Will Burrows (what a great name!) discovers a tunnel inside his house leading to a secret world beneath London’s streets! He enters the underground world of The Colony and learns that his Father has been taken to the Deeps – a place even deeper – by religious rulers called the Styx, so Will sets out to rescue him.
While Jonathan’s father is in and out of mental asylums, he learns to fend for himself on the streets of London. Someone tries to break into his father’s locked study where Jonathan discovers reference to a book called THE DARKEST DESCENT. Following his fathers clues he stumbles into Darkside – a place filled with murderers, werewolves, vampires and thieves.
During a war on Earth a group of “Builders” engineer and supply an underground city for the people to escape to called Ember. Generations later, the supplies run out and the people of Ember must emerge or die.
When Coraline and her family move into an old house that has been subdivided into apartments, she discovers a locked door in her room that leads to a parallel world where her Other Parents are replicas of her real parents except for their button eyes. At first everything seems better there and in her real world, until Coraline discovers the other stolen children and realizes she must escape.
One very curious thing I’ve noticed about the YA books that deal with Underground Worlds — all of them are either depressing places or have elements of evil – or both! Why is that I wonder?
The “Adult” hidden world that I loved most was the one portrayed in the old TV series “Beauty and the Beast” starring Ron Perlman and Linda Hamilton. That world was enchanting and it was our world that was gloomy.
In Children’s literature the underground worlds are very sweet and appealing. When I was younger (and even now sometimes) I wished that they were REAL places.
The Borrowers are tiny people who live under the floorboards of a house. They survive by “borrowing” food and material from the Beans (human beings) that live above them.
In Wind in the Willows, Mr. Mole lives in a snug little home under a bank and his friend the water rat has a little boat they travel the river upon.
In Alice in Wonderland a little girl becomes bored, and follows a white rabbit down his hole which leads to another land where she meets strange creatures and funny things happen.