Under Ground is the latest book by the duo that form S.L. Grey and the first to be published by Pan Macmillan. Its marketing has been centred on it being a ‘high concept thriller’ and having comparisons drawn from Stephen Kings The Stand. Although Under Ground may not be as epic as The Stand, it certainly lives up to the excitement that it is currently generating.
The main plot of the novel is based around The Sanctum, a self-sustaining survival facility for the rich. As is inevitable in every survival story, a super-virus breaks out, forcing the paranoid to lock themselves away within The Sanctum. Once the story reaches this point, it becomes clear where the story is heading. Personalities clash and secrets are slowly revealed as the situation becomes increasingly desperate.
The novel is told through a mix of third person and first person narrative, focusing on different characters by chapter. S.L. Grey has managed to make this work effectively by allowing the reader to see how some characters think, whilst hiding other characters thoughts by telling their story through a third person narrative. This works very effectively and distorts the reader into changing their thoughts about certain characters based on one character’s point of view. Some characters are less developed than others, but that is at a consequence to how the story is told and does not necessarily have a negative influence on the overall enjoyment of the story. Some of the characters can also be stereotypical, but when the characters are limited in their physical surroundings it’s difficult to give them more of a personality. S.L. Grey has done a terrific job within the limitations the story has.
Under Ground is well paced and it certainly has the potential to become a classic thriller if it’s able to get the exposure it deserves on release. It’s full of well-developed characters, captivating twists and an unpredictable conclusion that will have any thriller fan guessing all the way through. A thoroughly enjoyable read from an up and coming author.
INFO: UNDER GROUND / AUTHOR: S.L. GREY / PUBLISHER: PAN MACMILLAN / RELEASE DATE: JULY 16TH