The Korea Herald


[New in Korean] YA debut novel traps readers in underwater tunnel

By Hwang Dong-hee

Published : March 9, 2024 - 10:01

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"Tunnel 103" by Yoo Yi-je (Changbi Publishers)

"Tunnel 103"

By Yoo Yi-je

Changbi Publishers

A peaceful day on Black Widow Spider Island, a popular tourist destination, is shattered by the sudden emergence of monstrous creatures. Desperately running away from the monsters, people find themselves trapped in an underwater tunnel. Panic ensues as seawater ominously leaks in and the tunnel's collapse is only a matter of when.

The underwater tunnel is the only passage connecting the island and the mainland, but the island is infested with monsters and a formidable barrier blocks the mainland side.

A realization dawns on the survivors -- the only way out is to venture onto the island first and find the way to open the barrier. As the characters grapple with fear and monsters, they discover secrets of the island.

Yoo Yi-je's debut YA novel won the 4th Young Adult Literature Award organized by the publisher and Kakao Page.

(Park So-young's "Snowglobe," which won the inaugural award, has recently been published by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books.)

The compelling narrative unfolds in a dystopian world, going back and forth between suspense and relief. The author vividly paints eerie landscapes and orchestrates a sequence of events that sustains tension throughout.

"Tunnel 103" also delves into reflections on human nature and society. The readers will find themselves rooting for the young heroine, who perseveres with unwavering hope, determined to protect her loved ones and survive.