Is Underground

☁ Is Underground PDF / Epub ✎ Author Joan Aiken – Johndore.co.uk
  • Paperback
  • 242 pages
  • Is Underground
  • Joan Aiken
  • English
  • 18 November 2017
  • 0440410681

About the Author: Joan Aiken

Joan Aiken was a much loved English writer who received the MBE for services to Children s Literature She was known as a writer of wild fantasy, Gothic novels and short stories.She was born in Rye, East Sussex, into a family of writers, including her father, Conrad Aiken who won a Pulitzer Prize for his poetry , and her sister, Jane Aiken Hodge She worked for the United Nations Information Office during the second world war,and then as an editor and freelance on Argosy magazine before she started writing full time, mainly children s books and thrillers For her books she received the Guardian Award 1969 and the Edgar Allan Poe Award 1972.Her most popular series, the Wolves Chronicles which began with The Wolves of Willoughby Chase , was set in an elaborate alternate period of history in a Britain in which James II was never deposed in the Glorious Revolution,and so supporters of the House of Hanover continually plot to overthrow the Stuart Kings These books also feature cockney urchin heroine Dido Twite and her adventures and travels all over the world.Another series of children s books about Arabel and her raven Mortimer are illustrated by Quentin Blake, and have been shown on the BBC as Jackanory and drama series Others including the much loved Necklace of Raindrops and award winning Kingdom Under the Sea are illustrated by Jan Pie kowski.Her many novels for adults include several that continue or complement novels by Jane Austen These include Mansfield Revisited and Jane Fairfax.Aiken was a lifelong fan of ghost stories She set her adult supernatural novel The Haunting of Lamb House at Lamb House in Rye now a National Trust property This ghost story recounts in fictional form an alleged haunting experienced by two former residents of the house, Henry James and E F Benson, both of whom also wrote ghost stories Aiken s father, Conrad Aiken, also authored a small number of notable ghost stories.


Is UndergroundThe Irrepressible Twile Family Is Back, And There S Mischief Afoot In This Newest Adventure In The Celebrated Wolves Chronicles

You may also like...

10 thoughts on “Is Underground

  1. Nigel says:

    I love the Edward Gorey cover Aiken and Gorey go together perfectly well Aiken and Gorey sounds like the name of some sort of weird and gothic medical drama, sort of like House, if House investigated talking warts and haemogoblins and phantom limbs where you have an extra pair of hands doing unimaginable things you can feel but not see.Is, half sister of Dido, embarks on an adventure all her own, a particularly dark one as the children of London have been lured to the new kingdom set up in the I love the Edward Gorey cover Aiken and Gorey go together perfectly well Aiken and Gorey sounds like the name of some sort of weird and gothic medical drama, sort of like House, if House investigated talking warts and haemogoblins and phantom limbs where you have an extra pair of hands doing unimaginable things you can feel but not see.Is, half sister of Dido, embarks on an adventure all her own, a particularly dark one as the children of London have been lured to the new kingdom set up in the north of England where they are enslaved and forced to work in mines and foundries, dying, as the book makes clear, at an appalling rate True to form, the arch villain turns out to be another Twite, Is uncle, Roy, who has set himself up as king of an industrial underground nation, busily building up his army so he he can march south and gain .A lot of this seems oddly archaic nowadays The heroine is small of stature, barely educated, but smart, indomitable and fundamentally decent so she doesn t go around kung fu ing bad guys and dispensing rough justice There are also quite a few coincidences in the book forwarding the plot, which wouldn t be tolerated in a modern, tightly plotted, everything must have a reason novel Aiken is less concerned in the versimilitude of her plot mechanics than in just getting on with the story, and who is to say she s wrong I noted the coincidences and then moved on because I caredabout the story than the plot, too I really enjoyed Is, and I know there s another Is book before getting back to Dido and Simon, and I m very much looking forward to it.Aiken and Gorey For when your medical problems got problems Peculiar problems

