Un­der Ground

Bunker men­tal­ity

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Rated / Books -

Re­lease Date: OUT NOW!

368 pages | Pa­per­back/ ebook Au­thor: SL Grey Pub­lisher: Macmil­lan

If it was an­nounced

that a weaponised virus had been un­leashed, what do you reckon you would do? Wait it out and hope for the best? Or hun­ker down in a subter­ranean sanc­tu­ary?

The char­ac­ters in Un­der Ground take the lat­ter op­tion. A group of wealthy strangers lock them­selves in the Sanc­tum, a lux­ury condo/ bunker in Maine. But things go badly wrong and they soon find them­selves with no means of con­tact­ing the out­side world and a body in the freezer.

This is some­thing of a de­par­ture for SL Grey ( the hor­ror duo of Sarah Lotz and Louis Green­berg). Their Down­side tril­ogy was sur­real, sick and had shades of Nev­er­where as well as Stephen King. In con­trast, this is a high- con­cept thriller.

Are they go­ing main­stream? Sort of. But Un­der Ground sub­verts its sim­ple premise with a thick vein of black hu­mour and a glee­ful dis­re­gard for its vi­ral McGuf­fin. This isn’t a book about the flu, but about the fears that drive a group of dis­parate peo­ple to think – and do – the worst. Throw in a gun- lov­ing, Jof­frey Lannister- level ar­se­hole and you know that things are not go­ing to turn out well.

Some of the twists are a touch pre­dictable and it’s not as uniquely un­set­tling as the pre­vi­ous Grey nov­els, but Un­der Ground shifts from slow- burn chills to its fran­tic fi­nale with con­sid­er­able ex­per­tise. A grip­ping book – and def­i­nitely not for the claus­tro­pho­bic. Will Salmon The teenage Sarah Lotz spent time home­less in Paris. The ex­pe­ri­ences later in­formed her novel Pom­pi­dou Posse.

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