What reading a lot of one author does is that it makes one particular character set in your mind. One such character who comes to mind is Shane Schofield (call sign: Scarecrow), hero of Matthew Reilly’s novels. Reading Scarecrow and the Army of Thieves brought me this masterful character, and I’ve not hesitated in reading the other novels out of the series order.
In Ice Station, Mattew Reilly took me, along with his main protagonist, Shane Schofield (call sign: Scarecrow) to a research station in the Antarctic, Wilkes Ice Station, a five level structure deep into the Antarctic ice; and the reason for the visit? Two teams of the ice station are killed following the discovery of a spacecraft, with possible outer space origins. When Scarecrow arrives, so have the French, the allies who are also enemies. In the ensuing action, there are deaths, including three of Scarecrow’s team as well. Which side will end up coolest and calmest on the ice?
What makes a thriller for me is pace. I’ve said it before, and I’ll most likely say it again. And Ice Station is one that delivers on that aspect, and how! Plenty of action helps that a lot, and just when you think the action is over, it picks up again. The characters are interesting. Scarecrow’s usual group is good at wreaking havoc, but it’s the team leader who’s most devastating.
What I would have liked to see in the book was a bit more life. The characters seem like they’re on their first mission and don’t know each other well, but in contradiction, two of them are close friends, some work at the same research station and what not. If that wasn’t enough, there’s a whiff of a love angle that doesn’t develop into anything either.
Though the action details do seem a bit over the top at times, and make me go, “Really? Can that happen?” I think the book overall was a good thriller. It kept me hooked from start to end and was stunning. Knowing what followed this book, a debut like this was just right.
|Title: Ice Station||Series: Shane Schofield #1|
|Author(s): Matthew Reilly||Genre: Thriller|
|ISBN/ASIN: 9780330513463||Publisher: Pan MacMillan|
|No. of Pages: 704||Price: Rs. 399|
(© 10th April 2015)