Thursday, August 1, 2013

Subterranean by James Rollins review

James Rollins is usually a fun read, you can tell from his name alone that you will be rolling though some hairy pages, perhaps through a jungle or some caves, the desert or a whole bunch of other exciting sounding but scary ass locations. This was a joke in comparison to what I've read from him before but all greats must start somewhere so here's Subterranean, his first baby, icky awkward parts and all.

by James Rollins

2.0 out of 5 stars More like Fraggle Rock than a serious adventure book

I'm a big fan of Rollins, when the guy is good he is very good and the entertainment is grand, sadly for me this was not the case but reading the 1-3 star reviews was comforting ( and hilarious) enough to know that I'm not crazy and that this book was a dud to many other readers as well. Subterranean is one of his first early efforts and it has a shape of a story but personally I found it lackluster, confused and not very well planned out. The first seventy pages were decent enough where I had some fun, thinking that it was a bit campy but all in good fun, wah what a turn after that... people seem to really appreciate the escapism here but escapism from good writing will never be my cup of tea, Rollins didn't seem to have any control over his wild stallion of a tale and instead he was taken on a ride versus being in control of the reigns. Basically the entire thing reads as one long action sequence, I'd still take it if it was good action but no.... Everything happens right away; before you really get to know anyone they are all ready all over the place panicking, it's as if the book advertises itself to be one thing and turns into something completely different.

Basically the story is about confused and completely clueless military personnel who aren't proficient enough to work in kindergarten, never mind the Arctic, with some barely fleshed out main characters ( the usual team; archeologist, biologist, cave and rock climber and few others with token personalities to match) and some bizzaro creatures - which are referred to in different detail depending on who's describing them ( mammal or raptor? Make up your mind!) all compounded into one space running around doing unrealistic thing. The plot? Um.. it's an octopus, a cat on roller skates in an ice rink spread out in all directions, basically an unpolished mess that really could have used a stern editor. I would highly recommend another read form the author, Ice Hunt, which was masterfully done and so enjoyable that I still think about it years later, now THAT was a monster in a creepy space story, this book is strangely similar, sometimes I feel like Rollins recycles whole chunks because they are so good, but still, it's a bit odd... the only silver lining here is that Ice Hunt was written after Subterranean so Rollins has definitely improved and gained control of his ideas. I had to skim a lot of it towards the end because it looked like pages and pages of unnecessary stuff, needless to say the ending will not make it worth it, actually it wasn't satisfying in the least, if anything it ended very strangely. I really wanted to like this book, I did and it rejected me.. sigh, onto the next!

- Kasia S.  

Series contributed to
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

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