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Winner 2023 Junior Ficiton Wright Family Foundation Esther Glen Award

Click here to visit for the Winners of 2023 Children & Young Adults Awards

A nerve-wracking underground adventure from a master storyteller . . . Caught in a tunnel collapse, Liam and Imogen have to use all their wits to survive in this gripping novel for readers eight years and up. 

When you stood deep inside the tunnel, you could hear the mountain groaning overhead. That's what Liam Geary's father had told him, anyway. It sounded stupid, till you stood inside a big tunnel; felt those billions of tonnes pressing in from above and the sides; heard water dripping from ceilings, or even trickling like something's blood behind the concrete walls; sensed the blackness that lay beyond the TBM's blazing lights as it ground its slow way through the stone ahead.

Then you knew that a major tunnel like the Puketapu was a place of power, somehow; that darkness and danger lurked all around. When Liam dares his classmate Imogen to come on a forbidden tour of the railway tunnel being drilled through a nearby mountain, he hopes she'll quit protesting about it damaging the environment - his dad is an engineer working on the tunnel, after all.

Just as they reach the huge tunnelling machine everything goes horribly wrong. When the rocks stop falling and the dust settles, they are trapped, kilometres below ground, in the dark. Water is trickling in and beginning to rise. And nobody knows where they are.

Can they stop arguing and start working together to escape before time runs out?


Age: From 8 years


David Hill

272 pages

H: 319mm W: 146mm Spine: 18mm

Weight: 257 grams