Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Beneath the Dark Ice by Greig Beck

Beneath the Dark Ice (Alex Hunter, #1)Beneath the Dark Ice by Greig Beck

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Let me preface this review by saying that one of my favorite books of all time is an action/adventure novel set in Antarctica. So I was trying so hard not to compare them.  Trying hard (sighs dramatically)!

When you read a new author, there is always that 'getting to know each other' period that can at times be rough. With this book, it was a bit rough.   Wasn't sure about the way he told his story. I couldn't get a feel for the characters.   Some felt a little thin to me.  I told myself to give it a chance. Glad I did. But as I kept reading, I got drawn deeper into this story.  This is one of those 'wait for it' type reads.  And yes, Beck does deliver.

Warning to the Wise:  Stay out of deep caves!

Oh man. It just kept getting worse. I really have an issue with creepy crawly stuff and Beck kept it coming. I had no idea that the storyline would go in this direction.  This is one of those books where I was highly vocal as I read.  A whole chorus of "Ugh! Yuck! OMG! Ick! That's nasty." You get the idea.  I'm a bit claustrophobic and since I don't like creepy-crawly stuff, you definitely won't catch me going into some prehistoric cave after reading this book.  I mean, I love animals and nature, but this place was freaky!  I like that uncrossable barrier between hidden ecosystems in which humans are scrumptious prey.  Very much, thank you!  My innate fear of contagion was going crazy in that place!

Alex Hunter. He's the man!

While my true Special Forces literary husband will always be Shane "Scarecrow" Schofield, I have to say that Alex is pretty cool. I love his super-abilities.  And he's a very humble kind of guy. He's all about the mission, and he is a protector.  Honorable.  He's not on some ego trip.  I even liked how he had to stop himself from hulking out.  That was kind of different--in a good way.  I will be reading more of his adventures.

Man, the body count!

This is one of those books where people are dying right and left. And in nasty ways.  Oh, that poor guy with the you know whats eating him up. Ugh!  It sucked!  I liked a lot of characters who didn't make it. And that tool, you know which one I meant, he caused a particularly painful death for one of the guys.  He bit the dust in a nasty way, so he didn't get off scot-free.  But still, the loser!  This is one of those books that you shouldn't get attached to any characters, 'cause you never know....

Cold Settings Are Awesome!

I love cold weather and I have this strange love for Antarctica.  I was excited to read another book set there. This book is kind of a cheat in that regard. Because they end up underground and it's warm and like a tropical type (in a really strange way) ecosystem, we don't get a lot of cold weather action. In a way that was cool, because I was not allowed to draw comparisons to my beloved book of all books. If you know me, you know which book I am talking about.

The Adversaries

Don't get me wrong. I love me some Russian characters. But that Uli is such a jerk. I couldn't stand him. A sadistic, evil, horrible, thug.  He lacked some depth for me, and I couldn't even think he was a cool villain. He was just a jerk. Like a particularly psychotic schoolyard bully.  The whole Russian part didn't really do much for me anyway. I think that it did add some tension to the story, but fundamentally, this is more of a man versus nature conflict story.  That part got my attention much more.  Ugh, huge slug-monsters and worms.  Ick!

Overall Thoughts

This was a good action/adventure novel. While not perfect, it has some things to commend it, namely, creeptastic moments where the characters are pitted against icky prehistoric gross monsters. I liked the high-tech weaponry, especially that gas-projectile gun (very cool).  And a pretty cool lead with some awesome abilities.  Aimee was very likable too. She knew her stuff and her personality was good.  I will read more of this author, and stay my butt out of deep, subterranean caves!

Recommend it with reservations!

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