Review: The Descent - Jeff Long

Title - The Descent
Author - Jeff Long
Year - 1999
Stand Alone or Series - Stand Alone (There is a sequel but this one can be read indepentently)
Pages - 572
Rating - 7.5/10
Reading Time - 5 days (January 2007)

I love being sucked into new worlds created by great authors, and this is one of them. This is the first Jeff Long book I have read, and I have also the sequel Deeper: A novel and Year Zero in the near future.

The writer knows what he is writing about. Those carverns look scary and very well described. The world underground and the underground society are very well described. The subterranean journey far beneath even the ocean floors is fantastic, scary, and interesting. The psychological changes the parties go through is true to form. He even had me looking over my shoulder for the Hadals.

The novel follows the events surrounding the discovery and exploration of a vast labyrinth of tunnels and passages stretching throughout the sub-surface of the entire world, inhabited by several species of alternately-evolved troglobitic hominids. While presently degenerate and brutal, the "hadals" had once possessed a high level of civilization, having reached the Iron Age as far back as 20,000 years ago; the novel posits that they had (rather viciously) mentored subsequent human civilizations, and that interactions with them form the basis of the historic belief in demons. The "Descent" of the title refers not only to the literal act of descending, but is also the term the narrative applies to the large-scale military-led colonization of the planet's interior that takes place in the novel.

This novel had some interesting characters. With some pages to dwell the writer created a few characters that were believeble and at same time interesting. Usually you have one or two good characters and the rest are unidemensional (that's the term?) but on this book you don't have that. The writer also dwelt on the creaton of the ecosystem and also on the Handals. Even the evil characters are believe. The part of the roman catholic and the beowulf circle gave another view to all the exploration of a sub-spieces and ecosystem. The ending was quite good and it was good on his own. It didn't need a sequel but probably I'm glad that there is (probably because sometimes the sequel only spoils the first book)

I am a person who like to read but when I am confronted with large books I get scare. Just to get a picture I only read 13 books larger than 500 pages in the 360 books I read from 2005. This last three and half years I read 274 books. Only 6 were bigger than 500 pages. So as you can see If I read this book with more than 500 pages and in only 5 days you can see how I like it. There is also a movie with the same name but I strongly advice you not to see it. It's got nothing to do with this with the sole exception that it's underground and there are some savages beings there. There are far better movies out there with these theme. Books as well.
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