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Underworlds: The Battle Begins
by Tony Abbott
The Greek gods of mythology are stories told about gods that never existed, or so Owen Brown thought. Then on a seemly ordinary day, his friend Dana disappears through the school floor. Determined to find out what happened to Dana and bring her back home, Owen decides to follow the clues to rescue his friend.
Jon and Sydney join Owen on his search. Along the way, they discover that Loki has taken Dana. In order to bring her home, they must descend into the Underworld, fight the legendary warriors called Myrmidon and avoid Loki’s wolf, Fenrir. Fighting Greek and other mythological creatures is no easy task for a fourth grader, but with the help of his friends, Owen hopes that freeing Dana can be done.
The first book of the Underworlds series begins with action and never slows down. Owen and his friends are interesting characters whose bravery can be admired. Although Fenrir and the Myrmidons are dangerous, they are described in a kid-friendly way that won’t scare younger readers. The Battle Begins is an action-packed story that brings mythology to life.
- Dana was captured by a mythological creature and taken to the Underworld.
- Owen and his friends must defeat a Myrmidon, Fenrir (the giant red wolf), and Loki, who is “a huge figure—a man of ice, frost, and smoke.”
- Owen plays Orpheus’s lyre, and “the army of Myrmidons climbing the staircase crashed to the floor in a heap, bringing the top of the town down with them.”
- The Myrmidon hurl their battle axes, but the group is able to escape.
Drugs and Alcohol
- Owen takes Orpheus’s lyre out of a museum. The lyre has magical powers. When played with the right note, people, animals, and mythological creatures do what Owen commands.
- When Owen and his friends go to the Underworld, they are taken across a river. In the river are the recently dead, “human shapes swimming under the waves, their mouths open in silent screams.” Owen is told that the recently dead “haunt the shore, hoping to rejoin the living, fearing to cross to the far side.”