Kirkus Reviews QR Code


From the Underworlds series, volume 1

by Tony Abbott

Age Range: 7 - 10

Pub Date: April 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-545-30831-1
Publisher: Scholastic

Looking to feed the insatiable appetite of mythology-mad readers comes a new series that brings the legendary characters up close and personal, especially for four elementary students who face off against Greek and Norse monsters.

Owen realizes the day is unusual when his friend, Dana, gets sucked through the school floor while a voice hisses, “The…battle…begins…” Owen teams up with Jon and Sydney to rescue her, and, with the help of Bulfinch’s Mythology, they begin a surreal adventure with mythological beasts come to life. They discover that one of the entrances to the Underworld is in their school basement and that all the Underworlds, one for every branch of mythology, are linked. Moreover, the creatures are escaping. Armed with the Lyre of Orpheus, which, when strummed, gives Owen the power of persuasion, they make a deal with Hades, who gives them a chance to find Dana. They do battle with the likes of Cerberus, Myrmidons and Loki. Hades, however, is a double dealer who ups the ante: They are forced do his bidding or lose Dana forever—which becomes the catalyst for the next installment. Intricate black-and-white sketches of mythical monsters and maps enhance this lean and lively tale.

A quest just right for readers on the cusp of Percy Jackson. (glossary) (Adventure. 7-10)