For this review, I decided to try out a book that had been sitting on my bookshelf for quite a while, but never read. And after reading Tunnels by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams, I know why I had never picked it up.
The book follows Will Burrows and his super-dysfunctional family: his younger sister is a control freak, his father is obsessed with digging improbable tunnels all over (or under, I should say) London, and his mom is addicted to television. But then his dad goes missing, and Will enlists the help of his only friend, Chester, to go underground to find Dr. Burrows, but discover a cult led by the mysterious and tyrannical Styx in the process.
The concept: interesting. The execution: poor. Gordon and Williams have created a world below the surface that is full of potential and mystery, but falls flat after being bogged down by so much prose. It’s almost as if both authors wrote two separate books and then squeezed them together. Details pertaining to character emotions and generic description repeat constantly, restraining the action and plot. With sufficient editing and reformatting, this roughly 470 page novel could be told more efficiently and more effectively in 300. It’s just too wordy.
Which, I guess out of all the problems to have with a book, having too many words isn’t the worst, but it is certainly still a problem. Gordon and Williams have introduced this world with unlimited potential, but barely scratch the surface (pun intended). Sure, there are several subsequent books in which they can dig deeper into this world (also pun intended), but who’s got the energy and time to read on if they get stuck in this first book? Not me.
If anything, I enjoyed the members of the Burrows family. Each character was memorable and different and not bland like the majority of the other characters in the novel, but it still wasn’t enough to convince me to read on in the series. But, if this concept sounds interesting to you and you don’t mind a few extra words, dig deeper into this series and check out Deeper. Let me know what you think.