  2. Abigail says:

    This eighth entry in Aiken s Wolves Chronicles excluding Midnight Is a Place , is the first of two adventures featuring Dido Twite s younger half sister, Is When long lost cousin Arun goes missing, Is s quest to find him leads her to the northlands, to the breakaway kingdom of Humberland, and the oddly child free city of Holdernesse the renamed Blastburn, of earlier titles Here Is discovers another set of long lost relatives, and with the help of her newfound psychic abilities, sets out t This eighth entry in Aiken s Wolves Chronicles excluding Midnight Is a Place , is the first of two adventures featuring Dido Twite s younger half sister, Is When long lost cousin Arun goes missing, Is s quest to find him leads her to the northlands, to the breakaway kingdom of Humberland, and the oddly child free city of Holdernesse the renamed Blastburn, of earlier titles Here Is discovers another set of long lost relatives, and with the help of her newfound psychic abilities, sets out to free the enslaved children who labor away in the nearby mines.Aiken s concern for the child, always vulnerable in an adult world, runs like a thread throughout much of her work, and is readily apparent here So too is her preoccupation with the notion of a balkanized Britain, something that can also be seen in another of her titles, The Cockatrice Boys But despite the many clever and original plot developments, despite the intricate ways in which Aiken ties this to her larger body of work, and to the entire Wolves Chronicles, I found Is Underground and its sequel, Cold Shoulder Road , somehow unsatisfying.This is owing, I m afraid, to the heroine, who simply cannot fill her sister s shoes Is Twite would be an engaging heroine, if the reader weren t already acquainted with the incomparable Dido, of whom Is seems like an agreeable, but not entirely convincing copy She almost satisfies but not quite Her depiction seems an odd choice in an author known for her seemingly inexhaustible supply of original characters and plot developments.Addendum Because the reading order of this series is somewhat complicated, I have included this handy guide, which is organized by publication date, and which I recommend to prospective readers of the series, rather than the one offered here on Goodreads Reading Order for the Series 1 The Wolves of Willoughby Chase2 Black Hearts in Battersea3 Nightbirds on Nantucket4 The Whispering Mountain5 The Cuckoo Tree6 The Stolen Lake7 Dido and Pa8 Is Underground9 Cold Shoulder Road10 Dangerous Games11 Midwinter Nightingale12 The Witch of ClatteringshawsA few notes Is Underground is the American name for the British original, Is Similarly, Dangerous Games was originally published in Britain as Limbo Lodge The Wolves of Willoughby Chase features two characters that recur, but the two young heroines do not The Stolen Lake is the point at which the chronology becomes somewhat complicated, as it is the sixth book, but chronicles events that occur in between Night Birds on Nantucket 3 and The Cuckoo Tree 5 Is Underground or Is and Cold Shoulder Road both feature Is Twite, cousin to the main heroine, Dido They occur alongside the other books, and their position in the series is not chronologically relevant Dangerous Games Limbo Lodge is another title that backtracks in the chronology Although not technically part of the series, Aiken s Midnight Is a Place does occur in the same alternative timeline, and is set in Blastburn, the same imaginary city that features in the other books

  3. Mir says:

    Blastburn is back, and it s badder, blacker, and child abusinger than ever.Unfortunately, Is is no Dido Twite She s probably a better person in some ways, but she s not as entertaining as her wild and mouthy sister That combined with the grimness of the situation for all the children made this kind of a dark read.

