cover image Under the Surface

Under the Surface

Diana Urban. Putnam, $19.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-593625-08-8

In an exhilarating thriller reminiscent of The Descent, Urban (Lying in the Deep) follows four teens who find themselves fighting for their lives in the catacombs of Paris while on a class trip abroad. When Ruby arrives in the city, her best friend Val quickly befriends a mysterious French boy who invites Val to a party deep within the catacombs. Believing that this exclusive view of the underground site will provide great content for her burgeoning YouTube channel, Ruby—as well as friends Selena and Olivia—tags along. But they soon become lost and stranded—and a group of skull-masked, knife-wielding strangers starts pursuing them. As media attention surrounding the girls’ disappearance unfolds topside, classmate Sean, who’s in love with Ruby, struggles to piece together information to help exhume her from the vast necropolis before it’s too late. Without sacrificing nuanced character relationships, Urban utilizes propulsive prose to imbue the fascinating setting with haunting atmosphere. Punchy dialogue, drum-tight pacing, and tense stakes permeate this nail-biting adventure, a delight from start to finish. Protagonists read as white. Ages 14–up. (Aug.)