Underworld is aptly named: journeying with Pierce and John into the depths of the underworld beneath Isla Huesos, this sequel to Abandon is a dark thrill ride through the mystery of local legend, John's death, and what being consort of a death deity really means for Pierce. Ignited with the passion between John and Pierce and the driving sense of doom that surrounds everything they do, Underworld keeps you at the edge of your seat until the very last page.
Underworld delves deeper into the Hades and Persephone myth, exploring the details of the pomegranate seeds, the six-month stay for winter, and the realities of what the myth means for John and Pierce. Staying true to the roots of her story, Meg explodes the Greek myths once again giving a modern day meaning to this very old origin tale. As Pierce and John struggle to start their new relationship they trip over communication and misunderstandings, much of which stems from the mystery of John's positions as "Hades" and what it truly means for Pierce to be his consort.
To complicate things further, Pierce's cousin Alex is now in danger, and Pierce will not take no for an answer. With an over-protective and reluctant John at her side, Pierce returns to the surface. Continuing with her own protective streak, Pierce must face her grandmother and the furies if she wants to help her cousin. Though Pierce criticizes John for his rash decisions, she too acts just as rashly as he does--which makes them even more of a perfect pair. They are both trying to control each other's destinies, but not working together. The growth in their relationship in Underworld isn't about falling more in love or suddenly having a falling out: it's about two people who've decided to commit to one another figuring out how you live your life when someone else is now inextricably tangled up in it. They have to learn how to talk to each other, how to listen to each other, and how to work together to make sure they both survive to tomorrow.
The best part about Underworld is how well Meg weaves together the mythology and the reality. At the end of Abandon Pierce disappears with John to the Underworld, and when she comes back there are consequences (i.e., a manhunt for her and a $1 million reward offered by her father). Her and John's sudden decision to flee has cost them dearly when they return to the surface, both in terms of their search for Alex, and in terms of their relationship. Pierce has to face the reality of what living in the Underworld will mean: that she will not grow old while she watches her family and friends die from a distance. This is perhaps one of the few books I've read that really tackles these issues of becoming immortal and where the main character makes her choice based on more than just "I love him."
And of course it ends on an epic cliffhanger that sets us up for book three. Which we'll have to wait for until next spring. Underworld proves that Meg has certainly found her footing in the genres waters and is ready to charge ahead, full steam into a finale.