Just got done reading one of his books, and I rather liked it. It's my first Robin Cook book.
After reading this book, I'm convinced this guy needs to write the story for a future Star Trek movie, perhaps even the next one if they haven't already picked out a story.
I enjoyed the book, but there were plot holes that left me cringing. And a couple of the characters got on my nerves.
Over all the book seemed quite a bit rushed. There were places he could have taken the story, and it almost seemed like he was about to go down a certain avenue with the arching, but didn't. And the ending... I'll just say, it was... unfinished. Incomplete.
Now for the spoiler review.
As I gather this is Robin Cook's first attempt at stepping outside of the box in his usual storytelling. Plot synopsis courtesy of wikipedia:
Perry Bergman, President of Benthic Marine, has staked a lot into the current project - drilling into a newly discovered undersea mountain that Geosat had strangely missed. It was supposed to propel Benthic Marine to the forefront of oceanographic research. However, the venture is not going as planned and Perry decides to check it out himself.
What was meant to be a quick tour to the undersea mountain turns into an unexpected and unbelievable adventure. He finds himself traveling with Suzanne, an attractive geophysical oceanographer; Donald, an ex-Navy officer; and Richard and Michael, who are hardened ex-Navy divers with a penchant for violence.
While exploring the unusual undersea mountain, they are sucked into it and taken deep beneath the sea bed, deep , where they are introduced to a race of 'first' humans -- human beings who occupied the Earth before the time of the dinosaurs, who burrowed underground to survive an apocalyptic meteor shower that destroyed most life on earth. Once underground, they chose to remain there and observe our world above them as it slowly developed and evolved. Their world is called Interterra, a technologically advanced utopia with no crime, pain, suffering, disease or even death as we know it. It is revealed that their few attempts to interact with the world above in the past have resulted in the myth of Atlantis, the construction of the Pyramids, UFO sightings, and that their underground world is the cause of the ocean currents.
The problem is that the team wasn't asked if they wanted to go and are in a way prisoners, and perfect or not they start to want out, and start planning an escape.
So, basically what I liked was the basic story, the ideas, the visuals.
Here's what I didn't like:
It becomes apparent by the end of the book, that Cook either really does intend for Interterra to be the perfect eutopia, or either forgot or rushed ahead of an apparent arch about how it's not.
There were problems that I
saw that I was hoping were intentional problems that one of the characters would end up bringing up.
One was the worker clones. I don't know why I kept expecting them to be something more, maybe it's because I felt like the book kept hinting at it. But Robin Cook, it seems, was giving me mixed signals. It was the explanation that the Interterran resident, Sufa, gave of them:
- They wear hoop ear rings "for some reason that I do not know" (that's the explanation that Sufa, a resident of Interterra gave of the worker clones designed to serve the people of Interterra. And there's something she "does not know" about them?)
- The general description of them as having an actual community underground, beneath Interterra, that they reproduce, just gave me the idea that the Interterrans weren't keeping close enough tabs on the clones that were designed to serve Interterra.
The clones were mute, so I kept expecting one of them to sneak up to one of the second gen humans and go, "My name is Lelotoo, I can get you out of here if you help me and my people." But that never happened.
It wasn't just the worker clone stuff though, it was little things about this so called perfect civilization that I was expecting to be a major part of the plot. Foolish me, I guess I just got done reading Jurassic Park and was expecting something along that line: a system with flaws that cause it to fail.
This is where I really felt Robin Cook's agent was hounding him to turn in what he wrote, and Robin Cook went, "Ah, crap! Better finish!" It wasn't the ending when the Interterrans send the escapees back in time, that
was a good touch. Unfortunately that was the last page of the book and you're left going, but... what about... Suzanne....?
Yes! What the hell happened to Suzanne? Suzanne was the one who stayed behind. And we would've liked to know how that turned out, unfortunately we don't get that. She appears before the Council of Elders and is awaiting the progress of what is happening to her former colleagues. The last sentence that we ever get of Suzanne is: "She was totally confused."
Oooookay. Then we have the part of the story of what happens to the ones who escaped.
What?! What the hell happened to Suzanne? Okay, we can assume she ended up living amongst them. But a nice little "Epilogue" of some sort would have been nice.
If they ever make a movie, don't leave that out!