Friday, 12 July 2013

Review: Tunnelville (Mad World, #2) by Erin Callahan and Troy H. Gardner

Spoiler warning! This is the 2nd book in the Mad World series and so this book will contain spoilers from the 1st book. You can read my review of Wakefield here instead. You have been warned!

Tunnelville by Erin Callagan and Troy H. Gardner

Author: Erin Callahan and Troy H. Gardner Website|Facebook
Published: 28th June 2013 (MuseItUp)
Format: Kindle e-book
Pages: 420
Buy the e-book: Kindle|Kobo

Source: Received free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review

Plot Summary (from Goodreads):
Following their panicked escape from Wakefield, Astrid Chalke, Max Fisher, and their friends find themselves adrift and on the run in western Massachusetts. After picking up a young thief with a complex philosophy, and dealing with the pains of prescription drug withdrawal, they make their way to Boston.

Drained by a long trek to the city, the damaged teens settle in an underground tunnel community—a city below the city that appears to lie on the fringes of both the world above and the world of magic. Among the eccentric tunnel folk, they encounter the fabulous Angie DeVille, a self-made hipster and socialite who takes them under her neon wing and envelops them in her breathless and fast paced life.

My Review:
I really enjoyed the first book in this series so I was delighted to have the opportunity to read the second! Tunnelville follows Max and Astrid as they and their fellow Wakefield patients go on the run and face the trials of life on the streets, whilst trying to escape the clutches of Dr Lycen.

The last book ended on a cliffhanger so I was excited to dive right in and pick up the story! Tunnelville opens with a prologue where we catch up on some of the happenings at Wakefield, then joins Max, Astrid and the others as they seek a place to hide. I loved the opening few chapters where the kids have to rally together and figure out what to do and where to go. There was that real survival, adventure feel about it and I could feel their fear and desperation.

Once again the book is told in alternating chapters between Max and Astrid, and it was great to see their friendship as a real backbone to the story. There was also the odd chapter from some of the adult characters which again was done in the previous book, and was very effective in this one. I particularly liked the chapters told from the view of a private investigator helping to track down Astrid. With the gang being on the run and very isolated from everyone, it was exciting to get an insight into what was happening back at Wakefield and keep an eye on who was chasing them. It definitely added to the suspense! I think the only downside was that I'd sometimes lose track of whose chapter I was reading (Max or Astrid) if I put the book down for a while and came back to it. The two are so similar that they sometimes merged.

There were some interesting new characters introduced in Tunnelville. The guys run into Colby, another runaway who certainly makes an impression. I liked seeing how all the characters bounced off him. I think my favourite new character was Timothy who I was very curious about! Then there were the host of people they met during their time on the streets who help them out. One of the nice things about Tunnelville was despite the fact that the kids were in a pretty sticky situation, they still managed to help each other out and keep the humour amongst themselves.

One thing I was really exited about in this book was exploring the kids' abilities more fully, as well as discovering more about the wider magical world. Getting out into the big wide world means they start to come across people like them and find themselves in situations that put their powers to the test. I really liked that world building and getting to see just what they were capable of. I think the premise of the series is really exciting.

I also really enjoyed the setting of Tunnelville. Wakefield was set in such a confined environment so it was great to break out of that, and I thought the city of Boston make a great backdrop to the story. It's not somewhere I've ever been or know too much about but I could completely visualise everywhere the characters ended up as they travelled around.

I mentioned earlier that Wakefield ended on a cliffhanger and Tunnelville was no different - man these books know how to grab you! The climax to the story was really exciting and left so much potential for future books. I love the urban fantasy vibe and can't wait to discover more of the world, and the characters kept me entertained throughout. A really enjoyable read!

Rating: 4*
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