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really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  18,670 Ratings  ·  605 Reviews
Beneath the ice at the bottom of the Earth is a magnificent subterranean labyrinth, a place of breathtaking wonders—and terrors beyond imagining. A team of specialists led by archaeologist Ashley Carter has been hand-picked to explore this secret place and to uncover the riches it holds. But they are not the first to venture here—and those they follow did not return. There ...more
Hardcover, 422 pages
Published March 9th 2010 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 1999)
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Community Reviews

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Mar 24, 2013 Kasia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 13, 2012 Jaycubed rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

Subterranean is an uninspired collection of clichés featuring dull, unlikable characters doing foolish things. Rollins is apparently incapable of writing women, mistaking shrill bitchiness for empowered and simpering helplessness for feminine. Ashley, his main character and "empowered" woman, is driven by the phoned-in motivation of motherhood. Her son exists as a character only to be put in danger so that tension can be artificially heightened, despite the fact that if she cared so much about
Pam (E.P. Scott)
Mar 29, 2013 Pam (E.P. Scott) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: action, adventure
Subterranean is James Rollins first novel and it's no surprise why he has such a lucrative writing career.

Fun! Adventurous! Exciting! Romantic!

Our main character, Ashley, is asked to join a team of international experts to explore a deep cavern under the ice of the Antarctic. Joining her are Ben, an Australian caver, Linda, a biologist and Khalid, a geologist. Coming along for the ride is her son Jason. To protect them from, well no one actually tells them what, is a highly trained team of Navy
The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon)
I can't believe that I didn't review this book. (Sigh) And I call myself a James Rollins fan...

Okay, short review. ... no really, I mean it this time.

Fast paced book. This one wasn't as much the pace as the level of tension and intensity...okay, it was the pace too. The book flew by and left me wanting more. I found the supporting cast to be well done and, for once, I liked all or most of the main characters (including the main villain as a villain). Rollins usually attempts to write strong fem
Jul 19, 2015 Tanner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my second James Rollins being Amazonia. And personally I found myself enjoying this book a lot more then Amazonia.

Once again the adventure was great. And James Rollins does such a good job at crafting a really fun story that I really enjoyed reading. While this book was long it never really dragged. Being 530 pages the story really flows.

In this book you follow a wide range of characters. The main characters being. Ben and Ashley who are the leaders of the team. You also follow not en
Apr 07, 2012 Gavin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Oh dear, where to start? I could go with witty remarks:

It's Jurassic Park! It's a movie script! It's...SUBTERRANEAN!!!!

