To celebrate two new releases by Meg Cabot, who's among my top-favoritest authors ever, Mandy at The Romance Bookie and Diana at Little Miss Drama Queen have hosted a blog hop where Meg Cabot fans unite and take turns to do a special, related feature on our blogs! The latest releases are Underworld (release date May 8, 2012), book 2 of the Abandon trilogy and Size 12 and Ready to Rock (release date July 10, 2012), book 4 of the Heather Wells series!
I'm delighted to tell you that it's my turn today! I've read Underworld and feel like sharing its glory on my blog with a review. Without any more blabbering, here it is:
Author: Meg Cabot
My Rating: 4/5
Underworld is the second book of the Abandon trilogy, the story of seventeen year old Pierce Oliviera who's had an NDE, been taken to the Underworld, had a death deity follow her around, trying to keep her away from Furies, one of which happens to be Pierce's grandmother! In a Fury attack at Pierce's high school cafeteria, Pierce has a narrow escape and that's when John takes her to his world, The Underworld!
Pierce is in the Underworld, maybe for ever. She knows she loves John, the death deity, but is she ready to progress her relationship with him? Is she really safe in the Underworld? Maybe she is, but what about her family and the ones she loves back on Earth? Her grandmother, for one, is a fury and lives with her cousin, Alex and his dad. So when Pierce sees a very mysterious video that shows Alex in trouble, she's intent on saving him. It might be Alex's own plans that will get him into trouble or Furies might be behind it, it's not clear. Pierce just knows she has to save Alex. But is John willing to take her back to Earth and put her in danger yet again?
There's John's mysterious past to consider as well. Pierce wonders what it possibly could be and what do those few others in the Underworld have anything to do with it. Is there any way that Furies could be destroyed?
An absolutely wonderful continuation to the story in Abandon! I enjoyed reading about Pierce's and John's progressing relationship, which is somewhat a major focus in this book. John wants Pierce to remain with him in the Underworld forever, not just to keep her safe, but also because he loves her too much. Both of them, in fact, are in conflicting minds over what they want. Of course they know they want each other, but is Pierce ready for what lies ahead, leave Earth and live in the Underworld, in centuries old dresses, with John forever? The way it all was written and put forth, I think is a very clever manner to talk about insecurities and confusion people face. I like the mystery about John and the way he's so protective of Pierce, how he's always present at the right time to make things right and trying to keep Pierce happy, whatever it takes. Even though Pierce's confusion is justified, I sometimes wished it wouldn't rock back and forth too much. But even then, it's alright. She did a few great things, for which I'm proud of her!
Based on the Greek myth of Hades and Persephone, this book explores the realms of Underworld, the faint world between heaven and hell, the 'station' from where souls depart on their respective final resting places. I personally enjoy Greek myths a bit and so it was interesting to see the Underworld from this point of view. Imagination rules for me!
New characters! I must admit that I felt the book would've been mediocre if it just continued with the small amount of characters from the previous, even though the story is progressing. It was pleasant, therefore, to have new characters, especially with a mystery behind them that Pierce and the readers are not aware of. It was refreshing. It gives a lot to think about and see the amount of trouble Pierce is supposedly in, from a greater perspective of how it doesn't just concern her and her family, but the whole island of Isla Huesos!
As I've said many times before, I love books that are descriptive and allow the reader to experience a whole different world, complete with pictures and feelings of excitement, nervousness and whatever the character's experiencing! Underworld certainly doesn't disappoint in this aspect and that's among the prime reasons I love it. There's this small video inside my head, where I've got this all pictured. The cemetery, Pierce's home, the Underworld, the palace, the Coffin Night festival and everything! What can be better than this? :)
The story seemed to be running at a constant pace throughout, but it certainly increased its pace towards the end! It was absolutely thrilling, engaging and I was hooked till I reached the end. Surprises, astounding twist and turns of events, some amazing discoveries (at one point I found my mouth slightly open. Just saying), so that I was definitely sad I wouldn't be knowing what's going to happen next! About Pierce, John, others in the Underworld, Pierce's family, her friends, Alex, Mr. Smith - the cemetery sexton and Isla Huesos! Considering her previous series that I've read, I'm sure the ending would be perfect.
Meg retains her trademark conversational style of writing in this book too, which is what makes me love them so much! It's easy to read, understand and know what's happening and you get inside the character's heads so deep (thanks to the way it's written), you'd think all of it is happening to you. I especially enjoy the humor that's always inside Meg's characters' in some way or the other. It makes for very enjoyable reading!
If you've read Abandon, you shouldn't be waiting to read Underworld. Grab your copy now! If you haven't read Abandon as well, but would like to red a bit on Greek myth of the Underworld, this series is recommended! Also if you love Young Adult literature.