Skip to main content




In CLOSER, three of our heroes are stranded in a strange world called the "Land of the Second Sun," which is located at the very center of the earth. But none of them are overly concerned with their predicament. In fact, they all feel relatively safe and even satisfied with their circumstances. In the case of Dr. Burrows, he is ecstatic to discover a new world to study and spends his hours crawling over the bizarre pyramids, recording everything in his journal. His son, Will, is happy to help, grateful to be with him and even more thankful to spend some time alone with Elliot as she scouts out the area, finding food and shelter.

However, their peace is about to end. Another group of people call this place home: Germans who sought a safe refuge during WWII and who have successfully created a new civilization called New Germania. But even they aren't the real threat to Will and company; that comes when the evil Rebecca twins finally catch up to our heroes. They are desperate to recover the vial of the nasty virus that Will and Elliot had stolen, and they will do anything --- even murder --- to get what they want.

Will's best friend, Chester, finally reaches the earth's surface again, along with Martha, the strange, somewhat unstable woman they had encountered in the depths. Chester is eager to ditch her and finally get back home to let his parents know he's okay. But Martha has developed an attachment to Chester and isn't about to let him go. The "warped, psycho granny," as Chester calls her, locks him in the closet of an abandoned house and has no intentions of ever losing him. Chester can only think of one way out of his nightmarish situation: try to get a signal to Drake.

Meanwhile, Drake has been rescued from almost certain death by a former Limiter who claims to be Elliot's father. He proposes to help Drake in exchange for assistance in getting Elliot back safe and sound. Drake has enough experience in the espionage games to know not to trust anybody, but with Eddy's help, Drake could put an end to the Styx plans of creating new viruses they want to use on the surface population in order to take over the entire world, inside and out. Dare Drake trust a former enemy? Dare he not?

This fourth installment of the Tunnels series is smoking! With our heroes split up into different parts of the globe (both inside and out), CLOSER is almost like many separate stories interwoven into one big book (and it is big at over 500 pages). The point of view is constantly switching among Will, Chester, Drake and others as they all battle their own exciting circumstances, which keeps the story fresh and renewed with plenty of cliffhangers to propel the pages. Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams offer lots of espionage, military-type tactics and weaponry, airplanes, helicopters and motorcycles, a wonderful sense of imagination, and even brief flaunts of humor. Their characters are interesting and well-rounded, displaying both faults and feelings along with bouts of heroism. The authors also do a tremendous job comparing different cultures and governments, which is one of the book's themes.

Gordon and Williams have two more books planned for the series, with the next one titled SPIRAL. So the end is near, but there are still mega amounts of pages to enjoy in the meantime. CLOSER offers a nonstop, subterranean adventure with a steady supply of surprises and suspense.

Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman on February 1, 2011

by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams

  • Publication Date: March 1, 2012
  • Genres: Adventure
  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: The Chicken House
  • ISBN-10: 0545201160
  • ISBN-13: 9780545201162