Ice Station, by Matt Reilly

Adventures in Readers’ Advisory (RA), Part I
Genre: Suspense/Thriller
Sub-Genre: Action-Adventure

The Plot: Matt Reilly’s Ice Station takes place at a remote scientific research station in Antarctica, where the crew discovers something of potentially immense value buried far beneath the ice. Lieutenant Shane Schofield and his U.S. Marines are sent to secure the station, but many other countries and organizations – including those from within his own government – are determined to seize it first.

Who I’d Recommend it to and Why: It’s fast-paced and full of action, with lots of twists and turns. The action scenes are super easy to follow and to visualize. Also it has sea monsters, a cute helpful seal, and maybe even aliens.

HERE BE SPOILERS (BELOW)! YE BE WARNED!

Personal Likes:

  • Reilly writes a great action sequence, that I can follow and visualize the whole way through. Can’t say that about every author I read…
  • Also there was no romance, which I super appreciate as so often it’s shoe-horned into books like this. The hunky marine and the hot lady scientist were not interested in each other for once.
  • Did I mention the super cute helpful seal?

Dislikes (Rant Begins Here):

  • It was fast-paced, yes, but at the expense of everything else. I really just wanted a moment to breathe in this book, but I suppose this breathless pace is what some people are actually looking for.
  • Ok, so this may be super nit-picky, but it took me right out of the story. There’s this whole scene in the Library of Congress where a book is missing, and the librarian just blithely offers up the name of the last person to borrow a book. No librarian is going to do that, even if the last time a book was borrowed was 30 years ago. Sheesh.
  • All! the! exclamation! points! in! the! narrative! Omniscient narrators don’t get to use those. You only get to use those in your narrative if you’re using first person, or your “omniscient” narrator is some kind of deity…
  • The usual issue with one-dimensional characters in action-adventure, but I can’t really complain as I was fully expecting this.
  • So yes, there was no romance, but seriously, it seemed like every woman in this book (except for the aforementioned hot lady scientist) had to at least think about f*cking Shofield. Really?? It that’s gonna be the case I expect a picture of his hunky-ness on the front cover.
  • Twists and turns, yes, but to excess. Seriously, I think half the characters by the end were ICG. The number of betrayals just got ridiculous.
  • I was promised an alien spacecraft and this did not deliver.

Last Thoughts:

Given the wave after wave of attacks that Shane Shofield faces as he tries to defend the Ice Station, I felt Zapp Branigan needed to be in here somewhere:

Just for the record, I’m currently sitting at my first Reader’s Desk shift and my first Readers’ Advisory question was for Fantasy. Ha!

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