Title: Under Ground
Series: Under Ground, 1
Author: Alice Rachel
Publication date: October 30, 2015
Publisher: Alice Rachel
Number of pages: 432
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia, Romance
Love is a taboo, a mere fantasy— foreign, unreachable, and dangerous.
Raised in a society where women have no rights, seventeen-year-old Thia Clay holds little hope for a bright future. When her parents sell her into marriage to elite member William Fox, Thia slowly gives in to despair. William is nothing but a cruel, selfish young man with no other interest than to serve his own.
Born illegally and forced to hide from the authorities his entire life, nineteen-year-old Chi Richards is an active member of the Underground—a rebellious group seeking to overthrow the government.
Chi only has one goal—to rescue his parents from the work camp they were forced into.
Meeting Thia was never part of the plan, and neither was falling in love with her.
If caught in their forbidden relationship, Thia and Chi could face a death sentence, and when devastating secrets surface from Chi’s past, Thia has to rely on her instincts to make a choice that could save her or destroy her forever.
“I have been raised to accept that no man will never see me as an equal or treat me as such.”
Born and raised in a misogynist society, Thia Clay at the age of seventeen was sold into marriage with an elite guy named William Fox. William Fox is the cruel, selfish and cold-hearted one while Thia Clay is the soft, smart, and prim and proper one. Thia definitely have no feelings with the guy but except for curiosity and fear. While on the preparations for the said arranged marriage, Thia met Chi Richards, the gentleman, the loving one, the one who will take Thia Clay’s heart and most specially, the rebel and illegal one. Thia and Chi, together with the Under Ground – a rebellious group – will start their journey of overthrowing the government and ending the misogynist society they’re all caged in.
Under Ground is a thought-provoking read about love, gender equality, rebellion and humanity.
“We head to our behavioral class, where we usually learn how to conduct ourselves like proper ladies worthy of the superior men who reign over our lives.”
We follow Thia Clay and Chi Richard’s story. Here in the Under Ground, we will experience seeing and feeling women being treated like a goddamn thing. We will see what the future America with a misogynist society would be like. We will see how women experience humiliation, injustice and suffering every day of their lives. We will see women depend their lives on men even against their will. We will see women live a life a woman will never ever dream of.
Tons of years ago, the ocean rose and devoured parts of New York City along with the other areas in the world. The surge led to a civil war that caused the death of most of their men. That’s why when it comes to marriage, there’s a high demand while the supply is low, giving men the power to choose and reject women at will. Or in Economics, there’s a surplus of women. If there’s a surplus of products (assuming they’re women), competition among producers will occur so the producers will sell their products cheaper (assuming this is the part where the women were treated with less importance and value).
“The war also proved that women are weak and unable to care for themselves. This is why men should be in control of everything – to ensure our state survives such difficult times such ours.”
There are a lot of reasons to feel revulsion in this book. This will unleash the feminist inside you – if you’re not (wait- what???) – and open your eyes on how men should fairly and respectfully treat women and vice versa.
The characters have strong voices – especially Thia that will never make you feel tired of reading this journey of fighting for gender equality from her perspective.
What I like about Thia is she knows what is happening. She knows how unfairly they were treated. She knows what women deserve. She knew and she will not going to just accept it. Yet she also knows what is the best for her in the moment. She knows how to think. She knows she needs to obey. She knows what to do. Her rage and remorse are within. She’s just like the other women out there – willing to just keep silent and obey, always obey the men – but deep inside, she’s screaming and waiting for the right moment to fly out of her cage.
Chi Richards, he’s a man that will love you, protect you, and do everything for you. He’s almost the “ideal type” of guy for most of the women. He isn’t perfect. He’s been through a lot. But he’s not the one who will just quit and surrender. He’s the one who will fight for what is right. I really like Chi, though because of how “ideal” his character is, I didn’t became more attached to him. He didn’t become that special to my eyes. Though I really like how kind his character is. And then there’s the end where I suddenly started to feel mad towards him and definitely disapprove his decisions. I understand where is this coming from but I’ve known him for being a man who also wants to live in a society where there’s an equality aside from being a man who wants nothing but to bring his parents back and to keep his loved ones close.
Who really intrigued me the most among the characters is William. Yes, the bad guy. The bad side of the love triangle. His character confused me. You’ll know there’s something more to him than being cold and heartless. He is such a trick. You’ll have questions after questions about the real him. There are times where you’ll thought that there’s a good being hiding behind those cold stares but there are also times where you’ll just realize that such a thing is SO impossible. You’ll think he’s a compete villain, then you’ll doubt it again. I find him disturbing, really. He left so many questions inside my head. And I hate the fact that his story ended just like that. I hate that there are questions that could never be answered.
There are a lot of characters in this book that has a lot of stories to tell. This is one of the best things – for me – in this book. It is not just about a society or a love triangle. It’s about people. It’s about stories waiting to be told.
The things I didn’t like are the weak world-building at the very start – there’s just lack in the world building at the beginning, it has less angst than what I had truly expected and how fast Thia’s feelings for Chi developed.
Thia’s feelings for Chi was so fast. In fact, it was like “love at first sight” which I honestly don’t believe with. I just find the development of that feelings for Chi kind of unbelievable because it was too fast. Like, she just saw this guy and caught him staring at her then from that moment she can’t seem to take him off of her mind already. Though, it doesn’t feel forced despite of how fast that feelings of Thia for Chi happened. It was just weird and unbelievable to have that instant feelings or attachment to someone. And when I also saw the title and the cover of this book, I thought that it will include a lot of fighting and other illegal things that are done “underground”. I thought that this might go with so much angst but it isn’t. It isn’t as angsty like what I had truly expected. In fact, it was angsty in a different way. But it still contains those heart-pounding scenes we mostly get when there’s an encounter or fighting scenes in a Dystopian book. That fight between the oppressed and the oppressor.
And I love Alice Rachel’s writing. There are lots of things that impressed me and I find the concept of this book really interesting and something that can provoke thoughts of the reader. As a reader, I want to know the possibilities of what may happen if a society like this will happen in real life. I love to see an exploration or representation of such society and revolutionists who are willing to stand up for gender equality and human rights. The Under Ground hits home.
Under Ground is now one of my favorite dystopian series. I will definitely read the entire series up to the end. I recommend Under Ground to 16+ readers – especially those who likes the forbidden love trope and is finding a thought-provoking Dystopian read.
“For you to enjoy and ponder.
If we should let them destroy while we wander.”
Alice Rachel comes from France and now lives in the USA with her hubby and her three crazy guinea pigs.
Besides drinking way too much coffee, Alice spends a lot of time reading, writing, or drawing. She enjoys well-written antagonists, flawed heroes, and talking about book characters all day.
She’s the author of the “Under Ground” series. Alice loves talking to her readers, so send her a text message or a tweet.
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*A huge thanks to the author for the copy!