While not every Girl Underground actually descends, literally, beneath the earth (many of their journeys are only symbolically chthonic), it is still a common element of the stories. I always note it in bold in my summaries when a protagonist goes underground. So imagine my delight when recently not one but two sequels to separate GU books were published in which the girl returns to the magical otherworld, only this time the emphasis is on the world below.
“Prue, since first being introduced to Wildwood, had learned to not consider the minutiae of things, but rather take each episode as it came. Otherwise, she figured, the ridiculousness might fry some essential lobe of her brain – the sensible part.”
Under Wildwood is the second book written by Colin Meloy and illustrated by his wife Carson Ellis. (I profiled the first book here.) It is equally captivating and clever, with a new adversary (and a side storyline involving two new girls that could make a GU story of its own), and with the bonus that an important part of the action takes place in the underground mole city beneath Wildwood. Sadly, the book ends without resolution as there will be a third and final book in the series.
“September had changed profoundly from a girl who desperately wanted such things to be real to one who knew they were real. Such a change is less like getting a new haircut than getting a new head.”
The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There is the second beautifully-titled book from Catherynne Valente which follows the adventures of September (see The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, which I profiled on this blog before it was even published as a physical book). This one provides an interesting twist – the adversary is September’s own shadow, having been separated from her in the first book and in the interim gone on to become queen of the underworld realm below Fairyland (an example, perhaps, of Girl Becomes Adversary?). This book continues the GU theme, even including elements not found in the first, like the betrayal by a companion (which is rather heartbreaking). It also begins with a glimpse into what life is like when the girl has returned home – even if she wanted to return – but still longs for the otherworld.