Three years after the events that took place in The Lost World, Professor Challenger urgently summons his fellow explorers (Professor Summerlee, Lord John Roxton, and reporter E.D. Malone) to a meeting. Oddly, he requires each to bring an oxygen cylinder with him.
What he soon informs them is that from astronomical data and just-received telegraphs of strange accidents on the other side of the world, he has deduced that the Earth is starting to move through a region of space containing something poisonous to humankind.
Shutting themselves tightly up in Challenger’s house, they start to consider what may be done. But as their countrymen start to drop, will their oxygen last long enough to determine and implement a solution?
I remember being completely drawn into the Professor Challenger adventures when I was a kid, eagerly reading about the Lost World late into the night. So when I saw this title pop up at Librivox I was pleasantly surprised to note it was a Challenger story that I had never heard of.
I listened to the whole thing in a single sitting ( with breaks for tea and biscuits ) and throughly enjoyed it. Challenger is his usual unpleasant self although perhaps just a little mellowed from the "Lost World" days, he didn't get into a physical fight once in this story.
The story is a little less "action" and a little more "thought" than the Lost World story and does not rely on exploration adventure. In fact the majority of the story is spent entirely in Challengers house. Yet this lack of scene changes does not negatively impact the story. The characters here are the same as those in the "Lost World" and as we know them they are already more appealing than strangers and are anyway, quite appealing anyway. Each has their own mood and way of speaking which keeps you listening even when they just chat.
As I said this is no great adventure story, but world changing events do happen so even if it is a bit slow in getting going you wont be disapointed by the end. Big things happen and its down to Challenger to be the only one who knows what's happening.
Now, I really must recommend this audio book, Mark Smith is the reader and he has done an outstanding job of reading and "voicing" this book. Each character is given a different "voice" and Marks reading of them is splendid. If you haven't listened to "Lost World" yet, then I would suggest you start there before coming here.
Download the book from Librivox
Listen to chapter one