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Book Review: Subterranean by James Rollins

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This was my book club’s choicefor the month of October. I’ve heard of James Rollins but I have never read any of his books. I was really excited when this book was picked. I surfed the web reading reviews before I finally cracked the spine. Yet still, Subterranean exceeded my expectations.

It was Jurassic Park meets Journey to the Center of the Earth, but with a lost tribe of marsupial humanoids. It was just great. Great action, great adventure, great suspense, great mystery, and even some great romance — this book had it all.

It starts with some great characters: Ashley, an American anthropologist with her son Jason; Ben, the Australian cave diver; Linda, an American biologist; Khalid, a Egyptian geologist; and Michaelson, the Army man with a hand full of SEALS backing him up. These people form a team that Doctor Blakely has put together to search a cave under the Antarctic continent. There are other characters that come and go, some a little more unexpectedly than others.

In the main cavern, Alpha Base, dwellings have been carved all along one wall. Thousands of years old, maybe millions, these small homes belong to an extinct humanoid creature, or so the scientists believe. There are worm holes leading off the main cavern and the team has been put together to search the worm holes. They discover right before their departure that they are not the first to go down — a team went before them but never returned. They are not only on a discovery mission but also a rescue mission.

What they find in the bowels of the earth is like nothing else. Ben, the man with all the cave experience, claims that it is unlike anything else on the entire planet. They encounter living dinosaurs, species thought to be extinct long ago. All sorts of creatures block their path and obstacles are constantly being overcome, as they move farther and farther down. Alliances are formed and broken as the darkness presses close and they become lost in the maze of caves.

Some of the descriptions were a little light. You get a pretty good feel for the caverns and the different caves but it wasn’t always a clear picture. Sometimes you forget the characters are in a cave but that didn’t happen very often.

The thrill and the action take the front seat and are the driving forces for the book. The action never lets up, leaving you gripping the edges of your book and turning pages at a frantic pace. At every turn something new has happened and you hate to put it down.

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About Katie T. Buglet

  • Reaper

    I loved this book its the best book i have ever read and believe m i have read alot of books but none of them come close to this. Thanks very much for writing this book.

  • jennifer wells

    It was a good read. It kept my attention from cover to cover and I hated putting it down. I read the entire book within a two day period.

  • Andrew

    it was very interesting and kept me interested in it the more i read

    i also have read “Amazonia” and still have to read “Ice Hunt”.

  • Josie

    I have to agree that this was a great book… It was interesting from cover to cover. It makes you want to go to a cave and have a look just to see if you’d have an adventure like Ashley and Ben… I read it off my phone through Sprint’s e-books and figured it wouldnt be too great because it came with signing up and it was a great read. I would recommend it to people who love adventures.

  • greg

    This book hurls, it is easily the worst book I read in 2009, the plot has more holes in it than a subterranean labyrinth and I was totally offended by the character of Ben, who talks and acts like no other contemporary Australian I know, perhaps Mr Rollins could do some research next time. I give this 2 rotten tomatoes out of 10 and will next waste my time with this authors work again