Tunnels by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams

Tunnels book cover
Rating 7.2/10
An entertaining children’s book but lacks a certain amount of finesse.

Tunnels is a children's adventure book set in present day London and follows the exploits of Will Burrows, fourteen years old and just as obsessed with digging as his museum curator father. The first chapter of the book finds us already underground with Will and Mr. Burrows and their amazing discovery of a disused rail station. Not content with these exciting ventures with his father, Will begins his own secret digs, unaware that his father has done exactly the same thing. It is only when Will's father suddenly disappears that Will unearths his father's hidden tunnel that leads to a whole new world and so begins the adventure of a lifetime to find his dad.

Although Will lives in a normal house in a normal suburb, there is nothing normal about his life, notwithstanding his hobby, his family is more than a little unconventional. Is mother does not interact with the family only the television to which she appears to be addicted. His father seems only interested in his hobby so it is down to Will's younger sister to keep house and home together. Will is similarly focused only on his hobby and his friendship with Chester, another loner he meets at school, depends on Chester participating in Will's digging escapades.

The story of a boy finding a whole new world right under our feet is a fantastic and exciting subject for a children's book. There are a few neat twists in the plot too to keep you wondering what will happen and some wonderful characters such as Uncle Tam and Will's friend Chester. Will himself is a very likeable character, however, there are some elements to other characters that seem a little too stretched, even for a fantasy story that leaves certain elements of the story feeling a little contrived.

 They found themselves in a huge space, almost as wide as a motorway, which curved off into the distance to their left and right. And looking across to the opposite side, they, saw it was lit by a row of tall street lamps. But what stood beyond these lights, on the far side of the cavern, was what really took their breath away. Stretching as far as they could see, in both directions were houses.

From: Tunnels - Chapter: The Colony

The detail given of the underground is wonderful, from the eerily replicated streets and houses to the adapted and rather strange diet that Will and Chester find themselves having to survive on.

There is so much that is enjoyable about this book, which is why I felt so disappointed that there are some elements that seem so laboured, so contrived that they were just not needed and indeed I felt detracted from the story. My main disappointment comes with the character of Will's sister. She's a square peg in a round whole as far as the execution of her 'transformation'; it felt as if that by hook or by crook, regardless of the flow of the book, she was going be 'revealed' when there were already enough twists and turns to keep the reader gripped. I'm afraid for me it was a little bit too far for my belief to be suspended and it's really rather a shame as the idea is a good one but maybe should have been saved for the second book in order for more character development to take place.

I still think this is an entertaining children's book but I think is lacks a certain amount of finesse in its plot structure that children have become used to with other well read children's authors and whilst there is now a second instalment 'Deeper' available, as of yet I have not ordered a copy.

This Tunnels book review was written by

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Tunnels reader reviews

from Zimbabwe


This book is absolutely awesome and me thinks it's good because it is a tough read.

from USA


Amazing book and nice plot twists. Would recommend for any book lovers.

from UK


I like this book because it has a lot of meaning in it and has a lot of adventure. I feel like this book should be for 5 graders and 6 graders. Not for 4 graders. :) Thank you Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams foe making this awesome book!!

from Newmarket


I like this book because there's adventures.

from United States


I really liked this book. I think that the beginning is a little boring, but the rest is great. I think that the other books are better.

from Pennsylvania USA


Best series I have ever read. I would recommend this to anyone interested in a mix of fantasy, suspense, mystery, and action. This book made me read all 6 and they are great.

from USA


I had to read the book for school. I would not reccomend it to anyone, it was boring and the main problem was not solved. It was a waste of money.

from USA


A wonder book with a fantastic story. I couldn't stop reading TUNNELS once I read the first chapter. If you like Harry Potter, throw away those books and get these. I've had more fun reading these books than anything that JK Rowling has written. Can't wait for the film version to come out.

from United States


I absolutely loved the entire series. So far, my lasting favorite is Deeper! Great series, great author.

from USA


Amazing book. Reading the series now, and you should to.

from Antartica


Great book, very awesome.

from USA



from United States of America


Tunnels is a remarkable book and I hope I get a chance to read Deeper too.

from USA


This book is awesome. It's full of adventure, mystery and fantasy.

from Madison, Wisconsin


I could not stop reading Tunnels, It is not contrived at all, the world the two authors create is genius. The main character's development from a young nurdy kid to a underground dwelling hero kept me wanting to turn every page. I didn't stop at Tunnels, I hungered for more reading Deeper, Free fall, than just finishing closer. The vilianous Rebecca twins, 1 and 2 was a great idea. It had me fooled. Being a writer myself, and closely monitored myself just flipping from page to page, when in reality, the books are so well written, that it was like watching a movie, the words disappear off the page, and it is one of those rare reading experiences where, you the reader, are right their in the midst of this crazy world that Will and his dad are trying to make sense out of?? My hats off to both authors whose imagination baffles my mind, and any reader who is just about ready to start the adventure of reading the first novel, you won't stop reading until you have read the last pages of the final book "closer" -- I so don't want it to end, just 30 more pages to read, I hope a fifth book is in the works . . . . . I'll be watching!

8.8/10 from 16 reviews

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