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An old man suffers from memories of a nightmare that no one believes could ever have existed. As he begins to tell his terrible story, five Scottish teens are about to descend into a nightmare of their own. They all dislike one another immensely and lead very different lives. There's Axel, the bully; Liam, the quiet one; Zesh, the seemingly perfect student; Fiona, the rebel; and Angie, the overweight new girl. When they are sent on a school trip together to a wild island in the North Sea, they think they couldn't be in a worse situation.

A few days later, their teacher Mr. Marks announces that he is taking the students on an underground cave expedition. No one --- except for Zesh and Angie --- is looking forward to another boring afternoon with Mr. Marks. Then a disgruntled cook named Mrs. Soames tells the teens about the legend of the Great Worm. Apparently there was a Nazi soldier who saw the horrific creature when he and his comrades sought shelter in the caves after their submarine sunk. The students don't believe the legend and dismiss the cook's story.

The following day is at first uneventful as the group is led on the expedition. Then, suddenly the entrance to the caves collapses and the students are trapped inside. If that weren't terrible enough, Mr. Marks falls and is badly injured. The teens now must find a way out while confronting their worst fears, and each other.

UNDERWORLD is a chilling mystery that will draw readers in after the first page.

Reviewed by Sarah Sawtelle on June 16, 2005

by Catherine MacPhail

  • Publication Date: June 16, 2005
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books
  • ISBN-10: 1582349975
  • ISBN-13: 9781582349978