Mark Sullivan is becoming a favourite author of mine ! I have read two of his books before The Labyrinth – Book Review : Beneath a Scarlet Sky and The Last Green and both have been outstanding. Both those books were based on real life stories. Labyrinth is out and out a fictional tale, but just as gripping.
Labyrinth – Plot
The book opens to marine biologist and cave researcher Whitney Burke having one of her nightmares where she sees her husband Tom dead in the place of her assistant. She is deeply traumatised by the loss of her assistant during their last expedition. Whitney decides that she would never set foot inside a cave again.
When her husband Tom Burke agrees to join a NASA-sponsored caving trip and takes their daughter along … Whitney refuses to even see them off :(.
Parallel to this domestic situation, we read about lunar astronauts discovering a rock which has powers of superconductivity. Somehow that moon rock reaches a lab where there is research going on about new sources of energy. The lab assistant Robert Gregor manages to unlock the moon rock’s superconductivity …. but his mentor would like to take all the credit for the discovery.
Gregor kills his mentor. We then read about how Gregor and three other criminals escape prison. They reach the Kentucky cave system titled Labyrinth because Gregor managed to secretly store the moon rock in this cave system before getting arrested.
NASA, is training for a return to the moon to mine some more superconductive moon rocks. To that end it sponsors an expedition into the Labyrinth cave system for its astronauts. This is the expedition that’s led by Whitney’s husband Tom Burke, a renowned caver himself. Tom is accompanied by their 14 year old daughter, Cricket who joins him for the first leg.
Gregor and his band of criminals seize this expedition taking Tom and Cricket hostage. Whitney is forced to overcome her fears as her family is in danger. She leads a team of US Marshals into the Labyrinth to save her family.
Once Whitney enters the Labyrinth cave system, the story twists and turns dramatically, till Tom and Cricket are rescued. Am assuming Whitney gets healed as well. The moon rock is lost in all the drama … only to resurface in the most unexpected place !! Don’t want to spoil the ending for those readers who haven’t read the book yet.
It’s a gripping tale that seems a little over the top sometimes but I enjoyed reading about caves. It’s interesting to see how some people love to explore these cave systems. We also understand about the underground world a bit more – there are rivers, mountains and waterfalls inside some of the caves !!
The first time I realised “caving” is an adventure sport is when some young students were trapped in the Tham Luang cave in Thailand. The rescue mission was covered on TV extensively and all of them were thankfully rescued after nearly 18 days.
Do read the book if you like reading fiction. You get to learn something new from each book :).
Rating – 4/5.