Monday, July 16, 2012

REVIEW: Ice Station by Matthew Reilly

Ice Station by Matthew Reilly
Publishing information: Kindle
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Publishing; 27 September 1999
ISBN 10: 033051346X
ASIN: B003H4I5S0
Series: Book 1 of the Shane Schofield series
Copy: Out of pocket
Reviewer: Tyson

Synopsis: "Anarctica is the last unconquered continent, a murderous expanse of howling winds, blinding whiteouts and deadly crevasses. On one edge of Antarctica is Wilkes Station. Beneath Wilkes Station is the gate to hell itself...

A team of U.S. divers, exploring three thousand feet beneath the ice shelf has vanished. Sending out an SOS, Wilkes draws a rapid deployment team of Marines-and someone else...

First comes a horrific firefight. Then comes a plunge into a drowning pool filled with killer whales. Next comes the hard part, as a handful of survivors begin an electrifying, red-hot, non-stop battle of survival across the continent and against wave after wave of elite military assassins-who've all come for one thing: a secret buried deep beneath the ice..."

When I was browsing through books the other day, I came across a new book from Matthew Reilly. Scarecrow Returns, the latest book in the Shane Schofield series. Recalling that I had enjoyed the series when they originally were released I decided to read the entire series again in order to catch up on Scarecrow, the over-the-top military powerhouse. The first book in the series is Ice Station.

Ice Station is a military thriller in every sense of the word. It is over-the-top, it is packed full of action and it is just a lot of fun to read. If you want realism, look somewhere else. This is pure adrenaline, and then some. The characters are quickly introduced and brief backgrounds are given. Once the stage has been set, it is off to the races and what a race it is.

Reilly is not big on character development, although there is some background and growth in the Ice Station, its only in retrospect. The main focus of Reilly's novels is action. Think of your favorite action movie and then turn it to 11. That is what all of Reilly's novels are about. There is very little time between action scenes. What little pauses are found in the novel are simply to reload and move on to the next engagement.

In other reviews of this book, and the series, many people do not like the lack of character development and dubious action scenes. I can understand and to a degree relate; however, I enjoy Reilly's novels. I will tell you why, they are just fun. A lot of books I read require a lot of thinking and recall. With Reilly it is just reading for reading's enjoyment. There are just some books that you want to turn off the thinking part of your brain and just go with the flow. Reilly allows me to do that, he is a guilty pleasure that I always find enjoyable. With some impressive fire fights, daring skin of your teeth escapes, and adventure it is worth the read. If you like the synopsis and are willing to picture the summer's action blockbuster, this is the book for you. If you want technical details and realism then I would recommend something else. Ice Station, and its sequels are fantastic escapism storytelling. Recommended.

Plot 7/10
Characters 7/10
Style 8.5/10

Overall 7.5/10