And Put Away Childish Things
All roads lead to Underhill, where it’s always winter, and never nice.
Harry Bodie has a famous grandmother, who wrote beloved children’s books set in the delightful world of Underhill. Harry himself is a failing kids’ TV presenter whose every attempt to advance his career ends in self-sabotage. His family history seems to be nothing but an impediment.
An impediment... or worse. What if Underhill is real? What if it has been waiting decades for a promised child to visit? What if it isn’t delightful at all? And what if its denizens have run out of patience and are taking matters into their own hands?
This fun, creepy tribute to the works of C.S. Lewis from Tchaikovsky (Children of Memory) finds children's television presenter Felix "Harry" Bodie having a tough time. He can't escape the shadow of his grandmother, Mary, author of the wildly popular children's series Underhill, and he's just learned that his great-grandmother lived out her days in an asylum, claiming to be the Queen of Fairyland. So when beings from the world of Underhill start intruding on his life, Harry worries that he is going similarly mad. Before long, however, Harry is kidnapped by the Underlings, a group of fanatics who believe Underhill is real and who plan a magic rite involving the blood of Underhill's "heir," Harry, to make a connection between worlds. Of course, there's a wardrobe involved (though Underhill is "not the wardrobe one") and, eventually, an actual other realm populated by strange, fraying versions of secondary characters from Mary Bodie's books. Readers familiar with the Narnia books will find Easter eggs aplenty here as Tchaikovsky perfectly captures a "children's stories gone wrong" vibe. This is for anyone who's ever searched for a portal at the back of their closet.