  4. Kirsten says:

    A stand alone continuation of the Wolves Chronicles, this excellent adventure features Dido Twite s younger half sister, Is Since the events of Dido Pa, Is has settled happily with her older sister Penny Their tranquil existence is interrupted, however, by a chance encouter with an uncle they never knew they had an uncle who, as his dying wish, charges Is to find her missing cousing Arun Like Dido, Is is tough, resourceful, and honors her promises, so she heads off into the north cou A stand alone continuation of the Wolves Chronicles, this excellent adventure features Dido Twite s younger half sister, Is Since the events of Dido Pa, Is has settled happily with her older sister Penny Their tranquil existence is interrupted, however, by a chance encouter with an uncle they never knew they had an uncle who, as his dying wish, charges Is to find her missing cousing Arun Like Dido, Is is tough, resourceful, and honors her promises, so she heads off into the north country of England, which has seceded and cut off all communication with the outside world Once there, Is discovers a dastardly scheme that is luring the children of England to the North and to their doom As usual, this tale is a perfect blend of wit, danger, and magic

  5. Kailey (BooksforMKs) says:

    I love this 8th book in the Willoughby Chase series Dido s little sister, Is, vows to find her long lost cousin, and ends up looking for a missing prince too All the children in London are being snatched up and sent to Playland , where they are promised treats and games and fun But the horrible reality is a dark mine where they are forced to work as slaves, and Is has to go underground to continue her search Is gets unexpected help from some unique and interesting characters, but it is only I love this 8th book in the Willoughby Chase series Dido s little sister, Is, vows to find her long lost cousin, and ends up looking for a missing prince too All the children in London are being snatched up and sent to Playland , where they are promised treats and games and fun But the horrible reality is a dark mine where they are forced to work as slaves, and Is has to go underground to continue her search Is gets unexpected help from some unique and interesting characters, but it is only her fierce determination and street smarts that will save her cousin and the other children from the horrors of the mines.I love IS She is so plucky and fierce and kind I love her practical common sense, her no foolishness approach to every problem, and her unfailing generosity She somehow manages to be a realist, with no nonsense about her, but she also is open to believing new ideas, even if they seem impossible and wild She accepts the reality that is placed before her, and deals with it accordingly I really admire that about her, because I m a person who is always caught up in fantasy and wishing, without focusing on what is really real, so I waste a lot of time and energy trying to cope accept the real situation Is can be so deliciously REAL, and you see that in her relationships with the other characters I love how quickly the plot moves along I love the creepy scenery of the underground mines I love the weird and strange characters that IS meets along the way I love it all The writing, as with all Joan Aiken s books, really pulls you into the story, describes the scene in a few well chosen words, and puts you right into the characters shoes, creating a strong emotional connection to the characters Excellent and imaginative writing

  6. lucky little cat says:

    A late entry 8 in Aiken s fabulous alt Anglo history Wolves of Willoughby Chase series Croopus The spirit of Jack Wild lives on in Joan Aiken s plucky Cockney waif heroines. Is short for Isabella , Dido Twite s younger half sister, takes over as the plucky Jack Wild ish Cockney heroine of the series, presumably because Dido s aged out of the role This novel has far fewer of the endearing historical details that distinguished the first four novels no charcoal burning hermits, choriste A late entry 8 in Aiken s fabulous alt Anglo history Wolves of Willoughby Chase series Croopus The spirit of Jack Wild lives on in Joan Aiken s plucky Cockney waif heroines. Is short for Isabella , Dido Twite s younger half sister, takes over as the plucky Jack Wild ish Cockney heroine of the series, presumably because Dido s aged out of the role This novel has far fewer of the endearing historical details that distinguished the first four novels no charcoal burning hermits, choristers macaroons, nor whalers philosophical insights here Instead, this is a comparatively bare bones story where the plot s creaky joints show right through You will grow tired of the expediency of telepathy as a go to plot device But the dialogue crackles along as always There are also several Easter egg references to the action of the earlier novels in the series Is lives with Penelope, Dido s older sister, who has evolved from self centered fashion plate to reliable, plain spoken mentor The action takes place in Blastburn, the miserable Scottish industrial city of the superior stand aloneMidnight Is a PlaceDido is away visiting friends in Nantucket.If you re thinking of reading this series, start with any of the first four outstanding books, The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, Black Hearts in Battersea, Nightbirds on Nantucket, or The Cuckoo Tree Is Underground isof an exercise in nostalgia, a picture postcard version of those earlier books

  7. Celeste Ng says:

    In this book our heroine is Dido s sister though she feels and acts much like Dido and the setting is an immense mine where children are forced into labor Completely immersing and surprisingly complex.

