Rowena Hoseason's Reviews > What Lurks Below

What Lurks Below by Donald Firesmith
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bookshelves: 2018

This is the first episode in an ‘intelligent adventure’ series (‘Hell Holes’), which mixes the heft of heavyweight geology and climate science with the demons of the underworld unbound, in all their slavering ferocity.

It’s a genre-bending bonanza of science, speculative fiction and supernatural action, a nifty idea which would make a perfect movie pitch. Think Jurassic Park but with wolven hellhounds taking the place of the velociraptors, and a sky full of giant flying demonic bat-monsters. As you might expect, much running and shouting ensues…

What Lurks Below is a short novel which fair stomps along, from the initial alarm when giant sinkholes start appearing in the Alaskan wilderness and threaten billion-dollar oilfields, to its pell-mell scramble for survival in the later chapters.

This feels like an indie author’s early work, and it shows in the writing. In the early chapter it leans heavily on big lumps of background information, where the serious-sounding science is delivered in meaty lectures. Then the tone changes dramatically as the supernatural angle kicks in, and the more unfortunate members of the team fall as sacrificial red shirts to various voracious beasts.

What Lurks Below is almost two short books in one, as if someone grafted together Jodie Foster’s Contact and Vin Diesel’s Pitch Black. Readers who are looking for the rampant action of the latter might not enjoy the scholarly pace of the former.

A rapid read; ideal if you’re looking for bite-size entertainment.
7/10

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
April 21, 2018 – Shelved
April 21, 2018 – Shelved as: 2018
April 21, 2018 – Finished Reading

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