AllenPearce Publishers (2021)
Reviewed by Rachel Dehning for Reader Views Kids (8/21)
“The Cavern” by Allen Kent, is a story that will keep you guessing and questioning things until the end. It deals with social issues that Americans are dealing with every day, but does so respectfully. The story is an interweaving of multiple characters and how their differences make them so similar.
“The Cavern” focuses on a pre-teen/teenage boy named Noah who lives in rural Missouri. Readers from rural areas, especially the Midwest, can relate to him and his family with their values, morals, and way of living. Noah has earned the trust of his parents and goes out hunting alone in the woods. Like kids his age, he tests the boundaries and can’t say that he comes out ahead. A fall into a hidden sinkhole sends the entire town looking for him, including some high-up people. Noah finds himself in the hands of some less than reputable people and worries for his life.
Meanwhile, readers learn of Noah’s parents, unsure of their son’s fate, with a loyal search group scouring the land to find any trace of him. Alongside Noah’s adventures, the Speaker of the House, Carolyn, is kidnapped from her hair salon by a mysterious group of people who claim to understand her governmental position better than she does.
“The Cavern” includes themes of self-appointed power, racism, politics, immigration, and suspense. While reading, don’t be surprised to find yourself holding your breath as you wait to discover the fate of Noah and Carolyn. I noticed many similarities between this fictional story and the struggles in our country today.
I appreciate that the author made it a point to include spiritual support for Noah’s parents, as this was important for this reviewer to read. The story isn’t too lengthy, but there is depth and dimension given to the characters, along with a well-executed storyline. Readers can expect to hear of appropriate parenting that leads to adolescent independence for survival. Along with this, learning life lessons on popular topics presented tastefully and respectfully. “The Cavern” is a modest mystery recommended for all young adult and adult readers.