Twitter Tumblr FlickrFacebookContact me
This Month Previous Articles Author Title Source Age Genre Series Format Inclusivity LGBTA Portfolio

Recent posts


Month in review

Reviews
Amulet Keepers by Michael Northrop
Beneath by Roland Smith
Book of the Dead by Michael Northrop
The Boy Who Lost Fairyland by Catherynne M. Valente
The Cat at the Wall by Deborah Ellis
Clark the Shark by Bruce Hale
Crewel Yule by Monica Ferris
Death Cloud by Andy Lane
Delphine by Richard Sala
Doctor Who: A Big Hand For The Doctor by Eoin Colfer
Embroidered Truths by Monica Ferris
FBP: Federal Bureau of Physics, Vol. 4: The End Times by Simon Oliver
The Ghoul Next Door by Victoria Laurie
Icons of Popular Culture by Marshall Fishwick
Lending a Paw by Laurie Cass
Let's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid
The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry
Mischievous Meg by Astrid Lindgren
Missy Violet and Me by Barbara Hathaway
Mister Orange by Truus Matti
Monkey: A Trickster Tale from India by Gerald McDermott
The Odds of Getting Even by Sheila Turnage
Off Road by Sean Gordon Murphy
Old Magic by Marianne Curley
Open Road: A Celebration of the American Highway by Phil Patton
Open This Little Book by Jesse Klausmeier
Orbiter by Warren Ellis
Out West: A Journey through Lewis and Clark's America by Dayton Duncan
Sins and Needles by Monica Ferris
Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things by Randy O. Frost
Under New York by Linda Oatman High

Miscellaneous
Crazy for Cozies

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Beneath: 03/07/16

Beneath by Roland Smith

Beneath by Roland Smith is about a younger brother looking for his older one in Manhattan. Pat, though the younger brother, has been looking out for Coop his entire life. Now that means hunting for him after he falls off the grid somewhere in New York.

Something is off with Coop. He's probably in the autistic spectrum but was never formally diagnosed. He was just that kid that every one knew about in their small town.

When Cooper was younger he dug extensive tunnels under their town. Now he's found a better underground place to live — under Manhattan in the abandoned tunnels of long forgotten infrastructure.

According to the picture book, Under New York (Link to Review) by Robert Ravevsky there are three layers of New York infrastructure:

  • 0-30 feet: water pipes, gas lines, steam pipes, telephone lines, fiber optic cable, electrical power lines
  • 30-200 feet: subways and sewers
  • 200+ feet: A new water tunnel

Pat in searching for his brother, discovers two different underground societies, one near the surface, and one far below and much scarier. These two worlds dig out their territories around the remains of the old Murray Hill Reservoir which now serves as the foundation for a public library.

And it was the inclusion of real world landmarks of New York and it's long history of underground construction that got me thinking about the vast number of stories that take place under the city, especially under Manhattan. I suppose with it being an island on a solid foundation that there has been more of a need to build down as much as to build up.

There are numerous stories that include trips under Manhattan and even entire underground societies. My thoughts prompted an entire thread on Tumblr listing all sorts of stories.

For Beneath I had a few concerns. The underground world here requires so much to have been forgotten. While I do realize there are abandoned pneumatic tube stations, an entire brick apartment building, even if falling apart, seems hard to swallow. The building isn't even really a big part of the story; it serves as a roadblock for both Coop and Pat.

Mostly though, Beneath reminded me of a cross between the 1990s TV series Beauty and the Beast and The Santaroga Barrier by Frank Herbert.

Four stars

Comments (0)


Name:
Email (won't be posted):
Blog URL:
Comment: