Travel to the bottom of the earth...to a place you never dreamed existed.
Beneath the ice...a hand-picked team of specialists makes its way toward the center of the world. They are not the first to venture into this magnificient subterranean labyrinth. Those they follow did not return.
Over the rocks...Across the yawning caverns...Beyond the Black River...You are not alone.
Into the darkness...where breathtaking wonders await you - and terrors beyond imaging...Revelations that could change the world - things that should never be disturbed...
At the bottom of the Earth is the beginning. Keep moving...toward a miracle that cannot be...toward a mystery older than time.
©1999 Jim Czajkowski; (P)2009 HarperCollins Publishers
As others have noted, the story is somewhat stretching the limit, but I wouldn't have minded it so much, if the reader had a voice worth listening to. Really, really awful! Why? 1. No discernible difference between characters, other than the attempt at an Australian accent and the girlish voice used for the main character, everyone else sounds the same and there's hardly any inflection. Listen to Roy Dottrice or Stephen Fry for what I mean on how it should be done IMHO. 2. No break between POVs - when switching between POVs, the listener needs something to tell one that this is happening, a pause here and there. If not for the names of the people, I couldn't have been able to tell I was somewhere else in the story.
I stopped after maybe four hours because of it, and I will not finish this book. Nor will I buy anything else in the future that uses this reader.
This will be the first book I abandoned in nearly 300 titles. To say it's bloody awful is a huge understatement.
Marsupial pigmies....REALLY? that's the best you could come up with? Your weed is too strong.
My first James Rollins novel and very likely my last...Started out OK but the second half rapidly turned ridiculous...Indiana Jones meets Jurassic Park in a Journey to the Center of the Earth. I wasn't expecting high literature, but even with that preconception I was disappointed. This book turned into one of those stories where it seemed like nearly every plot device was driven forward by someone doing something dumb. I also expected science fiction aspects, but again the scientific liberties drove me crazy as well. Not the worst novel I have ever heard, but if the book's description intrigues you just save time and buy some Jules Verne or Edgar Rice Burroughs, they've done it before and better. However the narrator is pretty decent, although I cringed whenever he tried to emulate a woman's or child's voice.
I knew by reading the description of the book that the plot was entirely preposterous. There's nothing wrong with that. You can suspend a little disbelief to enjoy a story - it's the cornerstone of your favorite Pixar movies, right?
Subterranean is beyond. Way beyond. Wallowing deep in preposterousness. It's not just the core plot but it's the author's employment of the cheapest gags and devices to "keep up the suspense". By the second mp3 file I was rolling my eyes and groaning - out loud in my car - roughly every 5 minutes. You can quite literally guess everything that's about to happen if you ask yourself "what would a 13 year old attempting to write his/her first fantasy/romance novel do here?" In the same vein the dialogue and the characters were most likely carved in wood before printing in the book - it was so hard to carve complicated text in wood that Rollins settled for the bare minimum. It's AWFUL.
To cap it off, I still have 3 hours or so left. I don't think I'll be finishing the book....
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