To enjoy this book, I think you have to know that it does not have much of an ending. It sort of reminds me when my husband saw the first Lord of The Rings movie; he knew nothing about the books and was shocked and dismayed when the movie ended. If it wasn't for the credits rolling, he would have been sure the film broke or something because he could not believe they would end the movie right in the middle of the plot with zero closure for any of the characters. While fans of the books left the theater excited, my husband was ticked. I can't help but think some readers are going to feel the same way about Tunnels. I can even imagine a few of them examining the binding to make sure they aren't missing a few chapters in the end because the ending is so abrupt. Maybe that tidbit will help you enjoy the book a little more than I did in the end.
It all starts out with 14 year-old Will. Will's father is an archaeologist working is a tiny museum by day, scouring the city by night, hoping to make a big discovery. Will himself has a hobby of digging holes so he assists his dad on digs around the city. Just as Will and his dad start making discoveries in one of Will's tunnels, his dad disappears. No one has heard from him and the police have no clues. After looking in on Will's couch potato mom, the police hint to Will and his sister that maybe his dad wanted to leave. Will doesn't believe a word of it, but doesn't tell anyone about his latest cave because in the past other archaeologists have swept in and claimed the dig and all of the glory and will and his father don't want to be scooped.
Instead, Will recruits his friend Chester to help with the dig to look for more clues. Just as they are making headway, someone fills a huge section of Will's tunnel with backfill, hoping to disguise it as a cave-in. Will becomes really worried about what's going on with his dad's disappearance when mysterious men start following Will and Chester around town. They persevere and discover Will's dad had his own hidden tunnel that leads to a mysterious underground world. Will gets excited and drags Chester along woefully under prepared in a search for Will's dad. Of course all sorts of craziness ensues.
It was a really interesting plot and I can see why they're making a movie of it, but it was so long!!! I think every review I've read mentions that it should have been cut to about half the length. It also had a lot of violence and was just all around creepy and dark. That said, there were some MAJOR plots twists I did not expect in the slightest that kept things exciting. I wish I could say more, but I really don't want to spoil it. If this peaked your curiosity, you'll just have to check it out yourself, and if you enjoy it, the sequel, Deeper, is due out in March of 2009.