Down Station by Simon Morden
Book of the Month
What if, at the point when you most needed to escape your current situation, a portal could open that would lead you to a completely different place with its own set of rules? This is what happens to a group of survivors after a strange fire forces them into a disused Down Station, and from there into a strange new world full of deadly wonders.
Before this happens we meet our two protagonists, Mary and Dalip, who are two very different types of people. Mary is an ex-con with anger management issues, she has grown up within the foster care system and has chosen to work as a cleaner on the underground rather than being locked up in prison. Mary sees this choice as the closest thing to freedom. Dalip, on the other hand, is a good kid who has always done what is expected of him; currently training to be an engineer he has joined a maintenance crew fixing the tracks on the underground to set up the groundwork for all aspects of his chosen profession.
On this unfortunate night, Mary and Dalip’s lives are fundamentally changed. Whilst working on the underground the two teams of workers hear a loud noise, soon after encountering intense heat and fire which decimates the teams they were working with. When Mary and her band of survivors run into Dalip and Stanislav the seven of them have to decide whether to stay in the burning tunnels or step through the door which leads into the unknown.
As we learn more about the main characters it is enjoyable to see Dalip embrace the sense of freedom he now has away from his parents and the strict expectations they expect him to follow. This freedom allows Dalip to grow and learn to trust himself, but also allows him to stay true to what he believes in as a Sikh, even as that becomes more challenging further into the story. Mary, on the other hand, finally has all the freedom she has ever wanted, with no one to tell her what she can and cannot do. Now Mary has to work out how to live when there is no authority to fight and push against, she has to learn the importance of taking responsibility not only for herself but for other people.
Down can give you everything your heart desires, but for everything you gain you have to constantly be aware of the consequences. Mary, through a twist of fate, meets a mysterious man called Crows who begins to teach her the uses of magic and what the effects of this will mean to her. Mary learns that her anger can be channelled into something new and that she could truly become the person she sees herself as. Dalip has always been a pacifist who follows the rules, but in Down he is being shaped into a fighter, which will push him to his limits where he will need to decide between what he knows is right and what he knows will allow him to survive.
But in the words of C.S. Lewis, things become “curiouser and curiouser” as they begin to meet some of the other inhabitants of what they come to know as Down, and in turn begin to decipher its rules. The inhabitants of Down seem to be continually tested to prove themselves, but we are not told for whom or why. With the Geomancer, we see someone who uses the force of their will to make others do what she wants. The Geomancer even keeps a dragon to ensure her people can never leave her castle.
This is a very fast paced book, with intense moments of danger as well as being full of wonder. There are so many things to discover in Down not only geographically but historically. I really enjoyed reading about both Mary and Dalip’s journey. The main antagonists are delightful as they toy with the new survivors, but again are more fleshed out than the secondary characters that Mary and Dalip arrive with. Hopefully we will learn more about them in the next book, White City. This is a story about finding acceptance within yourself so that you can locate the strength to become who you need to be. Morden has written a book full of mysteries that are just waiting to be discovered. If asked, who doesn’t wish there was a land they could escape to, if only for a moment.
This Down Station book review was written by Michelle Herbert
All reviews for: Down Station
Down Station #1
A small group of commuters and tube workers witness a fiery apocalypse overtaking London. They make their escape through a service tunnel. Reaching a door they step through...
The White City
Down Station #2
Since escaping London's inferno, Mary and Dalip have fought monsters and won - though in the magical world of Down, the most frightening monsters come from within. Now ...
Have you read Down Station?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
Down Station reader reviews
9/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
The Weirdstone of Brisingamen
When Colin and Susan are pursued by eerie creatures across Alderley Edge, they are saved by the Wizard. He takes them into the caves of Fundindelve, where he watches over t...
The Dark is Rising Sequence
On holiday in Cornwall, the three Drew children discover an ancient map in the attic of the house that they are staying in. They know immediately that it is special. It is ...
Three Hearts and Three Lions
The gathering forces of the Dark Powers threaten the world of man. The legions of Faery, aided by trolls, demons and the Wild Hunt itself, are poised to overthrow the Realm...
