The Underground

The Underground

Second Edition

Fiction - Fantasy - Urban
374 Pages
Reviewed on 05/09/2017
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite

In The Underground by Roxanne Bland, the reader is introduced to an underworld with a mix of vampires, werewolves, elves, shapeshifters and witches. It is in this community that Kurt, the ruthless vampire, rules and no one dares to challenge him. Parker Berenson, a powerful werewolf, lost his love to Kurt and still holds a grievance against him. Now, working under him, nothing could be sweeter than to mastermind the downfall of a heartless vampire who has stolen the love of his life. One is pulled into an enchanting world, a society with all sorts of creatures, and the conflict in this story drives the plot in dramatic ways.

There is a lot in this urban fantasy for fans looking for an exciting and delightful read. What pulled me in was the compelling cast of characters. From the very beginning, the reader already gets the feeling that the characters are well-imagined. I also enjoyed the originality in the plot and the setting is a place readers would really want to peek at — beautifully constructed, and rendered vivid with detailed descriptions. Roxanne Bland has a way of holding the reader’s attention by weaving scenes that are emotionally charged and action-packed, focusing on a plot-driven conflict that is irresistible. The Underground features the finest writing, punctuated by lovely, insightful passages and descriptions. The novel is well-structured to have the reader turning the pages. There are many moments when the reader expects a denouement, but the author introduces yet another twist that invites them to turn to the next page. This book was exciting and immensely enjoyable.

Kim Anisi

Parker, a werewolf and the main character of The Underground by Roxanne Bland, has to find out that the love of his life played a cruel trick on him - and then a woman claiming she's an alien from outer space who lost her memory, and who kind of attempted to take Parker's life, turns his life even more upside down than it already is. In addition, Kurt - the Vampire overlord and master of all zots - has plans for Parker. Parker is the alpha of the local werewolf pack, but there are some who would like to challenge him and take his place. All those problems pale in comparison to what might happen when the human population of the world thinks about starting another pogrom against any supernatural being. A tryst between Kurt, Parker, and a powerful female witch would solve all problems - but could Parker trust the people who betrayed and hurt him? Wouldn't it be easier to run away with an alien?

At first glance, The Underground is a werewolf vs vampire kind of novel. At second glance, it reveals that there is a lot more to it. There are aliens, wererats and all sorts of other supernatural beings that have made Seattle their home. I was a bit cautious because there was a warning about explicit sex scenes. I was worried it would be more porn than plot - but fortunately, it wasn't much more than what you would expect from someone like George R.R. Martin, for example. Just that Mr Martin doesn't have aliens and werewolves. So the amount of sex and violence is by no means over the top and it all fits into the plot well enough. It was a very entertaining read, in some parts surprising. I'd say you should give it a try if you find things like Twilight too tame.

Melinda Hills

Exotics – weres, witches, elves and the like - live uncomfortably among humans in an imaginary Seattle and the friction only builds when a series of gruesome murders takes place in The Underground by Roxanne Bland. Parker Berenson, leader of the werewolf pack, is in love with Garrett Larkin, a powerful witch/mage. Kurt, the Vampire master over all the zots, has made them both enslaved servants and stolen Garrett from Parker. Unfortunately, it will take all three of them working together to combat the creature from the fifth dimension, called to earth by an unhappy witch, and send it back to where it came from. Even stranger events take place, though, when Parker encounters another being – a beautiful and sex-crazed assassin from another galaxy. With so much pressure on the thin veil of peace protecting the zots from the humans ready to destroy anything that is different, it’s no surprise that something’s got to give. The question will be whether or not it’s too late to try to save the zots by getting them to The Underground to ride out the storm.

For an amazing blend of urban dark fantasy, paranormal romance and science fiction with a healthy dose of the erotic thrown in, The Underground by Roxanne Bland is the perfect book. Characters are wonderfully depicted in all their differences, and the action keeps you turning the pages, anxious to see what can possibly happen next. Bland uses her tremendous imagination to take what could be a run of the mill paranormal story to a whole different level with delightful results. Great story! I loved every page and hope to see more of this group that seems to rival The Guardians of the Galaxy for a strange combination of do-gooders! This is definitely a must-read!

Ruffina Oserio

The Underground by Roxanne Bland opens with gripping words: “Stay human. Stay human. Stay human.” And the reader immediately gets an idea of the internal conflict that will drive this story. I enjoyed the fact that the story starts off strong, in the heart of a central conflict, and that the author sustains the same level of conflict throughout the story.

The reader is introduced to a world brimming with weird creatures, vampires, shapeshifters, elves, and witches. All of them are under the tight grip and cruel rule of the vampire, Kurt. Parker Berenson is a werewolf, the alpha male of the community, but a man with a serious grudge against Kurt who stole his love, the stunning mage Garrett Larkin. Now slaving under Kurt, he only looks for the least opportunity to ignite Kurt's downfall. What would the consequences be for a society that is already on the edge?

I have never read a story about werewolves, vampires, witches, and elves commingling in the same urban environment, and this one really creates a world where conflict thrives. Roxanne Bland is mistress of the game of conflict set within very powerful plot lines and with sophisticated characters. She seems to invent her own rules, and readers can’t help but follow and delight in them. The Underground is excellently written and the work features great writing. The author has a unique signature for phraseology and the sentences are packed with energy and imagery. The plot is complex, featuring a deadly conflict that will have readers following the characters to see what happens to them. I enjoyed every bit of this story.

Sefina Hawke

The Underground: Second Edition by Roxanne Bland is a dark urban fantasy novel with elements of paranormal romance. This is a book that would appeal most to an audience of adults who enjoy science fiction fantasy novels with some erotic romance mixed in. In an alternate version of Seattle, many supernatural creatures like shapeshifters, elves, vamps, and witches live as enslaved exotics or zots. Kurt is a vampire Master who rules over and enslaves the zots with sadism in his nightclub, Last Chance. While none of the zots truly like the vampire Master, Parker is a werewolf that hates him more than most for stealing his beloved. Melera Shen’zae is an interstellar assassin on a mission of vengeance that will throw the entire supernatural world out of balance. Will a war save the enslaved zots or just kill everyone, zot and human alike?

The Underground: Second Edition by Roxanne Bland was a very interesting book that was unique from any other supernatural styled book that I have ever read. The supernatural beings found themselves enslaved not by a human, but instead by a vampire, which was a very interesting plot point. I found Parker to be the most interesting character with how he and his inner werewolf were separate entities inside his head that actually held conversations. These conversations provided true insight into Parker’s motivations, aspirations, and inner feelings. The plot of the book was well developed and the erotic scenes did not in any way detract from the plot itself. Overall, I enjoyed reading this book, but due to the erotic scenes would only recommend it to an adult audience.