I am a Meg Cabot fan girl. I have probably admitted that several times already on this blog. However, as big as a Meg-aholic as I am, I wasn’t terribly impressed with Abandon. Sure, I gave it a rather high rating but it was contingent on the fact that Underworld succeeded. Did it succeed? Well, yes and no.
General Summary: Unlike Abandon, action happens in Underworld. The book starts out with Pierce in John’s palace and the reader was introduced to a bunch of new characters. All of them endearing. However, Pierce can’t just relax and enjoy her new life in John’s dark palace because her cousin has found himself in trouble. And she, of course, has to rescue him.
Underworld is a definite improvement from Abandon which is a good thing which isn’t saying Abandon is a bad book because it isn’t, but Underworld the story really does pick up. The action scenes in this book were excellent. It might not be the best book for younger Cabot fans to read, but older teens and adults will appreciate these sequences. Pierce and John are also more developed in the sequel. Although, sometimes Pierce’s naivety about some things rubbed me the wrong way. John, however, couldn’t rub me the wrong way if he tried. I love the fact that John is so developed that he’s not a light or dark character. That he’s sort of gray.
The plot also develops in this installment. While some questions are answered, by the end of the book you’ll be asking yourself even more questions. It’s quite infuriating really. But I can’t really gripe about this too much since it makes me want to read the sequel, Awaken, like now. One qualm I did have with the book is that everyone and their mother seemed to be a fury. Really? Really? Shouldn’t there be some like fury standards or something, Meg? There were some other potential plot holes in the novel as well, but I am hoping that Awaken will answer them.
Overall, this book is a great read. It’s not Classic Meg Cabot for sure, but if you like Meg Cabot’s books with a darker twist this is one to read.
Best Feature: John. I really do like John. He has an interesting backstory and he’s a gray character. I love gray characters. They seem more realistic then having a purely good or evil character.
Worst Feature: Dumb Heroines. Pierce I love you and I get that you’re not great at school, and I can appreciate that (because honestly I’m tired of all these AP smarties being YA heroines). But I wish you at the very least had some street smarts a la Suze Simon. Sure, you had your moments, but come on you should’ve have thought it out a little bit before you started eating food in the Underworld. I know you learned that it was only pomegranate seeds that could force you to stay there, but I would’ve been a little weary of eating anything in the Underworld. Period.
Appropriateness: This is a little bit of an edgy book for a Meg Cabot book. There’s some inappropriate language, some violence, death related material, and a sex scene (though it’s mostly implied and fades to black pretty quickly).
Blockbuster Worthy: Yes, I think so. Especially after this installment. To see casting picks click here.
Overall Rating: Seven out of ten deities. While this book was an improvement from Abandon, it had it’s faults. While Pierce has grown on me, there were still a couple of times in the book in which I wanted to shake her.