Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Death in the ice

I am all for a little mindless monster fiction every once and again. Or every week if it is any good. Lincoln Child co-created one of the great modern monsters with Relic and his latest Terminal Freeze is good fun as well.

This one will immediately remind you of Who Goes There/ The Thing with a far North scientific expedition uncovering what seems to be a saber tooth tiger in the ice. Not long after that a Discovery Channel-like documentary crew helicopters in and takes over the exhibition. They are such total bastards that you wonder if Mr. Child has had some run-ins with Hollywood in the past. A couple are so eggregious that they may as well be wearing I Am Going to Die....Badly shirts.

So it isn't exactly original and it telegraphs some of the bodycount, but it is still a good read. Child knows how to build and sustain tension and he gives just enough detail and background to enrich the story without weighing it down. Some times he moves a little too fast, there is one sub-plot that he seems to have felt needed extra tension, but it felt like a throwaway.

The monster is cool, especially in his gruesome attacks. For most of the book, when asked to describe it, survivors just started gibbering and going mad. I thought he was going to go down the too-terrible-to-describe Lovecraft path, but worry not, he eventually reveals and I think it works well.

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