Saturday, 4 July 2009


Publ: 2007
My own copy
ISBN: 978-1-905294-42-8
Genre: Children's fantasy and adventure
Pages: 464p
Recommended by a fellow blgger
Rating: ***** ***

What led you to pick up this book?
A fellow blogger - sorry I cannot recall who - enthused over this and said how she and her normally non-reading children had got hooked on the series. Thanks to whoever it was! I promptly sent off to Amazon - £6.99 well spent.

Describe the plot without giving anything away.
14-year-old Will Burrows has little in common with his strange, dysfunctional family. In fact, the only bond he shares is with his eccentric father's 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" is ruled by a merciless overclass, the Styx.

What did you think of the characters?
Ideal characters for a children's novel. All are a bit OTT but in my experience children tend to like their characters clearly drawn like this.

What did you think about the style?
Plenty of action and a real page-turning style that makes you always want to know what happens next.

What did you like most about the book?
The novelty of the idea behind it. Shades of a 21st Century Jules Verne.

Was there anything you didn't like about the book?
I would have liked it to be more complete in its own right and less of a cliff-hanger. It was very obviously done that way to ensure the whole series is bought. But if the third v9olume is equally unresolved I shall be peeved.

Thoughts on the book jacket / cover.
A smart design by David Wyatt. The inside illustrations are by Brian Williams.

Would I recommend it?
Yes. Ideal for a teenager or anyone who enjoys well-written teenage fantasy and adventure.

Totally irrelevant side note:
This first volume is now entitled the The Highfield Mole and the overall series is called Tunnels.

RODERICK GORDON was born, grew up and went to university in London. He worked in corporate finance in the City until 2001. He counts a number of writers and poets among his ancestors such RD Blackmore, Philip Doddridge and Matthew Arnold plus two paleontologists and celebrated eccentrics, William and Frank Buckland. He recently moved with his family from London to north Norfolk.

grew up in Zambia until moving to Liverpool with his family in the seventies. He attended The Slade School of Fine Art and, after graduating, has continued with painting, writing and film-making, which has encompassed both his own films and also working as art director and acting in a number of UK productions. He presently lives in Hackney.

1 comment:

  1. I was totally stoked with the book as well, I am currently waiting on a copy of the second book which I had to buy from England as it will take forever to get here. I am disappointed though with this tendency to bring out first editions in paperback, I prefer hardback as I like to keep my books and get a paperback reading copy. I know it is for kids but I most definately dont fit that category, being many decades past that. Thoroughly good read 9/10 marked down only because it is paperback.


Hello folks - your comments are always welcome.