Deeper, Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams, Chicken House, Scholastic, New York, 2009.
This is the second book in this series, following the first book Tunnels. This book continues with the conflict between the Styx, and our hero Will. In the first book, Will traveled underground looking for his father, who had tunneled into a civilization under the ground. Now Will has the evil Styx, who rule the underground in a Naziistic fashion. In the first book, Will, his friend Chester and his brother Cal. They are no matches for the dangers of the deep, and if not for being rescued by two renegades, Drake and Elliott. Elliott is a young woman, who has been with Drake for some time and although about Will and Chester’s age, is an accomplished member of the team and very good at stealth and being quiet.
Will does not meet his father, but he is around and doing archeological investigations, but falls down a big hole called the Pore.
Drake is assumed captured by the Styx, and finished off by Will and Elliott to avoid his being tortured. However, they have come across a plot by the Styx to release a deadly disease topside, and the surface. They have already had a successful release of a disease not so deadly (although some people died).
The Styx have also recruited Will and Cal’s mother Sarah, to track and kill Will, who they have convinced her killed her brother, Tam. This is not true, but Tam was killed trying to protect them.
Rebecca, the step sister of Will topside turns out to be the face of evil of the Styx. She is wanting to kill anyone associated with Will, and does a pretty good job of it.
The Styx track and chase Will and company all over the underground. Elliott is also pretty good at setting off large explosions in the hopes of buying time as they look for a safe place in the underworld. However Sarah, with Cal’s cat (large and known as a hunter) tracks the trail of Elliott and the boys. However, Elliott, thinking she is a Styx, shots her. They boys realize who she is, but they are unable to take her with them as theirs is the need for speed. They leave her for dead.
The Styx slowly drive Elliott and the boys into a trap, which when sprung gives the boys no way of escape, except perhaps down the Pore. Can their mother save them before she dies? Can Drake help them escape?
This book is very enjoyable, and has plenty of tension and excitement. However, it is a bit claustrophobic in those tunnels some of the time.