Review Blog

May 17 2011

Underground by Chris Morphew

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The Phoenix Files Book 4. Hardie Grant Egmont, 2011. ISBN: 978 1921502422.
Highly recommended for ages 10 and up. There are now only 49 days left until the end of the world. With Peter strapped to a bed in an underground laboratory, Luke and Jordan's arrival is met in a most intriguing way. Somehow, Kara and Soren appear to have been expecting and waiting for Luke's arrival for many years. Although Luke and his friends believed they knew all of their enemies in Phoenix, they now need to comprehend the role of the new additions to the list. Managing to escape and return to the town, Luke and Jordan realise that Shackleton's rules seem to be changing. They need to help not only their parents but Peter. Later, the revelation of a confronting secret makes the heroes re-assess their plans yet again, as time continues to be a constant threat.
Morphew has created a winning series in The Phoenix Files. With its similarities to the adult program 24, he has his protagonists racing against the clock to save humanity. There is never a dull moment and the suspense continues to build. The large, clear, well spaced type and the dated, diary style entries keep one eagerly reading to see how each episode will be resolved. With the arrival of an important new character, Luke's growth and development as an individual are highlighted as he takes on more responsibility for tactical planning, working together with the various adults. Relationships within the group and the town change and develop, also contributing to the plot. The fact that underground has a dual focus on action and relationships, this book should hold equal appeal to both male and female readers. With the next books unavailable until February and September of next year, there will be many readers eagerly waiting in suspense! This is a fantastic series!
Jo Schenkel

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