3 miles beneath the surface of the earth lives a secret 10,000 years in the making. A civilization long since forgotten dwells in perfect functionality with only minimals losses in their history. Mankind is not ready for this secret, but the Earthcore Mining Corporation is about to take the lid off this pot and show the world something from it's worst nightmares. And no matter how fast they run, the creatures can fun faster...
Earthcore is the first of the four Scott Sigler novels that are currently downloadable at Podiobooks.com. I first heard this story from the downloaded podcast novel before I ever knew that it had a print format, but once I bought Ancestor, the second to be published, from AMAZON.COM (those greedy evil bastards), I managed to get a hold of my own personal copy of the novel. I recommend any version of the novel, it's certainly well done.
In the past few weeks, I've been pegged by my friends as a Scott Sigler Fanboy. I'd like to set the record straight here and now by stating that I am most certainly not a Sigler Fanboy (do those even exist??), but I am what Sigler calls
"a damn dirty junkie."I find that once I get involved in a Sigler novel, I can't put it down. And, interestingly enough, his Podiobooks are just as interesting, if not more interesting, than the novels. Am I a fanboy for enjoying an authors work? If so, then I guess all those guys who possess the Druid of Shinara stuff are nuts...
Anyway, Earthcore is a novel that takes place in our time, but in the far off land of Utah. Now, having lived in Utah, and soon to be returning there for college, I know how uninviting those mountains can be. So when I started off with this novel and found the plot to revolve around a specific mountain, I was happy. However, I was thrown off by certain aspects of the novel:
1) YA-YA mountains. In all the time I lived in Utah, I had never heard of a place, and by the description, I found it to be located in the spot of a current mountainous area. Couldn't you have just called it whatever the mountain was currently named? We can suspend our disbelief.
2) Brigham Young students. Sigler has obviously never lived in Utah or been there for any significant period of time, because noone there calls BYU students "Brigham Young students". To do so is what I call a rookie move.
3) King Crab. Seafood in Utah SUCKS. In fact, most people in Utah don't like seafood period. I blame this on the fact that they have to import their seafood if they want something other than Trout, which is a bland fish anyway. So, there's no way, especially if someone likes to visit islands, that anyone in Utah would say that the King Crab is the most delicious thing there.
Those are my three big arguments. These things were aspects that threw me off and kept me from getting into the novel at first, and no matter how hard I tried, I just wanted to find Scott Sigler and snap his neck. But, as with all Sigler novels, it gets to the point where those little things begin to matter less and less. But, it most be noted that those small things actually do create empathy between characters and readers.
So the story takes place in Utah, where a prospector has been told of a river of Silver that is coming out of the mountains, like a spring of metal. It turns out that this river of Silver is actually platinum, the purest collection of Platinum in existence, and thus very desirable by the Earthcore Mining Corporation. Kirkland, an executive there in Earthcore, ends up heading the project and finds himself thrown into a world of problems.
As they drill deep into the ground, Earthcore realizes that the caverns under their drill bit are not as empty as they once thought, but are in fact inhabited by a civilization of Octopus-like creatures from another planet. And these Rocktapi are lead by platinum robots, remnants of a civilization long since destroyed. But the Rocktapi don't want to go down that easily, so they come after the crew with their knives drawn.
After some serious conflict (something Sigler is great at creating) the party manages to destroy the alien ship and bring down the whole race with it. To destroy the ship, they must destroy the mountain, which kills everyone inside. But two of the members do make it out alive and plan a revenge by going to the site in Mexico that was found to be similar to the Utah caverns.
It was very much the Sci-fi horror movie feel to the story. It reads like watching a drive-in horror flick, with expectable ending and everything. But I did like the fact that everyone had to fight for what little they got. This was a good way to make us empathize.
All it all, a good read, and a good Podcast Novel. I do highly recommend this novel even though there are some problems and the beginning is a little slow going. Keep it up and you'll begin the adventure when everything opens a new crevace in the face of the earth.