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Reviewed by Debjani Ghosh for Readers' Favorite
As a child playing in the cellar of her house, called the underhouse, Kira feels a vibration coming from a pair of huge stone eyelids. There she meets Angras, a strange boy possessing superhuman abilities. He tells her he came through these eyelids. They soon strike up a friendship with each other. However, this is short-lived due to her grandfather’s death. Her mysterious father, livid at this incident, tells her Angras was just a dream. But Kira knows deep down this is not the truth. She continues to have nightmares of the underhouse. Years later, she comes home to stay with her grandmother and returns to the underhouse where she finally goes through the Eyes to enter a strange new world full of magic and unusual creatures. There, she meets Angras as well. But he has grown into a brooding man, no longer the vivacious child of the past due to vicious darkness spreading over his world. Can Kira save Angras’ world and survive the discovery of who her father is? Read Death and The Underhouse by Christina Caniyo to find out.
Death and The Underhouse delivers on its intriguing premise. A beautiful yet strange parallel universe that needs saving, a brooding, young, and dashing hero coupled with a spunky young heroine – the book has all the ingredients for an enchanting young adult novel. The first half of the book sets up the world that Angras inhabits. It is full of colors, magic, and exotic creatures. Caniyo’s imagination runs wild in fashioning this world. The story does lean on the complex side; however, Caniyo’s breezy style of writing helped me easily absorb all the information on the unfamiliar world. The second half is darker, action-packed, and completely sucks you into Angras’ world. The plot builds up to a fascinating battle at the climax. Caniyo’s writing dazzles when describing the battle. Besides vivid descriptions, Caniyo has also created fully fleshed-out leading as well as supporting characters. It was fun to read the reactions of the different creatures/people on meeting Kira for the first time. Moreover, I did not anticipate the breathtaking twist at the end. The book ends on a cliffhanger, although it is worth it. I am eager to know the rest of the story. Death and The Underhouse by Christina Caniyo is recommended for young adult readers seeking an action-packed, romantic fantasy.