Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Under London

I never need an excuse to read a book set in any version of London. Ran across two great ones this weekend. Both are great mystery/fantasy/horror, but I'll put Tom Becker's Darkside first because he worked in vampires, werewolves AND Jack the Ripper.

Jonathan's father is mentally ill, and while he is in the hospital and a friend is watching out for Jonathan, he's stalked (at the British Library!), attacked, and chased to Darkside, a creepy, semi-Victorian side of London peopled by descendants of criminals. Aided, although almost eaten, by the werewolf Carnegie, Jonathan manages to escape being put into a carnival. He's still wanted by denizens of this dark community, however, because his mother was a Darksider, although years of dealing with this side of London has caused his father's mental problems. A wonderful cover, fast-paced story, and plenty of gory details (stalker ends up in pool of barracudas!) make this a book that fans of Shan's Cirque du Freak will love. The sequel comes out September 1.

Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams' Tunnels also occurs underneath London and bears some similarities-- Will's father is an archaeologist, his mother is out of touch with reality, and he finds a semi-Victorian underground world inhabited by the descendants of religious types who thought the world above was evil. After seeing suspicious men traveling about London, Will's father disappears, and Will finds an entrance to the underground world. His friend is taken captive, Will finds out some secrets about his own past, and spends a lot of time being chased by people who do not mean well!

This book apparently is being made into a movie, has a sequel (Dirt?) coming out, and has been hailed in the UK as "the new Harry Potter".

Both of these will be loved by fans of Charlie Fletcher's Stoneheart, which also may have a sequel coming soon!

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