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Amy and the Missing Puppy by Callie Barkley
Art of Freddy by Walter R. Brooks
The Aviary by Kathleen O'Dell
A Birthday Cake for George Washington by Ramin Ganeshram
The Categorical Universe of Candice Phee by Barry Jonsberg
The Endless Pavement by Jacqueline Jackson
FBP: Federal Bureau of Physics Vol. 3: Audeamus by Simon Oliver
A Fine Dessert: Four Centuries, Four Families, One Delicious Treat by Emily Jenkins
Five Ghosts: The Haunting of Fabian Gray by Frank J. Barbiere
The Forbidden Worlds of Haruki Murakami by Matthew Carl Strecher
Fox's Garden by Princesse Camcam
Freddy Goes to the North Pole by Walter R. Brooks
Frindle by Andrew Clements
Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky
Hamster Princess: Harriet the Invincible by Ursula Vernon
A Haunting Dream by Joyce Lavene and Jim Lavene
Here Be Monsters! by Alan Snow
Interstate 69 by Matt Dellinger
Moby-Dick: An Ocean Primer by Jennifer Adams
Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
Noragami Volume 01 by Adachitoka
Noragami Volume 02 by Adachitoka
Steal the Sky by Megan E. O'Keefe
The Terrible Two Get Worse by Mac Barnett
Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald
The Underground City (aka Child of the Cavern) by Jules Verne
Unstoppable Octobia May by Sharon G. Flake
What a Ghoul Wants by Victoria Laurie

Miscellaneous
The Road (narrative project) So Far...

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Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



The Underground City (aka Child of the Cavern): 02/08/16

The Underground City (aka Child of the Cavern) by Jules Verne

Indes Noirs by Jules Verne has had numerous titles in the English translation. Of all the options, my favorite is Child of the Cavern. The American edition I have from the close of the 18th century is a brown Alta edition, The Underground City.

Published in 1877, it's the tale of the Aberfoyle coal mine in Scotland being shuttered as the last of the coal runs out. A few stubborn, long time, multigenerational workers refuse to believe the mine is spent. When some of them go missing three years later a rescue party is sent into the mine and remarkable discoveries are made.

Like Melville's Moby-Dick, Verne spends many of the middle chapters ruminating on things relevant to the plot. There are chapters describing the geology of coal, the state of the coal mining industry in the late 1800s, the economy of coal, safety measures in coal mines, and the future of coal including predictions of depletion rates by country.

Both authors used their novels to extrapolate into the future, comment on the present, and consider how we had gotten to that present. Their padding is a way to speak their opinion, stuff that can be skipped over by those who are only reading for the adventure, but there for those willing to take the time and listen. I love both authors for their long, heavily detailed tangents.

Interestingly, the Underground City's climax bears a striking resemblance to the 1984 James Bond film, A View to a Kill. A splinter group from the original cavern dwellers decides to end the underground city by flooding it. They do this by exploding the cave roof right under the nearby loch, thus draining the loch. Someone was taking notes from this book when writing the draining of San Andreas Lake.

Five stars

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