Hi, Dinh! Another great review! I do not know if the Underground Railroad is a good or bad book for me but all I have to say is that the voyage to freedom is difficult and hurts no matter if you are black or white. You may not be aware of but there were Greek people that used to live in the place that nowadays we call Turkey which they were obliged to leave their country, their houses, their lives and start over again. I have read many many books on this topic. It is the Greek “slavery” thing and it hurts! Maybe I will read the book as soon as possible just because I want to feel the atmosphere of this era!
For roughly its first 60 pages, this novel behaves like a prelude to a slave narrative which is, at once, more jolting and sepulchral than the classic firsthand accounts of William Wells Brown and Solomon Northup. Its protagonist, Cora, is among several African-American men and women enslaved on a Georgia plantation and facing a spectrum of savage indignities to their bodies and souls. A way out materializes in the form of an educated slave named Caesar, who tells her about an underground railroad that can deliver her and others northward to freedom. So far, so familiar. But Whitehead, whose eclectic body of work encompasses novels ( Zone One , 2011, etc.) playing fast and loose with “real life,” both past and present, fires his most daring change-up yet by giving the underground railroad physical form. This train conveys Cora, Caesar, and other escapees first to a South Carolina also historically unrecognizable with its skyscrapers and its seemingly, if microscopically, more liberal attitude toward black people. Compared with Georgia, though, the place seems so much easier that Cora and Caesar are tempted to remain, until more sinister plans for the ex-slaves’ destiny reveal themselves. So it’s back on the train and on to several more stops: in North Carolina, where they’ve not only abolished slavery, but are intent on abolishing black people, too; through a barren, more forbidding Tennessee; on to a (seemingly) more hospitable Indiana, and restlessly onward. With each stop, a slave catcher named Ridgeway, dispensing long-winded rationales for his wicked calling, doggedly pursues Cora and her diminishing company of refugees. And with every change of venue, Cora discovers anew that “freedom was a thing that shifted as you looked at it, the way a forest is dense with trees up close but from outside, the empty meadow, you see its true limits.” Imagine a runaway slave novel written with Joseph Heller’s deadpan voice leasing both Frederick Douglass’ grim realities and . Lovecraft’s rococo fantasies…and that’s when you begin to understand how startlingly original this book is.
The Underground: Second Edition by Roxanne Bland is a dark urban fantasy novel with elements of paranormal romance. This is a book that would appeal most to an audience of adults who enjoy science fiction fantasy novels with some erotic romance mixed in. In an alternate version of Seattle, many supernatural creatures like shapeshifters, elves, vamps, and witches live as enslaved exotics or zots. Kurt is a vampire Master who rules over and enslaves the zots with sadism in his nightclub, Last Chance. While none of the zots truly like the vampire Master, Parker is a werewolf that hates him more than most for stealing his beloved. Melera Shen’zae is an interstellar assassin on a mission of vengeance that will throw the entire supernatural world out of balance. Will a war save the enslaved zots or just kill everyone, zot and human alike?
The Underground: Second Edition by Roxanne Bland was a very interesting book that was unique from any other supernatural styled book that I have ever read. The supernatural beings found themselves enslaved not by a human, but instead by a vampire, which was a very interesting plot point. I found Parker to be the most interesting character with how he and his inner werewolf were separate entities inside his head that actually held conversations. These conversations provided true insight into Parker’s motivations, aspirations, and inner feelings. The plot of the book was well developed and the erotic scenes did not in any way detract from the plot itself. Overall, I enjoyed reading this book, but due to the erotic scenes would only recommend it to an adult audience.