There's yet another book being hyped as the next Harry Potter--but this one, at least, is being hyped by the same publisher who "discovered" Rowling's series. Barry Cunningham, a publisher for Chicken House*, says that Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams's upcoming book Tunnels is going to be the Next Big Thing.
Tunnels is said to involve a a boy archaeologist named Will Burrows, a bunch of merciless villains, and "an extraordinary journey to the [center] of the earth", according to Cunningham, who's been busily hyping the unreleased series. The book's authors met at university, went on to careers as an investment banker and artist, and reconnected when Gordon lost his job in corporate finance. He eventually sold his house to self-publish a limited run edition of Tunnels.
I am by no means convinced that this series will live up to its hype. While Cunningham hit a home run with Rowling's series, he is also responsible for the career of the massively over-hyped writer Cornelia Funke. Still, I plan to request a review copy of this book as soon it becomes available (it's due out in July, at least in England), and I'm really looking forward to reading it.
*Note: Chicken House is responsible for a remarkably ugly edition of the first book in Suzanne Collins' Underland Chronicles, but I'm trying to keep an open mind.