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4.1 out of 5 stars32
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 12 November 2012
I really liked this book - The main story is about unusual activity in Alaska initially involving Albanians who have hijaked a truck after a major power cut. It leads on to involve North Koreans digging into an underground bunker to obtain chemical weapons and then the subsequent interrogation of suspects and high speed chases in temperatures down to 65 below. The main characters happen to speak Albanian and Korean fluently and although this might seem a bit far fetched, the way the author puts the different characters together and the details of the plot appear to show a good understanding of espionage and related issues, so it comes across realistically. There is a sub-plot woven between the chapters, so that some of the chapters are Marcus (the main character) in a former period of his life, where he almost dies before rescuing a whole group of people in Africa. This plot serves to give background to the character and his relationship with the other main character, but is a thriller in its own right as well. Once I got into this book I wanted to keep reading. Its definitely gripping, its well written with convincing detail. The only reason for not giving it 5 stars is I found the formatting frustrating. Everything is centre aligned, rather than the conventional left alignment - this meant that at the end of some sentences/paragraphs there would be a single word in the middle of the page. It comes with very small typeface so I had to enlarge it, which admitedly is easy to do on the kindle, but then every now and again some sentences would be in much larger typeface. There were also some other niggles with the formatting but overall I would recommend the book and if these things can be ironed out then it would be worthy of 5 stars.
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on 28 November 2010
This was first read on my kindle. It was bought for Christmas and I opened the box when it arrived to make sure everything was OK. In the time it took to switch on, read the intro and the start of the manual 16 books had been downloaded. Impressive. I had selected mostly free classics to see how the kindle store worked before the kindle arrived. One of the ones I paid for before receiving the kindle, while 'just putting my toe in the water' on kindle store shopping, was 65 Below.

At 72 pence it is remarkable value. I hope the marketing strategy works. At that price I have put all the author's books on my wish list,after having checked out the rest of his books in the kindle store, because I thoroughly enjoyed 65 below. So the strategy might work.

Its a cracking good read. Its a great thriller with a nice use of flash back to keep you guessing how its gets worked into the plot. There are some colourful characters and great descriptions of Alaska. Well, I couldn't put the kindle back in the box straight away I had to finish 65 Below because its a such a ripping yarn.

I finished the book in 30 hours having tried reading in the living room, study, bedroom, outside at my German gliding club (my Dutch mate was intrigued by the kindle), bed with the bedside light on and then with just the light in the kindle cover.

The only downside of the book was a number of typos/wrong word usage (presumably due to spell checker use)and some technical errors which were mildly annoying. Is this normal for e-books because it does detract from the reading experience? However, it allowed me to experiment with the kindle highlighting function - now how do I get them to the author/publisher!

So thanks 65 Below for a great first kindle read and test run before I see the kindle again on Christmas day!

Definitely recommended as an easy first kindle read to get one into the kindle experience.
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65 Below is one of the greatest discoveries that I found on the internet. It introduced me to a whole new realm of writing; podcast novels. Talented writers writing and narrating online audiobooks as a means of promoting themselves and their talents. 65 Below was the first of these I encountered, and it was one of the most thrilling and intelligent pieces of fiction I'd ever been exposed to.

And now 65 Below has been reborn, from audiobook to e-book. And whatever the format, the story remains a rollercoaster of a tale, complete with twists and turns that make for one of the best internet finds any fiction lover can sink their teeth into.

The author, Basil Sands, has really composed a marvellous setting and an exhilarating plot. Terrorists uncovering a biological weapon in an underground bunker in Alaska, with Marines trying to stop them as temperatures plummet to sixty-five below zero...GREAT premise. But as extreme is it may sound, the whole story is presented so plausibly. Due to his own real-life experiences and background, Sands displays a genuine understanding and respect for so many different cultures, laws, nationalities, weaponry, organisations and espionage in general. And it's because of his wealth of knowledge and his intelligent, engaging writing style that allows the story to succeed.

Characters (such as main protagonists Marcus Johnson and Lonnie Wyatt) are given wonderfully-deep backgrounds, fascinating sub-plots are handled with care, all the right buttons are hit, the pace is terrific and stays away from being long-winded and the conclusion is both rewarding and satisfying, with all loose ends tied up.

65 Below blew me away first time, and it still does to this day. For thriller-seekers, podcasters, audiobooks performers and writers/readers in general, you will find this utterly inspiring. Basil Sands' finest work ever, and at a bargain price, there's virtually no reason to NOT put this onto your kindle. Highly recommended.
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on 2 July 2012
I liked the storyline so bought the book but I gave up reading it after eight chapters, something that I very rarely do as it's finally admitting that you've just wasted all that time.

Too much is written about things that add little or nothing to the story. For example, the Trooper presses the button on her car key with the padlock, the indicators flash as the doors unlock. That's all well and good, I do it every day myself, I don't need to read about someone else doing it. If the car then exploded I could understand the detail but no, she simply gets in a drives away.

Then there's the officer who gets to set a trapping line on the military base for personal gain, something that others wait years for but he manages to get it quickly because he bumped into his CO in a hotel with someone other than his wife. I've said enough for you to get the picture but the author gives a detailed description of this other woman and the discussion that took place. There's no need for it.

I can overlook some of the credibility issues, such as so many of the few residents being ex special forces or the languages spoken by the terrorists being the same ones learned by those few residents, but details for nothing is a step too far.
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on 21 January 2014
I can't say enjoyed this book but I was riveted by it. It is a very violent story and I did find the love story theme a little annoying, but it was well written, moving at a fast pace and holding my interest to the end. There are quite a few proof reading errors throughout the book but not enough that it stopped me reading.
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on 17 August 2013
This is a fine romp set in Alaska with a good storyline, interesting flashback story and involving characters - there is some good luck that our hero's talented chums are serving in the region, and personally I could do without his poetic side, but I guess it is intended to broaden out the devoted main character. Very enjoyable.
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on 1 April 2013
Yeap with my weakness of snowy thrillers-especially in Alaska- I downloaded this on the cover alone. It began as an interesting read and then - bang! I was hooked, matchsticks keeping eyes open hooked. I hope to read many more by this author, I've always enjoyed Chris Ryan and Andy McNabs books but frankly I enjoyed Basil Sands more. Download, read and enjoy.
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on 11 April 2013
A reasonable read, but it relies on the whole of Alaska being full of ex special forces. That may be true, but as each new one came along, I felt it got less plausible. First time I have seen teh North Koreans as the 'bad guys'
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on 19 February 2012
A great mix of Stieg Larsson like intrigue, crossed with Cold War-esque conspiracy and a dash of romance. The plot is a touch unlikely at times, but nonetheless, this was a real page turner. Shame about the increasing number of typos in the second half of the book. Didn't want it to end.
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on 7 October 2012
If we are to believe this novel everyone in Alaska is either military, police or ex-military or ex-police who can spot terrorists straight away (well, they had clues like they aint from around here). If not then they are North Korean or of Korean descent. Everyone knows everyone else and can assemble a well armed posse at a moment's notice.
A fast paced read, and fun despite the typos.
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