  8. Dormouse says:

    It was good and interesting and exciting.I would now like to readbooks by Joan Aiken.

  9. Robin says:

    Originally titled Is, this book took its present title when it was re published in the U.S By naming it after its main character Is Twite, younger sister of the illustrious Dido, Joan Aiken ensured the ninth installment in the Wolves Chronicles after The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, Black Hearts in Battersea, Nightbirds on Nantucket, The Whispering Mountain, The Stolen Lake, Limbo Lodge a.k.a Dangerous Games, The Cuckoo Tree and Dido and Pa would be practically impossible to locate in an i Originally titled Is, this book took its present title when it was re published in the U.S By naming it after its main character Is Twite, younger sister of the illustrious Dido, Joan Aiken ensured the ninth installment in the Wolves Chronicles after The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, Black Hearts in Battersea, Nightbirds on Nantucket, The Whispering Mountain, The Stolen Lake, Limbo Lodge a.k.a Dangerous Games, The Cuckoo Tree and Dido and Pa would be practically impossible to locate in an internet search, with or without the added word Underground The trick, in case you ever want to try it, is to include the words Joan Aiken Wolves Willoughby Chase series in your search Good luck.I actually own both versions of this book Is and Is Underground the one published in the U.K., bound in a single volume with Cold Shoulder Road the other a U.S edition with cover art by the great Edward Gorey Besides the title, there are other interesting differences, such as the word football being replaced with soccer which came as a bit of surprise in the middle of a book otherwise written in a strong British dialect It made me exclaim, Croopus There s some havey cavey editing going on here It ll be days, maybe weeks, before I stop saying things like that The earthy, distinctive lingo spoken by Dido and Is Twite is that infectious.Both versions of Is have been on my books to read shelf for a long time almost, perhaps, since their author 1924 2004 was alive I had enjoyed all the previous books, plus a subsequent one Midwinter Nightingale that I read out of sequence Nothing in particular stopped me from reading it, except one can only really read one book at a time, and I ve had plenty of other stuff to read I must give Aiken credit, though as soon as I picked it up, I fell right back under the spell of her unique period of alternate history Britain, when instead of all those Hanoverian Georges and Williams in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the Stuart line with its Scots brogue retained the throne of a land infested with wolves and villains with flamboyantly fiendish designs It was as if I never left, slipping comfortably into the familiar surroundings of Croopuses and Havey Caveys and relentlessly strange imagery, and dastardly deeds so ludicrously over the top that you would be mad at Aiken for imposing on your willingness to suspend disbelief, if only they didn t bear a chilling similarity to certain evil deeds being done in our time.Is, short for Isabett, is content to live in the remote woods of Blackheath Edge with her sourpuss older sister Penny, making dolls and hunting mushrooms and entertaining a mostly feral cat in the barn they call home But then their Uncle Hosiah appears, pursued by wolves, and dies after extracting a promise from Is to look for his runaway son Arun Feeling honor bound to see the matter through, Is hikes to London, where she learnsthan half the city s children have disappeared, including Arun and the king s own son, Prince Davie Her only clue is a mysterious whisper of a place called Playland, to which children both highborn and low are enticed by the promise of a life of leisure Only Is seems to have the sense to ask, But how does it pay She finds her way on board the Playland express, a monthly night train from London that takes as many as 200 kiddies north to the separatist kingdom of Humberland and its ruinous, industrial hell of a capital, Blastburn There, instead of the promised stay at the Hotel Joyous Gard, they are worked like slaves in coal mines extending under the sea, and a dangerous iron foundry, and other manufacturing plants, and where nearly everyone is forced to live underground, out of sight of the sun.In Blastburn, domain of the so called Gold Kingy, children from 5 to 20 years old are taken from their parents and worked to death in miserable, hazardous conditions And since this policy has already pretty much wiped out the younger generation of the local population, the economy depends on nobbling little uns from