Scientist at a station in the antarctic discover what appears to be a spacecraft frozen in the ice deep below the station in a half water filled cave. While a team of US marines make their way to the station, half of the scientists disappear while diving to see the craft. When the marines get to the station, there are French scientists there as well. It isn’t long before all hell breaks lose as the US, French and even British Commandos try to capture what is in the ice.
Written by Matthew Reilly, Ice Station was his first novel published worldwide (Contest being published by himself first). Rather than writing a normal novel, Reilly decided to write a movie, and put it into a book. This means you have amazing sets, non stop action and more stunts than you can shake a stick at. It is these stunts that would have any stunt coordinator licking his lips as he reads each next scene. While some have claimed that Ice Station is perhaps short on character development and just filled with action, check out any Jerry Bruckheimer movie to see that the formula is tried, tested and works very well.
In a way, the book is very similar to the way Alistair MacLean used to write. Its a fast book, with the action moving as fast as the reader can keep up. Complex plot points are passed by in preference to keeping up the pace of the scene. As with Alistair MacLean, it works very well indeed.
The characters are great, each filling a stereo typical role, good guys, bad guys, sneaky french guys, traitorous guys etc. While you may not get their full history, you do not need it to enjoy this rip snorting action book.
The place where most of the action takes place is the Ice Station which is built several layers down into the ice. This is a great place for scenes as not only is it enclosed but you have the constrained feeling that you get in movies such as Alien or The Thing from Another World. When the bad guys are after you, there are only so many places to run and hide.
Adding to the craziness are some of creatures that appear throughout the book. They add a little more unpredictability to the action as well as some horror. Admitedly, there are times when the book strays well into the relms of unbelievable but these times are few and far between and are still highly enjoyable regardless.
There has been talk of Ice Station being made into a movie with a movie company even buying the rights to it but at this time, nothing has happened yet. If they do make the movie, they won’t need to add any extra action as this book is full of the stuff.
If you have ever watched a summer blockbuster that was long on action, explosions, car chases and high tech weaponry and loved it, then pick up Ice Station. You will enjoy it.