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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Gunther's Cavern is a young adult fantasy/science fiction novel written by Edward Etzkorn. Eleven of New Calar's kids went missing one day in July, and no one's seen them since. The authorities figure they've run away, but their parents fear kidnapping or worse. It's been puzzling Gunther and his sister June, who don't live in New Calar but attend school there. The brother and sister mostly hang out with each other and the summer's been fun, especially since both their mother and father are away at work. Gunther's dream has been to find a cave on the hundred-acre family property, and one day the stream where Gunther found an albino crayfish and fish seemed a bit different. There was a small hole under a large rock, which seemed to be getting larger as the sand shifted. Gunther and June are determined to investigate what appears to be a magnificent network of caves. They've got some caving experience and gear, so what could go wrong with a little exploration?
Edward Etzkorn's preteen and young adult fantasy/science fiction novel, Gunther's Cavern, is a grand subterranean adventure, and will be rollicking fun for young-at-heart adults as well as its target audience. It's also the well-plotted and written coming of age story of Gunther, a introverted and lonely 15-year-old whose interactions at school have heretofore been pretty awful. Etzkorn builds an incredible subterranean world teeming with huge tardigrades, otherwise known as water bears, gigantic salamanders and a vast army of cave insects grown huge. I had so much fun reading this book, after all, who hasn't wanted to discover a vast system of caves, especially in your backyard? The tardigrades, which look pretty cute when Googled, are spooky and threatening as giant cave dwellers. Gunther's Cavern is one of those books that you won't want to put down until you've finished it. It's that good and it's most highly recommended.