And so it ends. The ending was great and strange, but not necessarily likeable. Really depends on who you liked and loved along the way. But let us start at the start…
Tunnels, beside Harry Potter, and mind you, these series are NOTHING alike, were probably the first series that got me out of the bed in the morning. Maybe A. Sapkowski’s Witcher Saga was before it too, but I could be wrong, thus I only named Harry Potter there. Anyways, as I said, in the morning I would jump out of the bed to read further of the dark tunnels under the United Kingdom, with strange race of pale people down there and their odd customs. They eat these weird grey mushrooms and white, blind rats as a delicacy, hunted down for them by their overly large bald cats. Streets are light day and night with bubbles that shine with no energy source other than they themselves. Same ones are in people’s homes. They wake with the light and they sleep with the lights. And this all is uncovered by a suddenly missing father of our young protagonist, by a scientist or a professor, I don’t remember anymore, mr Burrows. His son, albino boy Will Burrows and his friend Chester, both are the outcasts, thus they befriended each other and spend time digging holes in backyards, but since mr Burrows disappeared – they started digging else where. Closer to a City Underground. Right under Will’s home.
The story is very dark, both literally, and the action-wise. Literally, for it’s dark down there, especially from the moment you move towards the second book. With each book they get in deeper and thus it seems scarier when one legend follows another, of monsters, of beasts and of course – of mutants down there. But worst of all are the race of military Styx, warriors silent and deadly, who travel the perimeter murdering those who were doomed to go Deeper into the depths of Earth and didn’t die by themselves yet. There Will and Chester meet a gang of rebels, led by once kidnapped scientist-soldier Drake. Now, here I should warn you, apparently that’s my type and so – stop me if I go over-the-top in describing… I fall for books with strange smart one-man-army tech people in dark tunnels under the ground. For example – Dmitry Glukhovski and his Metro 2033 books. There we had Hunter. Here we have Drake.
The “Fun” things beside the new race of people who hate the people on the surface and think they need elimination, is that there’s a whole damn system of life under the ground. Will, being a son of a crazed archeologist or who mr Burrows was, is of course into archeology himself. It’s through him that we are given all kinds of fantastic views with realistic details – crystals, soils, gravity and temperature, minerals and so on are very believable. Drake informs us on technologies, like Black Light or Dark Light (I had a translation, that’s why I’m unable to fit words) styxes use to brain-wash people, including Will’s mother. And then there’s Elliot. A miracle girl. Why? Because a beast like styx, apparently liked a normal woman underground (there are people and there are styxes, two different types of humans) enough to conceive a daughter with her, and since the daughter is alive, it probably wasn’t a one-night-stand either. Don’t ask, rather read, it made me think for long long days until I figured who the hell that Styx was and that he’s not the only one who is somewhat sane.
So, lets say I didn’t side-track us. We keep going into the center of the Earth in these books until we actually reach it. Now, I won’t say what’s down there, but it’s not what you expect, I bet. And I didn’t like it much, felt annoying, I prefered the dark holes in the ground instead, with such unbelievable places like Marta’s cabin, an actual little house in the middle of Earth-nowhere, with a slightly nuts lady Marta herself. And if it’s not enough for you to think you might want to read the books, or if you read the first one and decide you didn’t like it, well then let me ask you how many YA type of books out there are now that are not about vampires or werewolves? For these got neither. AND YET! Somewhere on the way they tell a true story of Vlad Dracula and what Styx race really is. Many great and unbelievable things happen and I can only hope that one day they make a game like Metro 2033 and Metro Last Light out of it.
Authors, writing in and out, forgot some things quite obviously. And they killed off some very great characters, leaving others a complete mystery. I’m not sure if one ever grows out of crushing over fictional characters, but it’s the worse when you understand he or she is dead. I tend to turn pages around, searching for an author’s note saying “just joking!”, which is never there. All in all I will give the series solid 5-5, with last book getting 4-5, because…. YOU KILLED HIM, WHY?!