Or I could liken it to a children's cartoon, in which case it's basically just Scooby Doo...underground. Fred and Daphne break off from the group and hump like cats while the remaining trio try to outsmart the old innkeeper who's dressed as a cave-trotting velociraptor to scare off the tourists. And he would have gotten away with it too, if it hadn't been for you pesky kids! Sad
Josh Meares
Jun 05, 2010 Josh Meares rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I made the mistake of asking my dad for a book recommendation and he recommended this. He has pretty terrible taste in books a lot of the time. Subterranean is a suspenseful book in some sense. But every event that happened was obviously setting up the next event. Every character was a stereotype. That makes for a very predictable suspense novel. You could see the ending of the book from page one. Oh, this person has claustrophobia ... I bet she gets stuck in a tight tunnel and has to overcome h ...more
Jul 14, 2011 Adam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: action
What a thrilling, captivating page-turner. Wow, this was a terrific book. A group of scientists led by top archaeologist Ashley Carter are selected to investigate a subterranean labyrinth in Antarctica. Things don't go as planned and the action and excitement never let up. The set up is good, the story is great and the payoff is super. I loved it and am off to pick up my next James Rollins book.
Nov 01, 2008 Loren rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
How to write a best selling thriller: Start by introducing each of your characters and summarize their life history in a single paragraph. Each person should have a stellar resume, while being young and attractive, yet totally down-to-earth. For example, a sexy 26 year-old world-renowned bioengineer who loves beer. Throw in one or two military assholes and an egotistical commander to add conflict to the story. Put your characters together in a bleak, desolate and impossible setting where each on ...more
Dec 27, 2007 Jeremy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I grew up hating novels. Sad but true. As a child, the books I was introduced to (by school) were horribly boring and not relevant to my life at all. I grew up believing that all novels were boring, and by high school, I cringed at the sight of novels. I read comic books throughout high school and college, and it wasn’t until I came across Subterranean (on a flight) that I realized people wrote fun books. So, this is the book, and the author, who got me reading novels and opened my eyes to the p ...more
Mar 18, 2008 Brooke rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008, thriller
Subterranean is a solid adventure novel mixed with an archaeological mystery, somewhat similar to Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child's Thunderhead. Parts of it are a little trite (a team member exploring the story's deep caverns has claustrophobia, of course, leading to manufactured moments of suspense that you see coming a mile away), but it's a fun read if you're willing to just go with it. Ultimately, I think the job could have been done in fewer pages; by the last 100, I was skimming here and ...more
Nov 20, 2008 Nicole rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
**Spoiler** Subterranean was the last of James Rollins books that I had not read and I suppose it was a so-so experience. I do love the fast-paced action/adventure that Rollins delivers but I think there was just too much going on in this story. A research team is sent to discover a new environment found underneath the bottom of the world, there they discover the unimaginable…but what they have not been told is that another research team walked through the same passages before them…and disappear ...more
May 17, 2013 Owen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I think my favorite part of this trainwreck (after the diamond-softening fungus and the Islamic jihadist who drinks) was Major Michaelson's magical morphing arsenal: every paragraph or so his weapons loadout somehow changes to SOMETHING HE DIDN'T HAVE A MINUTE AGO. Why is a US marine carrying an AK-47? And why on earth would he have sawed the barrel off, thereby ruining the gas tube and making it incapable of firing more than a single shot at a time? And why doesn't he have any 7.62 ammunition f ...more
Sep 22, 2012 Skyla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So this is by my mum's favourite writer--she has all of his books and frequently tells me about them as she's reading them. When she knew I was looking to read more with an adventure flavour (specifically caves), she gave me some of his.

I expected fun and I got it.

The book's structure is sound, the pacing is quite good. There are some beautiful turns of phrase when it comes to describing the terrain and exploration. Indeed, when the protagonists feel wonder regarding their surroundings and disco
Nov 25, 2013 Yona rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure, thriller
I'm giving it 4 start, but it was my least favorite Rollin's book. So far there wasn't even one I wasn't crazy about, but the heroine in Subterranean - Ashley drove me crazy almost till the end of the book. I'm used to the military giving the orders, making plans and etc. Here she was leading with no idea about tactics or training or anything, it was even said she shoots better then the trained for years Seals which was just ridiculous...

4 stars, because I liked the end.
Jun 23, 2015 Krbo rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ovaj puta malo u stilu starog Vernea, 'ajmo malo pod zemlju sretati kojekakva čudesa... :)

Samie Foster
Sep 18, 2009 Samie Foster rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Subterranean by James Rollins
Overall rating: A wonder revamp that gave a fresh new look to a old classic

Let’s face it. Well thought out science fiction action adventure stories are had to find. They’re unrealistic and often times has no science facts to support the science fiction. Among the good ones are Prey, Timeline and other Crichton novels has been the best in that area. But it’s hard to find authors beyond that. Then lord behold, sitting by itself at a table at a yard sale was book for 25
Brian Steele
Sep 26, 2010 Brian Steele rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi, thriller, adventure
When an 80-something year old lady brings a bunch of books into my store, many of which catch my eye or are one I've read before, and points to this book and says, "I really liked that," I'm gonna snag it.

Thank you, old lady.

