at the local library.) Still, I did enjoy it, even if Gordon and Williams loved to belabor the point at times.
Readers who like fast-paced plots and mysterious secret societies will love Tunnels, but first they have to get past the first third of the book. I’m not an impatient reader, but trust me when I say my thoughts were this at the beginning of the book: Okay, I get it already, now get on with the show! Will likes digging, his dad is an archaeologist, there are mysterious tunnels cropping up all over town…okay, now what? A good set up in the beginning is important, but the set up for Tunnels did not need to take so long.
Once you get past the beginning, things really do speed up and get interesting. I can’t say much without giving away whatever suspense you encounter at the beginning, but I can say that your suspicions are probably correct when you’re trying to figure out who the mysterious men are. If you read a lot of fantasy, you’ll know almost right away because the basic idea has been done before. However, I think Gordon and Williams did a great job of putting their own spin on things, which is why I still enjoyed Tunnels.
The characters are interesting, the plot is fast-paced, the world is well thought-out and there’s quite a cliffhanger ending. Really, you can’t ask for much more in a Middle Grade/YA Novel.
I give this book 4/5 stars.