Author: Eric Kent Edstrom
Series: The Undermountain Saga #1
Date: December 2011
Source: Review copy from author
Genres: Science Fiction
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Undermountain is an innovative, clever and wildly imaginative adventure. Along the way, Edstrom turns the legend of bigfoot on it's head.
A group of troubled teens escape to the Canadian Rockies for a ten day excursion. All they take with them is their backpacks and their grizzled old mountaineer guide.
But when Danny and Breyona encounter a creature of legend—an eight foot tall beast they tag as "bigfoot"—the hike turns into a race for their lives.
Swept to the secret city of Undermountain, Danny, Breyona and their friends find themselves in the middle of a war—between their "bigfoot" captors and horrific creatures called "shriekers."
But more than their freedom is at stake. To escape, to survive, to save the Earth, Danny and Breyona must end the war ... and make sure neither side wins.
Wow. What a surprising read. I can honestly say that I was quite speechless when I finished reading this book. And in a good way. It has a very interesting storyline, great action, very well written characters and one hell of a journey!
It takes place in the Canadian Rockies where we have 6 kids and a grumpy old guide out on a 10 day hike. Needless to say it doesn’t take long before the hike turns into a nightmare, one filled with bigfeet and monsters and a huge underground civilisation (or Undermountain as it is properly named).
Sound strange? Well at first that’s what I thought, but eventually I totally forgot that bigfoot wasn’t real because it was just written so… brilliantly. This was a very well thought out world and civilisation, and it just felt so real. I loved the underground world of the bigfeet. It was just so creative and different, it put a smile on my face to read about these creatures.
I also loved the other ‘fantastical’ creatures in this story, the Tangoga. It was interesting to see their interactions because the Tangoga have 2 heads. One of which is the primary head, the more cleaver of the two which likes to tell the other head to shut up a lot. This was pure brilliance. It added some great lightness to the story line and I found myself chuckling out loud quite a few times from the Tangoga’s bickering.
The storyline its self is fast paced and exciting. There is never a dull moment in the kids’ attempts to escape from Undermountain and things only get more heated when they uncover plots by both the bigfeet AND the Tangoga to take control of the human population on the surface.
Lastly, I must praise the great characters in this story. From Harvin the guide to Danny and the other kids, they all had their own story and background that added to the adventure. Individually they were very well written and easy to relate to. And by the end of the story, I felt like I knew exactly why they all acted the way they did and it was good to see them all grow in their separate ways.
Overall, a very good book indeed. If you’re looking for a YA sci-fi action/adventure with a twist, Undermountain is a must have.