Saturday, January 25, 2014

Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne: Book Review (School Edition)!

Hello, everyone! I'm back with another book review! This semester, I'm taking a popular genre class, and we are focusing on Science Fiction. We started the semester with a novel by Jules Verne called Journey to the Center of the Earth. That's what I will be reviewing today. Now, on with the review!

I read the free version on my Amazon Kindle, so the names for the characters may be a little different from other translations. In my book, a young man named Harry goes on a expedition with his uncle Professor Hardwigg and the stoic Icelander Hans. Together these three men make a trek to the center of the Earth after the Professor finds a message from a long gone famous alchemist. The message says that he made it to the center of the Earth and states the point from which he started from. The professor hopes to make the same journey, Harry just hopes he doesn't die, and Hans is more concerned with getting his payment every Sunday. They face hunger, thirst, wrong turns, explosions, raging storms and some very dangerous beasts.

Now, I find the concept behind the story to be a really cool one. At the time the novel was first published, people had only theorized what could be at the center of the Earth, but this book explores what could actually be down there. They found some really fantastic things from the scenery to the animals that they found there. I found this really cool; however, I found some things hindered the story.

One of the biggest setbacks I had with novel was how long it took them to really start their journey to the center of the Earth. For over ten chapters, Harry talks about their journey to Iceland where they need to find a crater that will make it to the center of the earth. He talks for a long time about the villages and the townspeople that I found unnecessary considering I never heard anything about them after they make it to the crater.

The other aspect that I didn't really like about this novel was its use of scientific jargon. He goes in detail about the temperature, the direction they were going, what each layer of the rock represents time-wise, which animals came from which period of time, not to mention what each piece of equipment they brought did, and so much more. There were several parts that I just had to skim read because I couldn't actually bare to read it or understand it that much.

My professor explained to us that this book was supposed to seem like a travel journal or even a how-to of a journey of this nature, which is why some novel elements don't seem to be in the story. While that is true, I review books based on how well the story is and how that story is conveyed. Of course, in the case of school books, I also decide if the SparkNotes website is needed. With that in mind, I give this book two and a half mushroom trees out of five.

The concept of the story I found interesting, but the execution was lacking. While the jargon is a bit confusing, heading to the internet for answers isn't necessary to complete the story. You'll still get the main gist of it without understanding every little scientific detail. 

That's it for this review, but there's more to come really soon! If you want to see more posts as soon as they are uploaded, add your email to the Subscribe Box down below. You can add me to your circles by clicking the Google+ button to the right. You can get up-to-date information about the blog and about my life by following me on twitter @KK_Donna_Blog. I also have a tumblr for the blog now, and it can be found at this link. More reviews are up ahead. Read on, lovelies! I'll see y'all next post!