20 best books on underground cities – 2023 reading list & recommendations

If you have ever been fascinated by the idea of hidden worlds beneath the surface, then you are in for a treat. We have curated a list of the 20 best books about underground cities that will transport you to mysterious realms and ancient civilizations. From dystopian societies to mythical realms, each book on underground cities will take you on a thrilling journey that will leave you spellbound. So, grab a cup of coffee, get comfortable, and let’s explore these captivating underground cities books that will ignite your imagination.

The City of Ember

by Jeanne DuPrau

The City of Ember: A Captivating Book on Subterranean Metropolises

Discover a realm hidden beneath the earth’s surface in The City of Ember, a thrilling novel that will transport you to an intriguing world of mystery and adventure.

In this enthralling tale by Jeanne DuPrau, readers are introduced to the underground city of Ember, a bustling metropolis built to protect humanity from an unknown catastrophe. With its labyrinthine tunnels, flickering electric lights, and a dwindling power supply, Ember is a mesmerizing setting that will leave you spellbound.

Follow the remarkable journey of Lina and Doon, two young friends who stumble upon a secret message that could hold the key to saving their city from imminent darkness. As they race against time, facing perilous challenges and unraveling ancient riddles, Lina and Doon become unlikely heroes in the fight for the survival of Ember.

With vivid descriptions and a gripping plot, The City of Ember combines elements of adventure, mystery, and dystopia, making it a captivating read for both young and adult readers. DuPrau’s imaginative storytelling will transport you into the heart of Ember, where you will uncover its secrets, confront its dangers, and ultimately, witness the resilience of the human spirit.

If you yearn for a book about subterranean cities and crave an exhilarating escape into an underground world, The City of Ember is the perfect choice. Embark on an unforgettable journey today and discover the hidden depths of Ember!


by Hugh Howey

Wool by Hugh Howey is a captivating dystopian novel that takes readers on a thrilling journey into a subterranean world. Set in a post-apocalyptic future, this book delves into the secrets and mysteries of a society living in underground metropolises, exploring themes of survival, trust, and the human spirit.


by Neil Gaiman

Neverwhere Overview

Discover the Unseen World Beneath Our Feet

Prepare to delve into the depths of a hidden realm with Neil Gaiman’s captivating masterpiece, Neverwhere. This extraordinary novel takes readers on a thrilling journey through the shadows of London, where the bustling streets above conceal an entire underground city, teeming with magic, mystery, and danger.

In this mesmerizing book about subterranean metropolises, Gaiman introduces us to Richard Mayhew, an ordinary man who stumbles upon a wounded girl named Door while walking the streets of London. Drawn into her world, Richard soon discovers the existence of “London Below” – a hidden realm that exists parallel to the familiar city above, where forgotten and discarded elements of society find refuge.

As Richard navigates this enchanting and treacherous underground cityscape, he encounters a multitude of memorable characters: the enigmatic Marquis de Carabas, the cunning Hunter, the mysterious Angel Islington, and the terrifying Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemar – a pair of villainous assassins. Together, they embark on a perilous quest to uncover the truth behind Door’s family and the dark forces that threaten both London Above and London Below.

Gaiman’s vivid prose paints a rich tapestry of this hidden universe, where ordinary objects and locations take on extraordinary significance. With his characteristic blend of fantasy, mythology, and urban grit, he creates a world that feels both familiar and otherworldly, inviting readers to explore the depths of their imagination.

So, if you’re ready to embark on an unforgettable adventure into the depths of underground cities, be prepared to be utterly captivated by Neverwhere. Join Richard Mayhew as he unravels the secrets of London Below and discovers that there is much more to this world than meets the eye.

Metro 2033

by Dmitry Glukhovsky

Metro 2033 is a captivating book that takes readers on a thrilling journey through the depths of a post-apocalyptic world. Set in the year 2033, after a devastating nuclear war has left the surface of the Earth uninhabitable, the surviving population seeks refuge in the underground depths of Moscow’s metro system.

This dystopian masterpiece by Dmitry Glukhovsky explores the lives of the inhabitants of these subterranean cities, each station transformed into a microcosm of political intrigue, survival, and danger. Through the eyes of the young protagonist, Artyom, we navigate the dark tunnels and encounter various factions, each with their own ideologies and struggles for power.

Glukhovsky’s vivid descriptions bring the underground cities to life, from the dimly lit corridors to the makeshift homes, where people strive to create a sense of normalcy amidst chaos. As Artyom embarks on a dangerous quest to save his home station from an unknown threat, readers are immersed in a world where fear and uncertainty lurk around every corner.

