Saturday, February 28, 2009

Terminal Freeze

Terminal Freeze by Lincoln Child was released on February 24, 2009. My hardcover copy has 320 pages. Terminal Freeze is an enjoyable book. Although a case could be made that the story has been told before (The Thing, or Relic), this is when Updike's rules for reviewing really come into play. I knew I was getting a thriller when I purchased this book and Child most certainly delivered what I wanted and what he promised. Child writes in an easy to read, fluid style while slowly building up the anticipation and suspense in the story. The unknown creature set loose in an unforgiving environment is a common theme, but that doesn't make it any less enjoyable when the story is well told. Reading Terminal Freeze was a pleasure. I did like Child's Deep Storm a little better, but I most certainly highly recommend Terminal Freeze. Oh, and kudos to Child for telling this story while keeping the swearing to a bare minimum. Rating: 4.5

Synopsis from cover:
A breathtaking discovery at the top of the world . . .
A terrifying collision between modern science and Native American legend . . .
An electrifying new thriller from New York Times bestselling author Lincoln Child.

Two hundred miles north of the Arctic Circle lies Alaska’s Federal Wildlife Zone, one of the most remote and inhospitable places on Earth. But for paleoecologist Evan Marshall and a small group of fellow scientists, an expedition to the Zone represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to study the effects of global warming.

Everything about the expedition changes, however, with an astonishing find. On a routine exploration of a glacial ice cave, the group discovers an enormous ancient animal, encased in solid ice. The media conglomerate sponsoring their research immediately intervenes and arranges the ultimate spectacle - the creature will be cut from the ice, thawed, and revealed live on television. Despite dire warnings from the local Native American village, and the scientific concerns of Marshall and his team, the “docudrama” plows ahead... until the scientists make one more horrifying discovery. The beast is no regular specimen - it may be an ancient killing machine. And they may be premature in believing it dead.

In this riveting new thriller, Lincoln Child weaves together a stunning Arctic landscape, a terrifying mythic creature, and a pervasive mood of chaos - and fear. With Terminal Freeze, Child demonstrates why he has become a major bestselling author, and why his novels electrify and enthrall so many.

"At dusk, when the stars rose one by one into a frozen sky, Usuguk approached the snowhouse as silently as a fox." first sentence

"Only a violation of the most serious of all taboos could cause the kind of spirit fury he now paid witness to." pg. 4

"But this one is calving like a tidewater glacier. I've been measuring the basalt melt -"
"That's Sully's job not yours."
"-and it's off the scale." Faraday shook his head."Rain, unprecedented melting - and there are other things happening, too. Like the northern lights the last few night." pg. 10

"There, buried beneath the ice floor, two fist-sized eyes - yellow, with black oval pupils - were staring implacably back up at him." pg. 17

"With grant money in short supply, the university had resorted to a relatively new tactic: securing expedition financing from a media conglomerate in return for exclusive rights and access. While global warming wasn't particularly sexy, it was topical. Terra Prime had bankrolled the team as it had half a dozen hopes of snagging at least one science documentary worth developing." pg. 25

"Removing the file had exposed another behind it, almost equally faded. It's title tab had been stamped with a single word: 'Fear.'....Behind it lay another file, identical, stamped with the same word.
Both copies of a classified file stored in the same location? Something was very wrong here." pg. 46

"Privately he almost wished the thing had never been found. He was unhappy with the frantic activity, so unlike the careful, cautious approach favored by scientists. He was unhappy with how the documentary team was being coy, almost secretive, about the specifics of the project. And he was especially unhappy with how distracting it all was, how his work was hampered by so many people underfoot." pg. 50

"Cut it out you said?"
"In a single block. For transport back to our specially prepared vault The vault will be sealed, the block of ice melted under controlled conditions." pg. 53


samantha.1020 said...

I haven't read anything by Child yet but I've heard good things. Great review!

Jane said...

I'm going to write this one down & get it at the library next visit.
It sounds good!