Review - Underworld - Meg Cabot

Underworld (Abandon Trilogy, #2)Title: Underworld
Author: Meg Cabot
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Fantasy
Publication: May 8th 2012, Pan Macmillan
Pages: 309, Paperback
Source: Library
Rating: 4/5 CUPCAKES!
Seventeen-year-old Pierce Oliviera isn't dead.
Not this time.
But she is being held against her will in the dim, twilit world between heaven and hell, where the spirits of the deceased wait before embarking upon their final journey.
Her captor, John Hayden, claims it's for her own safety. Because not all the departed are dear. Some are so unhappy with where they ended up after leaving the Underworld, they've come back as Furies, intent on vengeance . . . on the one who sent them there and on the one whom he loves.
But while Pierce might be safe from the Furies in the Underworld, far worse dangers could be lurking for her there . . . and they might have more to do with its ruler than with his enemies.
And unless Pierce is careful, this time there'll be no escape.
I am a huge fan of Meg Cabot, I've been reading her books since I was about eight years old and I always love her stories. When I read the first book in the Underworld series, I adored it and couldn't wait to get my hands on the second one. When I saw Underworld sitting at the library and took it home to read, I was slightly disappointed with it. I'm not sure if it's because I was in a slight reading slump, or because the book didn't match my mood, however, for the beginning part of the book, I was slightly disappointed.

Underworld picks up from where Abandon left off. John has whisked Pierce off to the Underworld, to protect her from the Furies that possess the average human being, and deceive them by thinking they are harmless. After Pierce was almost killed for a second time, they decided she had to remain with John in the Underworld. However, when Pierce decides to go through her bag from home that she found in her and John's bedroom, and she digs her cellphone out, she expects to see a blank screen with no signal, yet she is surprised. For on the screen it shows her cousin Alex, trapped in a coffin, trying to get out. They don't know if it's happening now, going to happen, or has happened, but somehow they need to rescue him. But is it worth risking Pierce's life for if they're not even sure if what's happening on the screen will happen?

I enjoyed Underworld, not as much as Abandon, but I still had a great reading experience. There were a few minor issues that irked me, but that didn't drastically alter my complete view on the book.

For some reason, in the first few chapters, I couldn't quite delve through to world as I did in Abandon, but I'll blame that on my reading slump. Once I got into the book, however, I thoroughly enjoyed it!
The pacing was great and there was never one dull moment. I was constantly in suspense at to what would happen next, especially towards the end. I loved the scenery. The storms and the wind, as I love it when books have that kind of atmosphere, especially when it's the same kind of weather where I live, it really sets the mood.

The plot...I have a few issues with the plot, and the writing. It felt like this book simultaneously had too little going on, and too much going on. If you look at it, this book is set over two days...there's a LOT of things that happens in just 48 hours and I don't think that it's possible to squeeze so much into such a short period of time. Even if they did, it never talked about them eating or sleeping when they were supposed to, so the author should've added in the side-effects of lack of sleep and lack of food whilst running around, transferring between the Underworld and the island where Pierce use to live.

I enjoy Meg Cabot's writing, which is light and humorous. You don't get many paranormal fantasies that have light humour and aren't so dark, so it was quite a refreshing change, however, sometimes I felt the book was taking place in a bad comedy movie, because sometimes the writing was just too light-hearted, and it didn't really fit the scene. But I still loved the way it was written, and I adore Meg's books.

The real issue I had here was with the characters. I really liked Pierce in Abandon, she seemed like such a sweet, responsible, caring girl, but in Underworld I didn't really see those qualities. She was so...stupid in Underworld. She would walk right into danger and not think about how it would affect her or others that cared about her. She was actually quite selfish in this, she let John whisk her off to the Underworld, without saying goodbye to her family and she left them beside themselves with worry. She was incredibly irresponsible and foolish.

Another thing that really irked me about Pierce, is that she was so reliant on John to save her whenever there was the slightest bit of trouble,  and he accompanied her everywhere. I think I've gotten so used to reading about characters that take care of themselves and fight their own battles, such as Tris and Katniss, that I wasn't expecting such a dependent character. I just wanted to shake her and tell her to start kicking some Fury booty, but she of course would just look at John to save her.

Now John, *sigh*. I also quite liked him in the first book, but in Underworld he seemed extremely controlling and violent. He followed Pierce everywhere and was constantly by her, it was quite annoying to be honest. Then there was that whole,  "No, I can't tell you what happened, or else you'll hate me" no she won't because she's just as obsessed with you as you are obsessed with her. That being said, I still did enjoy hearing about his story and about what a rough life he has had.

I enjoyed meeting Frank, Mr Graves, Mr Liu and Henry, they all had their own characteristics and I wish they surfaced more in the story as they brought excitement to it. I also loved seeing Kayla and Alex in this book, I love Kayla's vibrant personality, but I did think it was bad of her to keep saying "I wouldn't mind having him kidnap me, any time" when referring to Frank or  John.  I got a better view of Alex in this book and grew a liking to him, he was the only one that viewed Pierce's disappearing act as selfish, whereas most other people barely acknowledged it. The ending really took me by surprise, but it would've been quite interesting if *the author had killed Alex off, although I'm glad she didn't!*. I just felt like the ending was a bit too cookie-cutter perfect, but it was a good round-up.

Overall, I enjoyed Underworld, unfortunately not as much as I enjoyed the first book in the series. However, I will definitely be reading the third book, as I would like to know what happens in the end. I was expecting an outstanding novel but got met with a good, bordering on average novel. The characters seemed to have lost the qualities that made me like them in Abandon, the plot seemed to have too much going on, and the writing was also not outstanding.  I still love reading Meg Cabot's books, but I just thought that this would have more to it.

I give it: 3/5 CUPCAKES!