Metro 2033 is far more than just a book about underground cities; it delves into the depths of human nature, exploring themes of hope, despair, and the resilience of the human spirit. Glukhovsky’s storytelling prowess keeps readers on the edge of their seats, eagerly turning pages to unravel the mysteries that lie within the metro’s shadowy depths.

Step into this underground world and prepare to be captivated by Glukhovsky’s intricate world-building and thought-provoking narrative. Metro 2033 is a must-read for fans of dystopian fiction and anyone who craves a thrilling adventure through the vast labyrinth of the human soul.

The Time Machine

by H.G. Wells

Are you ready to embark on an extraordinary journey through time? H.G. Wells’ timeless masterpiece, The Time Machine, is a captivating book that takes us on an exhilarating adventure into the unknown. But hold on tight, because this is no ordinary tale. It is a thrilling exploration of a future civilization where mysterious subterranean metropolises flourish.

Step into the shoes of the ingenious Time Traveller as he unveils the secrets of the underground cities that lie beneath the surface of the Earth. This thought-provoking book on subterranean metropolises will transport you to a realm where time travel is possible, and where our protagonist discovers a world beyond his wildest dreams.

Prepare to be enthralled as you witness the wonders of these hidden realms. In this book about subterranean cities, H.G. Wells weaves a rich tapestry of imagination and adventure, taking us on a journey through the ages. From the awe-inspiring splendor of a futuristic utopia to the chilling depths of a dystopian nightmare, The Time Machine will leave you breathless.

Wells’ vivid descriptions and compelling storytelling will transport you to these underground cities where light and darkness, hope and despair, collide. As the Time Traveller ventures deeper into this mysterious realm, he encounters fascinating creatures, uncovers shocking truths, and grapples with the profound questions of existence.

So, if you dare to delve into the depths of this underground cities book, be prepared to lose yourself in a world where time is fluid and the future is both mesmerizing and terrifying. The Time Machine is a literary masterpiece that will ignite your imagination and challenge your perception of the world. Are you ready to embark on this extraordinary adventure?

The City & The City

by China Miéville

The City & The City by China Miéville is a mind-bending book about the intricate web of two underground metropolises existing within a single physical space. It is a compelling exploration of urban landscapes, social divisions, and the power of perception. Prepare to be captivated by this thrilling journey into the depths of two interconnected cities that will challenge your understanding of reality.

The Maze Runner

by James Dashner

The Maze Runner is an electrifying dystopian novel that will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, this mind-bending book about underground cities takes you on a thrilling journey into the unknown.

In this gripping tale, we follow the story of Thomas, a young boy who wakes up in a mysterious place called the Glade, surrounded by towering walls that enclose an ever-changing maze. Thomas quickly discovers that he is not alone; he is joined by a group of other boys who have no memory of their past lives.

As Thomas and his newfound companions navigate the treacherous maze, they face numerous challenges, from deadly creatures known as Grievers to the ever-present fear of being trapped within the maze forever. With each passing day, the boys search for a way out, desperately hoping to solve the puzzle and uncover the secrets behind their confinement.

This book on underground cities is a heart-pounding blend of mystery, suspense, and action that will leave you breathless. James Dashner’s vivid storytelling and relentless pacing make The Maze Runner a must-read for fans of dystopian fiction and anyone who loves a good thrill ride.

The Giver

by Lois Lowry

Are you ready to embark on a thrilling journey into the depths of a mysterious and hidden world? Look no further than The Giver by Lois Lowry, a captivating book on underground cities that will leave you on the edge of your seat.

The Buried Giant

by Kazuo Ishiguro

The Buried Giant is an extraordinary book that delves into the depths of forgotten memories, hidden truths, and the power of love. Set in a mythical version of ancient Britain, this narrative takes us on a captivating journey through a land shrouded in mist and filled with secrets waiting to be unveiled.

In this mesmerizing tale, Kazuo Ishiguro weaves a rich tapestry of characters, each carrying their own burden of memories and regrets. Axl and Beatrice, an elderly couple, embark on a treacherous quest to find their long-lost son, guided only by fragments of their past. Along the way, they encounter an array of fascinating individuals, including a brave knight, a mysterious boatman, and a cunning dragon.

But what truly sets this book apart is its exploration of the buried giant, a metaphorical representation of the collective amnesia that plagues society. As the characters journey through this haunting world, they uncover the dark consequences of forgetting, as well as the transformative power of remembering.

