In ancient times, magical creatures inhabited the earth. They lived on mountaintops, in trees, at the bottom of lakes and rivers. But that was long ago, before the human race declared war on the creatures they feared and hated. Now the enchanted peoples are all but gone. Those few that remain fear being stretched out on an examination table in some secret, governmental facility. The only place they can hide from the ever increasing number of satellites and smart phones is in the World Below.
Mitch Hardy is going through a hard time in his life. In his early twenties, he was working his way through college when he suffered an accident that left him flat broke and physically deformed. When Mitch decides to make a fresh start in a new town, things start looking up. He finds a place to live, a decent job, good friends. He even meets a nice girl. Unknown to Mitch, his new girlfriend is one of the Elder Race, what some call the Faerie Folk. Mitch doesn’t know that Elizabeth is looking for a father she never knew. The key to finding him is somehow tied up with the mysterious Blade of Caro. Desperate, she steals the Blade from its protector, the despotic ruler of theWorld Below, the Dragon of Worms, Baron Finkbeiner. When Elizabeth is kidnapped by the Baron, Mitch is pulled into a world or magic and monsters he never imagined.
This book was different from a lot of the fantasy novels I read. The “Below” is not an alternate reality, time or universe, but an actual world below the world that we know. There is an amazing mix of reality and fantasy in this book, but not so the lines get blurred. The main character, Mitch, goes from unassuming and wanting to hide from the world, to a hero. The characters in this story are sometimes funny, quirky and likable, and others are very unlikable. The story itself is very imaginative, funny at times and even a little graphic and dark. There is just such a great mixture of themes and characters here that it would be hard for even the most critical reader not to find something they like. This was a very entertaining story that kept me reading late quite a few nights. If you like adventure and fantasy then I definitely recommend adding this book to your To Be Read pile!
About the Author
Mike Phillips is author of The World Below and Reign of the Nightmare Prince. His short stories have appeared in ParAbnormal Digest, Cemetery Moon, Sinister Tales, Beyond Centauri, the World of Myth, Mystic Signals and many others. Online, his work has appeared in Lorelei Signal, Kzine, Bewildering Stories, MidnightTimes, and Fringe. He is best known for his Crow Witch and Patrick Donegal series. Please visit Mike at mikephillipsfantasy.com.