Buried deep in the earth's polar ice cap -- carved into a moving island of ice twice the size of the United States -- is the site of a remarkable experiment that blurred the line between life and death. Abandoned for more than seventy years, Ice Station Grendel -- the twisted brainchild of the finest minds of the former Soviet Union -- was designed to be inaccessible and virtually invisible. But an American undersea research vessel, the Polar Sentinel, has inadvertently pulled too close. And a crew member has seen something alive inside, something whose survival defies every natural law. As scientists, soldiers, intelligence operatives of two powerful nations, and unsuspecting civilians alike are drawn into Grendel's lethal vortex, no measures undertaken to protect its mysteries will be considered too extreme. Because the terrible truths locked behind submerged walls of ice and steel could forever alter humankind's future ... or destroy it.
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. (July 1) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
Showing 1-1 of the 1 most recent reviews
1 . Ice Hunt has me hooked!
Posted November 17, 2007 by David Carryer , Virginia, United StatesThis was my first James Rollins book and it was outstanding! The plot, the characters, the genius descriptions of emotions and events, it was all there! I wasn't just reading the story I was living it. I am now a true James Rollins fan! This book lays out a course and then changes direction on you when you least expect it... very well done... and an excellent story! I want more!
June 30, 2004
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Excerpt from Ice Hunt by James Rollins
FEBRUARY 6, 11:58 A.M.
538 KILOMETERS NORTH OF ARCTIC CIRCLE
FORTY FATHOMS UNDER THE POLAR ICE CAP
The USS Polar Sentinel was gliding through the dark ocean. The sub's twin bronze screws churned silently, propelling the Navy's newest research submarine under the roof of ice. The warning bells of the proximity alarms echoed down the length of the vessel.
"Sweet mother, what a monster," the diving officer mumbled from his post, bent over a small video monitor.
Captain Gregory Perry didn't argue with Commander Bratt's assessment. He stood atop the control room's periscope stand. His eyes were fixed to the scope's optical piece as he studied the ocean beyond the sub's double hull of titanium and plate-carbon steel. Though it was midday, it was still winter in the Arctic. It had been months since anyone had seen the sun. Around them the waters remained dark. The plane of ice overhead stretched black as far as he could see, interrupted only by occasional blue-green patches of thinner ice, filtering the scant moonlight of the surface world. The average thickness of the polar ice cap was a mere ten feet, but that did not mean the roof of their world was uniform or smooth. All around, jagged pressure ridges jutted like stalactites, some delving down eighty feet.
But none of this compared to the inverted mountain of ice that dropped into the depths of the Arctic Ocean ahead of them, a veritable Everest of ice. The sub slowly circled the peak.
"This baby must extend down a mile," Commander Bratt continued.
"Actually one-point-four miles," the chief of the watch reported from his wraparound station of instruments. A finger traced the video monitor of the top-sounding sonar. The high-frequency instrument was used to contour the ice.
Perry continued to observe through the periscope, trusting his own eyes versus the video monitors. He thumbed on the sub's xenon spotlights, igniting the cliff face. Black walls glowed with hues of cobalt blue and aquamarine. The sub slowly circled its perimeter, close enough for the ice-mapping sonar to protest their proximity.