Thursday, May 19, 2011

Book Review: Subterranean

Title: Subterranean
Author: James Rollins
Genre: Thriller
Trep's Rating: 3 and a half stars

James Rollins is an author that I was put onto by a guy I work with. I was told that he was the greatest author this guy had ever read. I was skeptical, especially since I know that this guy has read about four books in his entire life, three of them by this author, and only then while in jail with nothing to do. But, I gave him a chance.

Subterranean starts out with a team of scientists being assembled for an expedition to a newly discovered cave system in Antarctica. Not only are they there to find out about the unique ecosystem one mile beneath the ice, but they are there to find out what happened to a lost culture whose artifacts and cave homes have been found buried down there.

But that is not all. Not everyone in the world is happy about the supposedly top-secret discovery. The finding of diamonds large enough and in enough quantity to destroy the worlds diamond market puts the new dig site squarely in the sights of and extremist group hired by African diamond nations. One of the team is not who they seems, and time is quickly running out for them to discover it.

As though this weren't bad enough, there are other things in the caves. Monsters. Giant reptiles that are capable of shrugging off most bullets. As the team run for their lives they encounter aid in the least likely of places, the lost civilization that apparently only moved deeper....

All in all, I liked this book. I did find it odd that there should happen to be kangaroo-monkey-people in this book, and that I should pick it up right after I finish Into The Storm, which featured cat-monkey-people. Don't ask me, odd coincidence.

There were a few things that I liked, and a few that I didn't. The pacing of the book is great. It's 353 pages on my nook, so not too long. In that length Rollins packs a great story about survival and pitting man against nature in a realistic way. One thing that I really liked was how realistic the injuries and the stunts in the book were. Most of the injuries happen when characters trip, fall, twist their ankles, slip, etc.... Cave exploring is dangerous on its own. The addition of these very menial yet very realistic injuries did a lot for me in helping to create the illusion.

The only real problem I had with the book was the main character's political view. Don't get me wrong, it's fine that characters have political views. It's what helps give them life. Yet I don't want to be preached to, regardless of that view. The main character spends half the book randomly going into monologues, extolling the endless virtues of her point of view.

The story was good however, and if that sort of thing doesn't bother you, then this is a good book for you. It almost killed it for me, but I hear that he doesn't do it in his other books, so I'll give the author another chance at a later date.

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