His name is West. Her name is Cally. They speak different languages and come from different countries thousands of miles apart, but they do not know that. What they do know...
The Abhorsen Chronicles
Who will guard the living when the dead arise? Sabriel is sent as a child across the Wall to the safety of a school in Ancelstierre. Away from magic; away from the Dead. Af...
The Chrestomanci Series
Diana Wynne Jones
Orphans Eric Chant (nicknamed Cat) and his sister Gwendolen, a gifted witch, are whisked away to live in a castle with Chrestromanci, a much-revered man of magic, wealth an...
It has lain lost and forgotten for fifteen hundred years in the ancient heartland of England – a scrap of glass and metal melded by fierce fire. It is the lost core o...
Charlie Keeper has been forced from her home by a bloodthirsty and terrifying stranger. But in escaping she discovers her house holds the gateway to the Realm of Bellania -...
The Tragedy Paper
Every year at an exclusive private boarding school in New York state, the graduating students uphold an old tradition – they must swear an oath of secrecy and leave b...
The Very Best of Charles de Lint
Charles de Lint
Charles de Lint, a fantasy author who has left the same mark on the genre of myth and legend much as the likes of Sir Thomas Malory, Christian Anderson, Grimm, who has foun...
The Testament of Tall Eagle
John R Fultz
A young warrior's vision-quest unveils an alien city full of magic and mystery. As a tribal rift threatens to destroy Tall Eagle's people, night-crawling devils sta...
Out of Oz
The marvellous land of Oz is knotted with social unrest: The Emerald City is mounting an invasion of Munchkinland, Glinda is under house arrest, and the Cowardly Lion is on...
Alif the Unseen
G Willow Wilson
He calls himself Alif - few people know his real name - a young man born in a Middle Eastern city that straddles the ancient and modern worlds. When Alif meets the aristocr...
After an inexplicable catastrophe on Earth, John Bridgeman is left to scrap out a solitary existence, surrounded by bodies and haunted by the girlfriend he cannot allow to ...
R.H. Ragona's Circus of Magic is the greatest circus of Ellada. Nestled among the glowing blue Penglass - remnants of a mysterious civilisation long gone - are wonders ...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages:
- Recommended contemporary / urban fantasy books/series
- Recommended parallel universe / Alternate reality books
Best of 2016
A small group of commuters and tube workers witness a fiery apocalypse overtaking London. They make their escape through a service tunnel. Reaching a door they step through......
Paternus: Rise of Gods
Even myths have legends. And not all legends are myth. When a local hospital is attacked by strange and frightening men, Fiona Patterson and Zeke Prisco save a catatonic old m...
It is for the entities known as Sleepwalkers to cross the doors between dreams, and hunt the nightmares that haunt sleeping minds. Theirs is a world of impossible vistas, wher...
Books of the Month
A selection of books - old and new alike - that were a joy to read.
Forget the old days. Forget summer. Forget warmth. Forget anything that doesn’t help you survive in the endless white wilderness beyond the edges of a fallen world. Lynn McBride has learned much since society collapsed in the face of nuclear war and the relentless spread of disease. As the memories of her old life continue to haunt, she...
Paris was supposed to save Hallie. Now... well, let’s just say Paris has other ideas. There’s a strange woman called The Chronometrist who will not leave her al...
A corrupted city. A dark dream of power. Luke is a prisoner, condemned for a murder he didn’t commit. Abi is a fugitive, desperate to free him before magic breaks his...
The Fifth Empire of Man
Rob J Hayes
The Pirate Isles are united under Drake Morrass’ flag, but the war has only just begun. There’s still a long way to go before he’s able to call himself Ki...
Ian C Esslemont
After the disappointments of Li Heng, Dancer and Kellanved wash up on a small insignificant island named Malaz. Immediately, of course, Kellanved plans to take it over. To ...
Age of Swords
Michael J Sullivan
Raithe, the God Killer, may have started the rebellion by killing a Fhrey, but long-standing enmities dividing the Rhunes make it all but impossible to unite against the co...
A Time of Dread
The Ben-Elim, a race of warrior angels, once vanquished a mighty demon horde. Now they rule the Banished lands. But their dominion is brutally enforced and their ancient en...