Trevor Shane is back with his long awaited sequel to his first book Children of Paranoia. The war is still occurring and both sides are still suffering losses but Maria is desperate to enter the world she know nothing about in order to get Christopher, her son, back:
Maria does not know how to go about it but all she knows is that she needs to track down her son Christopher to save him from the fate of the war, the same fate as his father endured and to have a normal life. Maria has search throughout Joe's journals looking for a clue as to where she can find help and she thinks she has found it, Michael, one of Joe's best friends. Michael knows the ways of the war as he grew up with them like Joe did, but she does not know where to find him and how dangerous he will be towards her, but she needs to take this chance, finding Christopher is all that matters, even it means putting her own life on the line.
It takes quite a bit for an author to get on my radar to the point where the next book that they have written comes out and I put everything else down that I am reading and doing and just read their book. Well Shane's debut novel blew me away that when I found out that the second book was out, I needed to get a hold of it, and start reading it right away.
Children of the Underground is about Maria's struggle to come to terms with feeling like she let Joe down as well as letting them take Christopher away and her fight to get him back. This book does not have as much action and over all suspense as the first book, and this is due to the fact that Maria is writing them after the fact. She has to rely on what Michael tells her had happened; therefore I found that the action scenes were not as crisp as they were in the first book. However, even with less action I still felt myself drawn into the book through Maria and this struggle and did not want to put it down. Shane definitely hits you with all the high and low points on the scale of emotions as he takes you through Maria’s story. Although there is less action within this book, that does not mean that the book is slow or boring, the reader will really get drawn into Maria's story, just like they were drawn into Joe's. Shane has a great ability to draw the reader in through his characters and write them in such a Real fashion that you are there with them in each event and emotion.
As with the first book, this one was also written in a journal like fashion, however, the books do differ in how the books flowed. While in the first you did not really notice it until the end that you were reading Joe's journal within this book you know that you are reading a journal as Maria is writing to Christopher for him to read when he is older or if something were to happen to her, she wants Christopher to know what the War had done to her and his father. At times Maria's journals are a bit disjointed and you do not know exactly how much time has past, however, I did not find them hard to read or follow and you could feel the true emotion that Maria had with each word that she wrote.
It was interesting that Shane introduced two new characters, Even and Abby, into the story opposite of Maria's. To begin with you don't fully understand why Shane has done this and the reason does not become clear to more than halfway through the book, but rest assured there is a reason and actually a good one, but I know I questioned it when I first started to read these sections. These sections were not written in journal format as they were happening outside of Maria's search for her son, but they do add additional depth to the story once you fully understand why these sections are within the book.
Trevor Shane is an amazing up and coming author that has shown the depth of his ability within the first two books of this series. I cannot stress enough how much I have enjoyed both his books and I am looking forward to reading the third book in the series Children of the Uprising which is schedules to come out October 2013 (Thank for not making us wait another year for the next book). I think that his books are for everyone, as they are much more than thrills and actions. Shane’s characters in his books make you feel every emotion which pulls you more and more into their struggle, this was a fantastic read, this book and series is highly recommended.