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UnderKingdom: Disco Goblins vs. The Machine
Jonathan Culverhouse
Jonathan Culverhouse, 205 pages

UnderKingdom: Disco Goblins vs. The Machine
Jonathan Culverhouse
Jonathan Culverhouse lives in Wiltshire UK (near Stonehenge). Underkingdom: Disco Goblins vs The Machine is his first book.

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A review by John Enzinas

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Underkingdom is not the book you expect it to be, given the title and cover art. The cover looks like something just waiting for a 10-year-old boy to add fighter jets shooting things. The title sounds like a discount video game bought for that same boy, that he never ever played. It, therefore, came as a great shock that what's inside was wonderful.

It is the story of young girl named Ange who, along with most of London, gets caught up in a plot by ruler of the Underground realm beneath London. The king's plan is the envy of any of the world's greatest super villains. First they kidnap and replace all the grownups with goblins dressed in robot human suits. Next they kidnap the area's population of school children (since their parents won't miss them) and bring them to the underground kingdom where they are forced to labour for their new goblin masters to convert the Great Engine into a new and terrible war machine.

Ange and her brother soon join forces with a pair of goblin conscripts named Plopbottle and Broodangle who have been given a temporary reprieve from execution for peddling in surface goods, namely disco movies and memorabilia. The four of them have very nearly managed to escape from their fates, when a new boy named Chen appears. He's a born leader who both attracts and repels Ange. How does he fit in? What is his role in the plot?

The plot is not terribly tangled but it has a couple of lovely twists and turns as the team's plans are complicated as they run afoul of other groups machinations. The characters are interesting and well written and have plenty of emotional depth. In particular, Ange's struggle though her attraction to Chen is particularly well done.

If you like urban fantasy or young adult fiction then I strongly encourage you to not judge this book by its terrible cover.

Copyright © 2010 John Enzinas

John Enzinas reads frequently and passionately. In his spare time he plays with swords.


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