Underground cities, hidden beneath the surface, serve as the backdrop for this tale, symbolizing the depths of the human psyche and the secrets that lie within. As the characters navigate through these subterranean realms, they confront the complexities of their own memories and grapple with the choices they have made.

The Buried Giant is a book that will leave you spellbound, as its lyrical prose and thought-provoking themes transport you to a world both familiar and fantastical. It is a poignant exploration of love, loss, and the enduring human spirit, and a reminder that sometimes the most profound truths are buried deep within us.

The Road

by Cormac McCarthy

The Road is a gripping and haunting novel written by Cormac McCarthy that takes readers on a post-apocalyptic journey through a desolate and devastated world. Set in a future where civilization has crumbled, the story follows a father and his young son as they travel through a barren landscape, relentlessly pushing towards the coast in search of safety and hope.

In this book about subterranean metropolises, McCarthy masterfully crafts a narrative that explores themes of survival, love, and the lengths to which a parent will go to protect their child. As the duo encounters unimaginable horrors and faces constant threats, they must navigate through a world where trust is scarce and danger lurks around every corner.

With his stunning prose and lyrical writing style, McCarthy paints a stark and visceral picture of a world consumed by darkness. The book delves into the depths of human nature and poses profound questions about the nature of humanity and the meaning of life in the face of utter devastation.

Through the father and son’s arduous journey, readers are taken on an emotional rollercoaster, witnessing the resilience of the human spirit in the face of unimaginable despair. The Road is a thought-provoking and deeply affecting book that will leave readers pondering its themes long after they have turned the final page.

The Silo Series: Wool, Shift, Dust

by Hugh Howey

Discover a thrilling and immersive journey into the depths of a hidden world with the Silo series: Wool, Shift, Dust by Hugh Howey. This captivating trilogy unveils a mesmerizing tale of survival, mystery, and the dark secrets that lie beneath the earth’s surface.

Book on underground cities: In this mesmerizing series, Howey takes readers on an unforgettable adventure as they delve into the mysterious and treacherous world of underground cities. These hidden societies, known as silos, hold a myriad of secrets, and their inhabitants must navigate a delicate balance between order and chaos.

Book about underground cities: Howey’s masterful storytelling invites readers to explore the intricate web of characters, each with their own motivations and secrets. From the courageous protagonist, Juliette, to the enigmatic and power-hungry figures lurking in the shadows, the series offers a rich tapestry of diverse personalities who are bound together by the underground cities they call home.

Underground cities book: As readers journey through the pages of Wool, Shift, and Dust, they will uncover the layers of intrigue and deception that shroud the underground cities. Howey’s vivid descriptions paint a vivid picture of life underground, from the cramped living quarters to the awe-inspiring landscapes that lie just beyond the silos’ walls.

Prepare to be captivated by the Silo series, an enthralling saga that explores the depths of human resilience, the consequences of secrecy, and the enduring power of hope. Whether you are a fan of dystopian fiction or simply crave a thrilling and thought-provoking read, this series is sure to leave you spellbound.

The Underground Railroad

by Colson Whitehead

Discover a groundbreaking novel that takes readers on a thrilling journey through a hidden world beneath our feet. Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad is not just a book about underground cities, but a mesmerizing tale of courage, resilience, and the indomitable human spirit.

In this extraordinary work of historical fiction, Whitehead reimagines the Underground Railroad as an actual underground network of tunnels and trains that operated during the darkest days of slavery in America. The protagonist, Cora, is a young slave who embarks on a perilous journey to escape the plantation where she was born.

As Cora navigates the treacherous underground cities, she encounters a diverse cast of characters, each with their own stories of hope, despair, and determination. From the relentless slave catcher, Ridgeway, who tracks her every move, to the brave abolitionists who risk their lives to help her, the novel is filled with unforgettable personalities who bring the underground cities to life.

Whitehead’s writing is both lyrical and haunting, drawing readers into the harrowing world of slavery and the Underground Railroad. With each turn of the page, the tension builds, keeping readers on the edge of their seats as Cora’s fate hangs in the balance. Through his masterful storytelling, Whitehead sheds light on the horrors of slavery while also celebrating the resilience and strength of those who fought against it.

The Underground Railroad is not just a book about underground cities; it is a powerful exploration of human endurance and the pursuit of freedom. Whitehead’s vivid prose and compelling characters will transport readers to a time and place that is both familiar and unimaginable, leaving an indelible mark on their hearts and minds.

