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I Belong

Review: Underworld by Meg Cabot

Title: Underworld

Author: Meg Cabot

Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

Series: Abandon Trilogy (Book 2)

Publication Date: May 8, 2012

Format: Hardcover, 336 Pages

ISBN-10: 0545284112 (Point/Scholastic)

ISBN-13: 978-0545284110 (Point/Scholastic)

Reviewed by: Emmy


Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.

Seventeen-year-old Pierce Oliviera isn’t dead.

Not this time.

But she is being held against her will in the dim, twilit world between heaven and hell, where the spirits of the deceased wait before embarking upon their final journey.

Her captor, John Hayden, claims it’s for her own safety. Because not all the departed are dear. Some are so unhappy with where they ended up after leaving the Underworld, they’ve come back as Furies, intent on vengeance…on the one who sent them there and on the one whom he loves.

But while Pierce might be safe from the Furies in the Underworld, far worse dangers could be lurking for her there…and they might have more to do with its ruler than with his enemies.

And unless Pierce is careful, this time there’ll be no escape.

Quick & Dirty: This is a sequel based heavily on misunderstandings, making some aspects of the plot hard to believe.  While John and Pierce’s relationship is fleshed out a little more, most of the characters are stock types.

Opening Sentence: “Pierce keeps having the most terrible nightmares.”

Excerpt: Yes

The Review

Being back in the realm of the dead is quite a bit different than Pierce thought it would be this time around.  For starters, it’s one thing to live in the Underworld with your boyfriend, it’s another thing to be trapped in it, imprisoned in a castle.  If the dark, exotic beauty of the Underworld isn’t exactly Pierce’s style, neither is John confining her to her wing of the castle and keeping her in the dark.  Her closet contains only white, flowy dresses, the kind John said he likes on her, but after a little digging Pierce finds her bag. And her working cell phone.  Talk about roaming charges.

But the cell isn’t calling or texting Pierce, it’s not that kind of message.  It’s a video of her cousin, trapped inside a coffin. More than likely, it’s the seniors’ Coffin Night coffin — the one Pierce let the seniors store the materials for in her garage.  Alex is in trouble, literally suffocating before her eyes.  But the Furies are definitely setting a trap for Pierce on the surface and John doesn’t want her in any danger. Pierce strikes up a bargain: If John will take her to the surface and help free her cousin, she’ll forgive him for her being stuck in the Underworld.

Of course, it’s never that easy. For one thing, the video could be of something that’s already happened since they came to the Underworld yesterday and Alex might already be dead. Or it could be happening now. Or it hasn’t happened at all, and it’s up to John and Pierce to stop Alex from doing something stupid that gets him locked in a coffin.  The Furies are waiting for Pierce on the surface and ready to strike.  It doesn’t help that the catastrophe at the end of Abandon has made her a face on the national news. Just by going out in public, the islanders will do half the Furies’ work for them by recognizing her.

And then there’s her mother.  So close and yet so far away.  Because if Grandma sees Pierce — well, we’ll get a repeat of the end of Abandon won’t we? Can Pierce really leave without saying goodbye — especially since this is her only chance to do so? There’s no question that her parent’s divorce was in part her fault, whether they know it or not. For the most part, I think Pierce’s relationship with her parents is one-dimensional.  Which is a pity, because there’s a lot that could be done with them that could have brought another dimension to the story.

Honestly, the entire subplot of Pierce being trapped in the Underworld would have been blown out of the water if she knew the myth of Persephone. Cabot says they studied it in school, which unfortunately puts Pierce in the less-than-intelligent heroine category.  It might not be so bad if this subplot didn’t drive the actual plot, but it’s pretty much the only catalyst to leaving the Underworld. The narrative voice is engaging, but beware of excessive description and conversation tags. It made the easy read take a whole lot longer. John is as sexy as ever, but takes overprotective to a whole new level.  Like, Edward-watches-you-sleep new levels. However, the summary of Underworld calls John her captor. He’s not.  He’s Pierce’s boyfriend.  It’s Pierce’s misunderstandings and charge-first-ask-later philosophy that seems to get her stuck in the strangest situations. All in all, while it wasn’t a bad read by any means I didn’t really like the way the story was executed or the measures Cabot took to make the plot go her way. It tied in a bow a little too nicely for my tastes.

Notable Scene:

“Does Captain Hayden know you have that?” Mr. Graves asked, nervously. “I can’t imagine he’d be too pleased–”

“May I see it?” Mr. Liu held out a hand the size of a slice of county ham. It hadn’t been a question so much as a command.

I passed him the phone, then glanced down at my necklace because of the sense of foreboding that had once again gripped me.  As I’d expected, the stone had turned black.

Henry noticed it, too, and asked, curiously, “Wasn’t your necklace silver before?”

Before I could answer, Mr. Liu looked up from the screen.

“This boy,” he said, solemnly, “isn’t in a box. He’s in a coffin.”

The Abandon Trilogy:

1. Abandon

2. Underworld

3. Awaken

FTC Advisory: Point/Scholastic provided me with a copy of Underworld.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.  In addition, I don’t receive affiliate fees for anything purchased via links from my site.

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Review: Underworld by Meg Cabot, 9.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
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