Sunday, September 16, 2012

Review: Underworld by Meg Cabot

Underworld (Abandon Trilogy #2)Book: Underworld
Author: Meg Cabot
Series: Abandon Trilogy
Publication Date: May 8th, 2012
Publisher: Point
Rating: 2 Stars

Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.

Seventeen-year-old Pierce Oliviera isn’t dead.

Not this time.

But she is being held against her will in the dim, twilit world between heaven and hell, where the spirits of the deceased wait before embarking upon their final journey.

Her captor, John Hayden, claims it’s for her own safety. Because not all the departed are dear. Some are so unhappy with where they ended up after leaving the Underworld, they’ve come back as Furies, intent on vengeance…on the one who sent them there and on the one whom he loves.

But while Pierce might be safe from the Furies in the Underworld, far worse dangers could be lurking for her there…and they might have more to do with its ruler than with his enemies.

And unless Pierce is careful, this time there’ll be no escape.
I remember the days when I just discovered Meg Cabot, reading all her Princess Diaries books in one day and waiting on tenterhooks for the next installment of the Airhead series, screaming and clutching one of the Mediator books to my chest as I cried for Jesse, or making inhuman squeals as I read 1800-Where-R-U. Those were the days.

But the Meg Cabot who caught my heart with these heartwarming novels? She's either not here, or I'm just way more mature than I was. However, considering that I still giggle at "that's what she said" jokes, I don't think that's the case. So maybe the problem really is that Meg Cabot's writing has deteriorated to the point that I find it annoying and whiny instead of endearing.

I don't want to accept that, so I'll just say this: maybe, finally, Meg Cabot has bit off more than she could chew by undertaking a series about the underworld, just like she did with Insatiable. I know she's trying to take these cliches (the vampire, the bad boy death deity) and turn them into something new and revolutionary, but maybe she should stick with what she does better: taking outrageous ideas and turning them into something heartwarming and sweet.

Underworld really bothered me, and I think Pierce is a big factor in that. Unlike Cabot's earlier characters, she's disgustingly subservient and inept, especially when it comes to making decisions. For some unfathomable reason, she's enamored with John and the size of his muscles (they're as big as melons, apparently), and though she cares about her family, she has no qualms about running amok causing trouble for everyone in Isla Huesos. Also, I never would've thought Cabot capable of making such an elementary mistake, but Pierce's eyes fill with tears way too much.

Are crybaby heroines the new black now? I don't understand this waterworks trend right now.

Pierce cries over everything, and despite my love for Meg Cabot, even the little side quips didn't make me crack a smile. Don't even get me started on John Hayden. He was nowhere as attractive as Michael, or Jesse, or Mitch (from the Boy series; I really loved Girl Meets Boy, for some reason). Probably because he does nothing redeeming, besides that tiny part where he takes Pierce's advice and makes some of the accommodations in the Underworld better. That was it. Elsewhere, he's this domineering jackass who manipulates and lies to Pierce, striking her dumb with the size of his roided up muscles.

Yeeah. Never thought the day would come where I didn't like a Cabot male main character, but here it is. Actually, I didn't like Alaric much either... Uh-oh.

The plot is a bit all over the place, with Pierce rushing around and getting nothing done, then meeting other people. It actually seemed really filler. The real problem wasn't really a problem at all; rather, Pierce makes it into a problem. I didn't like Alex that much because he was an idiot and a dork, but I liked him much more than Pierce and John. I didn't even like Hope that much. She seemed so pretentious.

God, you know things are bad when you don't even like the damned bird.

Whatever, hopefully the next book is better, though judging by the blurb, it seems like same ol' same ol' "lose life or lose love of my life" stuff.
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