the south Meantime, Gold Kingy is trying to recruit soldiers for an invasion of the south, hoping to take over the whole country before the country comes after him The result is a nightmarish idea of the worst that greed can do to a society, a self defeating nastiness so brutal that it seems absurd until you pause to think about some of the variations of self defeating nastiness to which the populations of whole countries have meekly submitted within the last 100 years Then it becomes not so much a silly attempt to top nine previous books worth of bizarre villainy, as a reduction to the bare essentials of certain horrors in our world s recent past, present, and possible near future It kind of comes down to this, Aiken seems to be saying, whether you happen to think of child soldiers in East Africa or child suicide bombers in the Middle East, whole populations starved or worked to death by communist dictatorships, or families pulled apart by the policies of fascist states If it seems stupid, that s because it is If you think it couldn t happen, behold it has happened, is happening and will happen again What isn t likely to happen is the streak of luck that allows Is to lead the people of Blastburn to freedom It just so happens, for starters, that Gold Kingy is another uncle of hers Roy Twite by name and he has some funny superstitions He thinks his grandfather, Is s 102 year old great grandpa, has a secret formula for longevity He suspects his aunt, Is s weather sensing great aunt Ishie, of being a witch He even fears Is a little bit, both because she knows something about Good King Dick down south, and because of a little prophetic dream she tells him about Then there s the stroke of luck that enables Is to communicate by thought waves with other children trapped in the coal mines Another is her discovery that the local cat boy a kid who sincerely believes he is a cat, and lives accordingly is really her cousin Arun And finally, there s well, that would be saying too much Let s just say, all these strokes of luck strike none too soon to save the people who deserve saving Luckiest of all is the appearance of Is herself, at just the right moment, displaying precisely the nerve and activity and take no nonsense attitude that the situation requires With the help of a little magic, a little madness of just the right kind, and a lot of luck, she gives a network of oppressed child slaves the cue they ve been waiting for to rise up and set themselves free It makes you realize how hard it must be to manage a similar uprising where there isn t anyone with the magic, luck, or leadership Is has Aside from that, it s just an over the top silly kids thriller, full of gruesome thrills like how many ways people can come to a sticky end in a place like Blastburn and notes of grief, and quirky characters, and whimsical notions, from a night train for runaways denuding London of its youth to a monster whose cruel methods of execution include shutting a woman up inside a grid of rolling, floor to ceiling library stacks Besides tantalizing us with the names of songs and stories we will never hear, it teases us with riddles most of which we have to figure out on our own It indulges in flights of black humor, such as the image of a cat crushed by a steam hammer being picked up and leaned against the side of a house, like a board And it challenges us to decipher journal entries scribbled by a main character whose spelling is as sketchy as her surroundings Why can t these Twite girls ever find themselves in a normal situation Answer It would be less fun for us.The remaining books in this series, in order, are Cold Shoulder Road, Midwinter Nightingale, and The Witch of Clatteringshaws The two I haven t already read are at the top of my short term to read pile Aiken s numerous, imagination rich books include the three Felix novels Go, Saddle the Sea, etc , a dozen or so Arabel and Mortimer stories, three books featuring a boy sleuth named Ned In Thunder s Pocket, etc , a half dozen romances based on the works of Jane Austen Mansfield Revisited, etc , Midnight Is a Place, The Cockatrice Boys, Mice and Mendelson, and many other titles ranging from period romances to sci fi fantasy tales and modern mystery thrillers I have a deep affection for her style, which some I think have tried but failed to imitate But with so many of her works yet to be read, I don t feel cheated

  10. Anthony Faber says:

    Wolves 8 Takes up where Dido and Pa left off Is goes off on her own adventure I m noticing that these books are all alike Plucky youngster gets mixed up in some mischief being done by wealthy, powerful people and puts a stop to it Pretty well written, but