Originally published in 1999, James Rollins debut novel, Subterranean, is now available in hardcover for the first time. Something has been discovered deep beneath the ice of Antarctica: a deep labyrinth that hasn’t seen the light of day in a very long time. Within are strange animals, perhaps new species unknown to science, as well as what appears to be archaeological evidence of an ancient form of hominid life. The question is whether any of this early genus are alive and possibly still living in these caves. One team went down to find out. They haven’t been heard from in months.
But now a new team has been assembled, led by archaeologist Ashley Carter. They haven’t been told about what happened to the last team, but will maintain constant contact with the people above. As they travel deeper into these timeless caves, they learn more and more of this undiscovered world – its flora and fauna – as well as who these early hominids really are. Then something – a great beast – starts attacking them, taking them one by one. More beasts are discovered. Communication is severed and it will be up to Carter to try and keep the group together and get them back to the surface alive.
It seems pretty obvious that James Rollins is a Jules Verne fan, as one reads further into Subterranean, it starts to feel quite like Journey to the Center of the Earth. Rollins does his work and research, creating a logical link and reason for everything being there, as well as an origin story to the beasts and the strange hominids. Subterranean is a fun thrill-ride that doesn’t possess the same fast pace and skill as his later novels, but is nevertheless a worthy read for any Rollins fan.
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Originally written on April 14 2010 ©Alex C. Telander.