Will is a pale, awkward kid with white hair. He doesn't seem to "fit" with his dysfunctional family except for the fact that he and his father share an obsession: they both love to dig. While digging with his only friend, Chester, underneath their neighborhood outside of London, Will discovers strange brick-lined tunnels where there should be none. Soon afterward, his father disappears, and Will discovers a back-filled tunnel that dad had been digging underneath their own house. With Chester's help, they remove all the backfill and enter a subterranean world where a whole Colony of people live! Unfortunately, Chester is taken prisoner and it is up to Will to rescue him and find his father.
I really liked this book! It is fairly long, but once I got into it, I couldn't put it down. I thought it was well-written and the end of each chapter, with cliffhangers and promises of new revelations, practically forced me to read the next. There's really good bad guys, the Styx, and some pretty good good guys, but I don't want to give away too much. Although the action doesn't really start until about 150 pages in, there was enough backstory about digging and Will's family to keep me interested. The only thing I didn't like was when it ended. This is obviously the first book in an intended series. While this story did wrap up one thread, there are at least two others that still need closure, which, of course, means more books. While I am not averse to book series (after all, I read the entire Harry Potter series gladly), I prefer each book to have a beginning, middle, and end. But I should have known; right there on the back cover it said, "The end is just the beginning"! But, wow, what a beginning!