Immediately, I began to draw parallels from Subterranean to Jeff Long's The Descent. However, there's not really much in common between the two. Giant underground cavern systems populated by various creatures - that's it. Long's book is Horror, in my opinion. Rollins has wri
Jul 01, 2012 Mario rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ewoks undersground being chased by T-rexgators and a sterotypical terrorist. Seriously?
Zoya Cheboksarova
it was my first James Rollins' book i've read and since then he became one of my favourites ;))) it's a killing mix of thriller, mystery and adventure, stir it carefully and enjoy ;)))
Windy Skirt
Aug 05, 2012 Windy Skirt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, ebook
Deep cave exploration, alternate evolution, and glow in the dark fungus = good weekend read.
Dec 04, 2013 Amy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Amy by: Amazon
Rollins can write well, at least in the sense of getting the mechanics right-- fresh descriptions, riveting suspense, face-paced action-- which ought to make for a pleasurable read that keeps me on the edge of my seat. Just one problem: his characters are so wooden, so cliche, that I rather hope they all end up as dinner for the ludicrous monsters depicted in the book. The fact that he can obviously write, and the book was edited, is the only reason it gets two stars. Sadly that says more about ...more
May 23, 2012 Nicole rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I put off reading this book for a long time because many of my friends who had read this book said that they didn't like it because it reminded them too much of the 1979 movie Alien with Sigourney Weaver. I can see how, in the beginning, it could have reminded them of it. The monsters are depicted as looking quite similar with big heads, large mouths with sharp teeth, black skin, and long reptilian tails. However, I believe that they did not actually finish the book like they said that they did
Apr 05, 2010 Rose rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure-action
A group of scientists along with military might and the macho Navy SEALS add to this high adventure in the unexplored caves of Antartica. The team is there to learn about a lost civilization and explore the depths but are unaware that a team went 3 months before them only to be lost. They are now looking for the lost team and exploring. It has all the typical personalities set for an adventure, a cholosterophobic biologist, the strong-willed anthrapoligist, an adventure guide for spelunking and ...more
Jun 30, 2011 Grace rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Picked this up at the local Costco and thought it would be a good read as I had read a couple of other James Rollins books and enjoyed them. Suspense/Thrillers that take place in different parts of the world are one of my favorite genres and I was looking forward to going on an adventure in this one, but I was utterly disappointed. A good book takes me about a week to finish, which is pretty fast considering I rarely have time to sit down and read with all the other stuff that occupies my day. T ...more
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Gordon Sleigh
Well, it was a book. I didn't expect more than pulp, but what a collection of hackneyed tropes and weak 'homages'. The premise is interesting enough for an airport-grade adventure yarn, but the characters are incredibly one dimensional and you can predict all the peril half the book before it happens. Once they started bringing out telepathy and 'destiny' it turned from passable entertaining to an 'Well, I've made it this far, I might as well finish it' grudge-read. Glad it was a Kindle Daily De ...more
Sep 06, 2010 Cherie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have liked James Rollins books in the past, but this one seemed very juvenile, silly and just not up to his usual standards. I kept thinking that this must have been targeted at a younger audience than he usually writes for. Although many of his novels deal with unusual occurances and supernatural powers, this one just seemed silly. Even the romantic interest in this novel was expressed at almost at a junior high level. If I had never read a James Rollins novel before, I would have no interest ...more
Jennifer Daniel
Started off great then went beserk. I was willing to suspend beleif and accept a strange civilization living under a dormant volcano in Antartica, but when they had marsupial pygmy humaniods being attacked by raptors and deadly fungus it became a little too ridiculous for me. There was also an Army conspiracy, an Egyptian terrrorist, telepathy, a rommance, in general a whole lotta crap going on.
Feb 27, 2011 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rollins delivers an action packed thriller guaranteed to make you hesitate before entering any kind cave like structure. I’m a huge Rollins fan and he always delivers a fast paced story with unexpected twists, there’s even a little romance in the mix. I find myself holding my breath during the action scenes because you never know who might die or even lose an arm or leg. Excellent story, kept me guessing until the end. Highly recommend it.
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Rollin advice 22 116 Jul 15, 2014 10:02AM  
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  • The Medusa Stone (Philip Mercer, #3)
  • Legend (Event Group Thriller #2)
  • Deep Storm (Jeremy Logan, #1)
  • Beneath the Dark Ice (Alex Hunter, #1)
James Rollins is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of international thrillers that have been translated into more than forty languages. Known for unveiling unseen worlds, scientific breakthroughs, and historical secrets, Rollins has a knack for breakneck pacing and stunning originality that has been hailed by critics and embraced by millions of readers around the world.
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