Author: Jonathan Culverhouse
Series: stated as volume 1, but not sure
Published: November 2009
Source: Author sent me copy for review
Description: An unexpected school trip leads Angelica into the strange and dangerous Underkingdom, where she meets a timid goblin whose passion for all things human includes 1970's disco music and Earl Grey tea. How will this unlikely hero help her to defeat a ruthless king, rescue Angelica's schoolmates before they become the filling in a giant pie, and stop a monstrous war machine, which rises from the earth taking the heart of central London with it? The answers lay somewhere inside Underkingdom: Disco Goblins vs The Machine. A light-hearted novel which should appeal to young adults and grown-ups who enjoy reading children's fiction.
I'm not sure if I'm the right audience for this book. The author contacted me because he had seen my reviews of the Fablehaven series and thought I might enjoy it. I admit, I didn't follow the rule of don't judge a book by it's cover. The cover didn't grab me and the title was a little bit of a mouthful. I've been shortening it to just Underkingdom when I probably shouldn't. All that aside, the book was interesting. Angelica seems to be a typical teenager. She hates school, doesn't get a long with her parents real well, and has the perfect younger brother. She was actually more likable the more she set her mind to get out of the situation they were in. My favorite character was Ploppy, the disco dancing Goblin. He was such a different addition to the story and I never pictured him as a goblin at all. Overall, I think the story might have been to sci-fi for my taste (it didn't have the same magic feel that say Fablehaven or even Harry Potter have). I'm sure there are plenty of kids out there who would enjoy this given the chance!