Despite the submarine cover art and the rather awkward title, this is no by-the-numbers military thriller: rather, it's a full-blooded, multidimensional adventure story set in the frozen wilds of Alaska, both atop the ice and underneath it. And it's one heck of a fun ride. Matthew Pike is a Fish and Game officer cataloging bear populations in the remote Brooks Range--but he's also an ex-Green Beret, which comes in handy when trouble drops out of the sky in the form of a crashed bush plane, a cryptic survivor, and some very nasty and well-equipped pursuers. Meanwhile, an American submarine stumbles on an abandoned research station buried under the Arctic ice cap, unleashing a race to conceal the horrors that took place there and to capture the priceless scientific secret still locked within.
James Rollins invokes the polar environment so vividly you can hear the wind shriek and feel the ice forming on your nose, and the scientific/medical puzzles at the story's heart may remind you of Michael Crichton's best. The characters, while mostly familiar hero or villain types, are crisply drawn and in some cases quite sympathetic, but it's the nonstop action that carries you along. During several climactic chase scenes, you may find yourself laughing in pure delight--or gasping for breath--as Rollins keeps finding ways to ratchet up the tension one more notch. Ice Hunt is an escapist's delight. --Nicholas H. Allison
--This text refers to the
From Publishers Weekly
While Clive Cussler maintains the gold standard in action lit, Rollins has a firm grasp on the silver. Some astonishing threat or daring feat explodes into print on nearly every page, but that's the author's weakness as well as his strength, because in Rollins's books character and even plot take a backseat to sheer action. Rollins set his last novel, Amazonia, in steaming jungles; here he does a 180 and tells a tale of brutal cold, above and beneath the North Pole ice cap. An experimental American sub comes across an abandoned Soviet polar station encased in an iceberg. Meanwhile, a Russian admiral, the son of the man who once ran the station, is preparing to alter world history by exploding a nuclear weapon at the polar cap, melting it and flooding the globe. And Fish and Game warden Matt Pike, a former Green Beret, comes across a downed aircraft in the Alaskan mountains and rescues the sole survivor, who says he's a journalist on his way to the American polar station; immediately, Matt and the survivor are relentlessly pursued by black-clad Russian special forces. Eventually all parties, including Matt's estranged wife, end up at the abandoned polar station or the nearby American station; Russians and Americans, including Delta Force, battle fiercely over the privilege of exposing or forever hiding the secret of the Russian station, and in turn they must combat the prehistoric predators who roam the Russian station in search of warm meat. The plot is preposterous from the get-go, and Rollins's characters, though fully drawn, have about as much effect on the novel's course as riders on a roller-coaster-which is what this novel is, and a first class one at that if maximum mayhem is desired.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to the