Tunnels by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams

(7.2/10)

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.

Review by

19 positive reader review(s) for Tunnels

9+

Tunnels reader reviews

from Australia

This book is a fun and exhilarating adventure to follow Will's story, I think it'll be getting the rest of the series!

from USA

I think that the book is very nice. It's not my type of book, but I would recommend it to you if you like adventures and underground stories. For me, i think that there were a few places where you could have changed stuff a bit, and it would be great. But I'm not the only voice out there, and I think that teens will enjoy this.

from UK

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 nerdy 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 villainous 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!

from US

Screw Blander! The book was amazing- full of wonderful plot twists, mysteries and interesting characters! I recommend it to all adventure lovers and love the series!

from United Kingdom

Absolutely fantastic book, looking forward to reading the rest of the books when I get them x

from Canada

It's a very good book, but the only problem is the vocabulary is not challenging enough. It might be kind of boring at first, but that's why there's the rest of the series.

from USA

Very boring and confusing in the beginning but gets a little better. Kinda disturbing towards very end but it's an okay book. Wouldn't recommend for people who don't enjoy fantasy or don't like long-ish books.

from USA

I was not a fan of this book. The beginning was very slow and once it got interesting the plot was kind of pointless. There wasn’t really a story to it.

from USA

Very slow at first but then it gets better.

from USA

This book is really good. At first it was boring and hard to keep up with. That is why I would recommend listening to the audio book and follow along while you read. It really helps at the beginning, but then when it gets more interesting then you can lose the audio book if you want. Really good book, well done by the author.

from USA

This book is okay. The begining is pretty boring but it gets better.

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

Awesome!

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!

8.5/10 from 27 reviews

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