Recently, I have finished reading the book “Deeper”, a 643 page Science Fiction novel written by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams. This book is a direct sequel to the book “Tunnels”, and is the 2nd book in the “Tunnels” series. The book picks up directly after the events of the first one, and follow the main character, Will Burrows, as he searches underground for his father and also for answers to the questions he has. I picked up this book because it seemed like it would be an interesting read, and it was also a sequel to Tunnels, another book that I enjoyed and decided to read due to it’s very vague plot description on the front cover. This year, my reading goal was to read at least 35 books. The reason I set this goal was because I tend to read large books, and I felt that 35 separate books would be an appropriate goal. Looking back, I technically only read 30 books, falling under my original goal by 5 books. However, if you were to add up the page count of all the books that I have read this year and divided it by 200 (what is usually counted as a full length book) you’d end up with approximately 48 books. While I this basically only means that I read 48 books if they were each 200 pages, and I technically didn’t reach my goal, I am still proud of this achievement. Even though I did mostly stick to the same genres, I still feel like I grew as a reader, because I know that I read more than I did last year. But enough of that, let’s get back to “Deeper.”
As I said earlier, this book is a direct sequel to “Tunnels.” In this book, the main character, Will Burrows, is an archaeologist. Along with his father, he goes to dig sites and they dig tunnels hoping to discover something in The Commons. Will starts bringing his friend, Chester, along for some of the digs, and the two become obsessed with digging and the things that they find. Then out of no where, Will’s father disappears. He and Chester discover a secret tunnel behind a bookcase in the basement, and the two start digging to find answers as to Will’s dad’s whereabouts. The biggest surprise occurs when after lots of digging, they discover an underground village, and after that they are shortly captured by the oppressive, ruling Styx. It is revealed that Dr. Burrows has passed through there, and Will and Chester continue their search.
The book “Deeper” opens when Will, Chester, and Will’s brother Cal, are on a train heading to the Miner’s Station. They ditch the train early so that they are not caught, and they proceed to make their escape. After ditching the train, they proceed to trek into The Deeps, the subterranean layers of the underground Colony that aren’t that well known. They’re called the deeps because of how deep into the Earth they go. After traveling for a little bit, the trio is attacked by a bunch of wild, carnivorous bats, and they’re forced to take shelter in an old abandoned house. Upon exploration of the house, not only do they discover that it (conveniently) has clean running water, but there is evidence to show that Will’s father has been there before. This makes Will want to keeps going, and soon he, Chester, and Cal set off to continue their journey.
Dr. Burrows is actually safe and sound. He takes refuge in a Coprolite’s village. These Coprolites are underground workers who do a lot of jobs down underground. They are usually left alone by the Styx, but Dr. Burrows soon notices an increased presence of Limiters, a special division of Styx soldiers. However, Will has no knowledge of this.
While continuing their search, Cal gets lost from the group. Fearing the worst, Will starts making rash desicions. One of these was unwrapping a pack of gum, but before Will does it, he is stopped by a mysterious stranger. The stranger whispers how the scent of the open gum will trigger the senses of nearby dogs, and Will is forced to bury the unopened piece. This is when Will and Chester meet Drake and Elliot, two rebels who have been following Will’s activities for days. With their help, Will thinks that he’ll be able to find Cal and his father.
I liked the way the author set up Will’s character and personality. The thing that keeps Will going is his want to find his father, his desire and ambition, are the things that make him determined to keep going, no matter what the situation is. Will is also a sort-of leader throughout the book, taking control and assessing on whatever situation, and I think that that can be attributed to his ambition and desire to be reunited with his father. This really helps the reader to be able to root for not only Will, but Chester and Cal as well.
I noticed how the author changed perspectives a lot. At some points it would be from the perspective of Will or Chester, other times it would be from the perspective of someone of the surface, like Will’s mom or a Styx agent on the surface. This constant switching can get confusing at first, but as the book goes on it becomes more interesting to witness everything and all the events that are happening from different points of view, and to read about the fictional characters opinions on everything that is happening throughout the book.
If I were the author, I would have put in more explanation for how stuff works. The main attraction of this book is the underground city. There is a lot of new things down here that are not aspects of above ground life. For example, in an underground city, you obviously need light. Down here, light is given off by these special orbs that become brighter as the environment that it’s in becomes darker. How does this happen? It’s not really explained. A similar example are these stones that Will is given by a character named Tam. If Will were to throw the stones at the ground hard enough, they’d break open, and a powerful blinding light would be unleashed. I understand how this would work in a stun grenade or flashbang, but from what is described they are pretty much just a strange type of rock. There are also many more things, like advanced breeds of animals, advanced science, and other stuff, that is mentioned, but not explained. I think that it would have been interesting to hear any sort of interesting science behind it. Or maybe some stuff done in the book isn’t possible, and if that were the case I can sort-of understand why the stuff was kept vague.
A passage in this book that interests me occurs on page 143 . It happens at a point in the book when Chester is questioning why they are down there and Will is starting to question his mission himself.
“‘Are you sure that this is the right place?” Chester seemed confused as they continued walking.
“Yes,” Will replied. “Remember, this is one of the only leads we have on where my father is.”
“Will, do you every think that this might all be pointless. Your father could be dead for all we know, and you’re sending us on a wild goose chase trying to find him.”
Will was momentarily startled. In all honestly, he hadn’t taken that much time to consider that possibility, that his father might be dead, that he might have perished a long time ago, that he was just wasting his friends time and dragging Chester and Cal along on this.
No, Will thought, he’s out there, I know it. I need to find him.”
I like this passage because it is one of the passages that describes Will’s ambition to find his father. Knowing that he was closer to his father then he was to anyone else in his life, the reader is able to understand why Will is so determined to find his father’s whereabouts. Like I said before, it’s this determination that keeps Will going throughout the whole story.
I enjoyed the book “Deeper.” While it can get boring at some parts, it has good characters, interesting story elements, and good pacing. At 643 pages, it is the longest book that I have read this year (although it doesn’t surpass 11.22.63, the 849 page book I read last year). I think that the “Tunnels” series in general is a series with interesting ideas that it puts into play. Overall, I’d give “Deeper”, by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams, a 9 out of 10.