The best fiction books set in underground worlds

Who am I?

I’ve been writing fiction for as long as I can remember, but more formally for over a decade. I have published a variety of works from short-story collections to children’s books, and my latest is a science-fiction trilogy set in an underground world. I’m passionate about imagination and creativity, and love exploring different kinds of books and different ways of expressing similar ideas.


I wrote...

Lying Beneath (The AURA Operation Book 1)

By Kevin Moran,

Book cover of Lying Beneath (The AURA Operation Book 1)

What is my book about?

Underneath the city lies an advanced society, and its dark secrets could bury her alive. Ayla worries she’ll be stuck waitressing for pennies until she dies. She longs for adventure, for something to save her from the paycheck-to-paycheck life she lives with her long-time boyfriend, Derek, who plays it safe and only half-tolerates her thirst for exploration. With her trusty camera in tow, she explores abandoned buildings, searching for something—anything—interesting.

One night, she finds a mysterious trapdoor in an old warehouse which leads to a futuristic society beneath her feet. This is the adventure she’s been looking for, but the people underground don’t appreciate her intrusion and she quickly finds herself locked up and questioned. They think she’s a spy, their questions are getting more intrusive, and Derek has no idea where she is. Ayla must find a way out of this underground world that’s not the adventure she thought she wanted, before it’s too late...

The books I picked & why

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Wool

By Hugh Howey,

Book cover of Wool

Why this book?

Wool is so much more than an author writing and releasing a book. I won’t delve into the full background, but it was initially released as a self-published short story, gained popularity, and grew from there into a great series. The worldbuilding is fantastic which lets readers get lost in the world, where details and characters are fleshed out. There’s enough mystery and intrigue to keep you coming back for more. Overall, an excellent read.

Wool

By Hugh Howey,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Wool as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

SOON TO BE A MAJOR APPLE TV SERIES
__________________________
'Thrilling, thought-provoking and memorable ... one of dystopian fiction's masterpieces alongside the likes of 1984 and Brave New World.' DAILY EXPRESS

In a ruined and hostile landscape, in a future few have been unlucky enough to survive, a community exists in a giant underground silo.

Inside, men and women live an enclosed life full of rules and regulations, of secrets and lies.

To live, you must follow the rules. But some don't. These are the dangerous ones; these are the people who dare to hope and dream, and who infect others…


The City of Ember

By Jeanne DuPrau,

Book cover of The City of Ember

Why this book?

This book often gets overlooked because of its “juvenile” stigma, however, there’s much more than the cover! The characters are on the younger side, but the worldbuilding is great through their eyes. Readers get a good feel for how the underground society works and provides a good glimpse into some things we take for granted. While later books in the series get further away from the underground world, it’s all worth a read.

The City of Ember

By Jeanne DuPrau,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The City of Ember as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ember is the only light in a dark world. But when its lamps begin to flicker, two friends must race to escape the dark. This highly acclaimed adventure series is a modern-day classic-with over 4 MILLION copies sold!

The city of Ember was built as a last refuge for the human race. Two hundred years later, the great lamps that light the city are beginning to dim. When Lina finds part of an ancient message, she's sure it holds a secret that will save the city. Now, she and her friend Doon must race to figure out the clues to…


Neverwhere

By Neil Gaiman,

Book cover of Neverwhere

Why this book?

This book allows readers to strongly visualize Neil’s fantasy world and get lost in it. The descriptions are enough to tantalize and run with, and the world that’s built through Neil’s classic prose comes alive on each page. Even if you’re not a fan of the fantasy genre, there’s enough grounded in aspects of reality that make it worth a look.

Neverwhere

By Neil Gaiman,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Neverwhere as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE EXTRAORDINARY FIRST NOVEL BY THE MASTER OF STORYTELLING

'Prose that dances and dazzles . . . Gaiman describes the indescribable' SUSANNA CLARKE

'It's virtually impossible to read more than ten words by Neil Gaiman and not wish he would tell you the rest of the story' OBSERVER

'Much too clever to be caught in the net of a single interpretation' PHILIP PULLMAN

ACCLAIMED BBC RADIO 4 DRAMATISATION WITH ALL-STAR CAST INCLUDING JAMES MCAVOY, NATALIE DORMER, DAVID HAREWOOD, SOPHIE OKONEDO AND BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH

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'I love doors. Anything that leads to possibilities' NEIL GAIMAN

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Under the streets of London…


Tunnels (Book 1)

By Roderick Gordon, Brian Williams,

Book cover of Tunnels (Book 1)

Why this book?

Another overlooked book because it is targeted for children. It’s the first in a series and is darker in tone than others. The imagination of the underground world here is neat and built in such a way that lets you envision it. The plot can be a bit disjointed for younger readers, and there are some twists to keep it interesting, but overall, is a fast read.

Tunnels (Book 1)

By Roderick Gordon, Brian Williams,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Tunnels (Book 1) as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Fourteen-year-old Will Burrows lives with his family in London. He
has little in common with them except for a passion for digging
which he shares with his father.

When his father suddenly disappears down an unknown tunnel, Will
decides to investigate with his friend Chester. Soon they find themselves
deep underground, where they unearth a dark and terrifying
secret - a secret which may cost them their lives.


Gregor the Overlander

By Suzanne Collins,

Book cover of Gregor the Overlander

Why this book?

While on the more fanastical side of things, and again targeted for younger readers, the overall environment that’s built throughout really lends itself to questions about other worlds and how, not just societies, but animals adapt as well is interesting and often described really well. The prose also reads very quickly, so it’s easy to read and engaging.

Gregor the Overlander

By Suzanne Collins,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Gregor the Overlander as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first in a gripping young fantasy series from the
author of THE HUNGER GAMES.

When eleven-year-old Gregor falls through a grate in the laundry
room of his apartment building, he hurtles into the dark Underland,
where spiders, rats and giant cockroaches coexist uneasily
with humans.

This world is on the brink of war, and Gregor's arrival
is no accident.

But Gregor wants no part of it - until he realizes it's
the only way to solve the mystery of his father's disappearance.
Reluctantly, Gregor embarks on a dangerous adventure
that will change both him and the Underland forever.



Engrossing,…


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