LABYRINTH by Mark T. Sullivan


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A clutch of action-movie set pieces in which cavers, scientists, escaped convicts, and the US Cavalry race after a moon rock hidden in a cavern.

Already sold to Paramount (with Scott Rudin producing), Labyrinth begins with what will surely become its pretitle sequence: lunar astronauts discover a rock with awesome powers of superconductivity. Thirty-two years later, moon rock 66095 turns up at a Tennessee lab where scientists search for new sources of energy. Eager to reap the rewards the rock may bring, assistant Robert Gregor garrotes his supervisor when the latter insists on credit for discovering the rock’s powers. Author Sullivan (Ghost Dance, 1999) then shifts scenes to the dysfunctional Burke family. Mother Whitney awakes again from a recurring nightmare about the drowning of a friend in a cave they’d been exploring. Traumatized, Whitney has withdrawn from husband Tom and daughter Cricket, and she refuses to join them on the Artemis Project, a NASA program that will train moon explorers in Tennessee’s vast Labyrinth Cave. Fast cross-cuts follow. Led by Gregor (who raves like a mad scientist from Superman), a group of escaped convicts force Tom and Cricket to lead them into the cave, where, it seems, rock 66095 has been hidden. Local police entreat Whitney to take them into Labyrinth to nab the escapees as mounting floods stir her fears. Lightning rends the rock, displacing so much power it sets off an earthquake that, in turn, causes a nearby dam to burst. Cricket has to rappel down a cable to rescue Gregor, who dangles beside a roaring waterfall. The US president sends in the cavalry to retrieve the rock before it triggers another Hiroshima. Finally, everyone faces off, center cave, as a prison officer pulls a twist that’s sure to bring raspberries from the peanut gallery.

Smashing glass, thudding copter blades, rumbling boulders: Labyrinth has popcorn written all over it.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-7434-3980-5
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Atria
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2002


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