The Windup Girl

by Paolo Bacigalupi

In the dystopian future of Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl, the world is ravaged by climate change and genetic manipulation. Bangkok, a city teeming with life, is no exception. However, beneath the surface of this bustling metropolis lies a hidden world – a labyrinth of secrets, conspiracies, and underground networks.

Set in a time where fossil fuels are scarce and biotechnology reigns supreme, The Windup Girl explores the consequences of humanity’s actions as they grapple with the consequences of their own creations. In this book about subterranean cities, Bangkok serves as the backdrop for a story that delves into the darkest corners of society, where power and survival are intertwined.

As the title suggests, the windup girl herself is a central character, a genetically engineered being created to serve and entertain. But as she navigates the intricate web of corruption and political intrigue, she becomes a symbol of resistance, challenging the status quo and subverting the expectations placed upon her.

Bacigalupi’s writing is vivid and atmospheric, painting a picture of a city teetering on the edge of collapse, where the line between humans and machines blurs. With its intricate world-building and complex characters, The Windup Girl is a book on underground cities that will captivate readers and leave them questioning the ethical implications of our choices.

The Chrysalids

by John Wyndham

The Chrysalids, a captivating novel by John Wyndham, takes readers on a thrilling journey into a world where conformity is the norm and difference is considered a threat. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, this thought-provoking book delves into the lives of a group of telepathic children who are forced to hide their unique abilities in fear of being discovered by the oppressive society they live in.

In this mesmerizing tale, Wyndham explores the themes of prejudice, intolerance, and the importance of individuality. The story follows David, a young boy with the ability to communicate through thought, as he navigates a world that rejects anyone who deviates from the norm. Alongside a group of other extraordinary children, David must confront the harsh realities of their society while attempting to find a place where they can truly belong.

As the plot unfolds, readers are led on a thrilling adventure, filled with unexpected twists and turns. The Chrysalids invites us to question the value of conformity and challenges us to embrace diversity in a world that often fears it.

With its richly imagined dystopian setting and complex characters, this underground cities book offers a compelling exploration of the human spirit and the power of acceptance. Wyndham’s masterful storytelling keeps readers captivated from beginning to end, leaving them with a renewed appreciation for the beauty of individuality and the importance of embracing our differences.

The City of Dark Magic

by Magnus Flyte

The City of Dark Magic by Magnus Flyte is a mesmerizing book on underground cities that will transport you to a world of mystery, magic, and intrigue. Set in the enchanting city of Prague, this brilliantly crafted novel takes readers on a breathtaking journey through the hidden depths of the underground cities.

The City of Lost Fortunes

by Bryan Camp

The City of Lost Fortunes:

Discover a mesmerizing tale in Bryan Camp’s electrifying debut novel, The City of Lost Fortunes. This extraordinary book delves into the mysterious realm of hidden metropolises, where secrets lie buried beneath the surface and magic pulses through the streets.

Step into a world where underground cities thrive, where the boundaries between reality and myth blur, and where the past and present intertwine. In this captivating urban fantasy, New Orleans becomes the backdrop for a thrilling adventure that will leave you spellbound.

Unveil the tale of a street magician named Jude Dubuisson, gifted with the ability to find lost things. When he is drawn into a web of intrigue, Jude must navigate the treacherous underbelly of the city, where ancient spirits and forgotten deities vie for power.

As the story unfolds, you’ll be lured into the dark alleys and hidden corners of this underground world, where the line between friend and foe becomes blurred, and where the quest for truth may come at a great cost. With each turn of the page, the mysteries deepen, and the stakes grow higher.

The City of Lost Fortunes is a spellbinding journey that combines elements of mythology, mystery, and magic. Bryan Camp’s vivid prose and intricate world-building will transport you to an underground city unlike any other. Prepare to be enthralled by the secrets that lie beneath the surface and the captivating characters who inhabit this hidden realm.

Embark on an unforgettable adventure with this mesmerizing book about underground cities. Lose yourself in the pages of The City of Lost Fortunes and experience a world where reality and fantasy collide in the most enchanting way.

The City of Brass

by S.A. Chakraborty

The City of Brass: A Captivating Tale of Hidden Kingdoms

Step into a world where ancient legends come alive and hidden kingdoms thrive beneath the earth’s surface. Embark on a breathtaking journey through the pages of “The City of Brass” by S.A. Chakraborty, a mesmerizing tale that explores the wonders and mysteries of underground realms.

In this spellbinding novel, the author invites readers to discover the enigmatic city of Daevabad, a sprawling metropolis concealed deep within the desert sands. Daevabad is no ordinary city; it is the heart of a magical world where djinn, mythical beings of extraordinary power, rule over humans and each other.

