Saturday, January 6, 2018

Book Review: 'The Underground Labyrinth' by Louella Dizon San Juan


You never really know when another adventure might coming knocking at your door.
Every time I take the subway I wonder what it would be like to explore the parts of it that aren’t open to the public. There’s something magical about those long, dark tunnels whose secrets are only uncovered by a lucky few. What surprised me was how the feeling one gets when staring into those tunnels was connected to what happens in this story. It’s hard to discuss this in any more detail without giving away spoilers, but I was pleased by how this sort of completely ordinary experience could be given such an unexpected twist.
The cast of characters was a little too big for a novella of this size. At times I had trouble remembering who was who, especially when it came to all of the new elves and other magical creatures that were introduced here for the first time. It would have been helpful to either have a glossary describing who everyone was or for the text itself to give periodic reminders about basic information like this.
With that being said, I enjoyed how creative the author was when naming and describing all of her characters. This entire series has impressed me so far. Elves have names that genuinely sound Elvish, unpronounceable syllables and all. That’s the sort of small detail that actually makes a big difference for me when I’m deciding what to read next due to how much fun it is to become so immersed in that universe. I can’t wait to see what Ms. Dizon San Juan comes up with next.
This is the sequel to The Crowded Kingdom. It can be read as a standalone novel, but I highly recommend checking out the first book to anyone who is even slightly intrigued by the brief recap of what happens in it in the first chapter of this one.
I’d recommend The Underground Labyrinth to fans of the science fiction and young adult genres alike.

Editor's note: This article was originally published at Long and Short ReviewsIt has been republished with permission. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.