As readers delve into the depths of this underground kingdom, they will encounter dazzling palaces adorned with precious gemstones, bustling markets filled with exotic goods, and intricate webs of political intrigue. The author’s masterful storytelling weaves together themes of power, identity, and the clash between tradition and progress, creating a rich tapestry that will captivate readers from start to finish.

But at the heart of “The City of Brass” lies a young woman named Nahri, a skilled con artist with a hidden talent for healing. When an accidental summoning of a djinn warrior thrusts her into the dangerous world of Daevabad, Nahri must navigate treacherous alliances, ancient rivalries, and her own conflicted loyalties in order to survive.

With its intricate world-building, lush descriptions, and compelling characters, “The City of Brass” is a must-read for fans of epic fantasy and those fascinated by the allure of underground cities. Chakraborty’s debut novel is a triumph, captivating readers with its blend of adventure, magic, and a touch of the unknown.

So, if you’re ready to immerse yourself in a mesmerizing tale that will transport you to a world of hidden wonders, pick up “The City of Brass” and prepare to be consumed by the magic of underground kingdoms.

The City of Mirrors

by Justin Cronin

The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin is an electrifying conclusion to his riveting trilogy, offering a mesmerizing glimpse into a post-apocalyptic world where subterranean metropolises reign supreme. This extraordinary book immerses readers in a dystopian society, where the remnants of humanity have sought refuge in the depths of hidden cities beneath the earth’s surface.

The City & The Abyss

by Matthew Mather

Are you ready to delve into the depths of urban mysteries and secrets? Look no further than The City & The Abyss, a captivating exploration of subterranean wonders and hidden worlds beneath our feet.

This mesmerizing book by Matthew Mather takes you on a thrilling journey through the enigmatic realm of subterranea, where the boundaries between reality and imagination blur. With his masterful storytelling, Mather uncovers the intricate tapestry of underground cities, unveiling their astonishing histories, breathtaking architectures, and mysterious inhabitants.

Prepare to be awestruck as you immerse yourself in the labyrinthine depths of these clandestine metropolises. Discover the subterranean marvels that lie beneath our bustling cities, where entire communities have crafted their lives and forged their own unique cultures.

As you turn each page, you’ll encounter a wealth of fascinating tales that weave together the past, present, and future of these hidden realms. From ancient catacombs and forgotten tunnels to state-of-the-art underground complexes, Mather’s vivid descriptions transport you to these captivating worlds, where secrets lurk around every corner.

But this book is more than just a celebration of the marvels beneath our feet. It is a thought-provoking exploration of the human spirit, resilience, and the indomitable will to survive and thrive in the most extraordinary circumstances. Through the stories of those who have called these underground cities home, Mather shines a light on the triumphs and struggles of the human experience.

So, if you’re yearning for an adventure like no other, pick up The City & The Abyss and prepare to be transported to the mesmerizing world of underground cities. Embark on a journey that will leave you questioning the boundaries of what we know and inspiring you to see the world beneath our feet with new eyes.

The City of Shadows

by Michael Russell

The City of Shadows is a gripping and immersive book that takes readers on a thrilling journey through the hidden depths of underground metropolises. Delving into the mysterious and alluring world of subterranean cities, this captivating read unveils the secrets, histories, and legends that lie beneath the surface.

From the catacombs of Paris to the hidden tunnels of Istanbul, author Michael Russell paints a vivid picture of these enigmatic underground landscapes. With his expert storytelling, Russell seamlessly blends history, adventure, and suspense, making this book an absolute page-turner for anyone fascinated by hidden worlds.

Discover the forgotten chambers, intricate networks, and hidden passages that make up these underground cities. Uncover the tales of ancient civilizations, secret societies, and unsolved mysteries that have been preserved in the depths of time. The City of Shadows will transport you to a realm where darkness holds its own secrets, waiting to be revealed.

Step into the underbelly of the world with this enthralling exploration of subterranean realms. Whether you’re a history buff, an urban explorer, or simply someone with a curious mind, this book about underground cities will captivate and mesmerize you from the very first page. Get ready for an unforgettable adventure into the depths of the unknown.


In conclusion, these 20 books about underground cities offer a fascinating glimpse into a hidden world beneath our feet. From dystopian tales to fantastical adventures, these books take readers on thrilling journeys through underground societies and civilizations. Whether you’re an avid science fiction fan or simply curious about the mysteries that lie beneath the surface, these books are sure to captivate and entertain. So, grab a book, dive into the depths, and explore the wonders of underground cities!