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4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 3 October 2013
Having read the author's note I approached this book with some trepidation. The story takes a while to get going, and the first half of the book lacks depth and credibility. I persevered and found the second half more rewarding. I would have to agree with the author that it is lightweight, but it is nonetheless ultimately worth reading.
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on 5 January 2016
I found this book well written for what I gather was a first attempt. However, the background to the characters I found to be laid on rather heavily. Much of the science was good. The whole plot however seemed over contrived and formulaic. Like many hollywood films it appeared to place "excitement" to be more important to realism. I read it all the way through but the main characters seemed too unbelievable. I am going to read "Sinkhole" next to see if the author has produced a more realistic background. This should be interesting as I have been a caver for many years and therefore a good knowledge of the background.
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on 16 December 2013
I thoroughly enjoyed this book ,would certainly try another by this author. I liked the thought of the ancients being involved with our survival,a good read.
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on 6 January 2014
Really enjoyed this, bought out of curiosity to be honest but was pleasantly surprised and found it an entertaining read.
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on 3 October 2013
Great read, good pace and a good story well told. Likeable and unlikable characters go arm in arm,only slight criticism is end felt a bit rushed,wont say why would spoil the ending,but well worth a read
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on 12 June 2015
Apart from giving a date as 2039 at the beginning then completely ignoring it, this is a reasonable adventure yarn. By this year, 2015, we have made so many advances, especially technologically over the past 55 years that by 2039 you really would expect much more. This story doesn't give it. But that said, it does read well and the pace keeps going. I would also have expected at least some domestic farm animals to be mentioned at the end, plus babies and young children. Also, if the transporter held everyone's DNA, how come the originators didn't use it when they started dying out? They could have carried on continually until they stopped whatever was killing them off.
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HALL OF FAMEon 25 January 2005
In 1929, a map of the New World dated 1513 CE was discovered. Highly detailed, the cartographer declared in his notes that he had drawn on many sources, some quite ancient, to produce the chart. The cartographer was a Turkish Admiral and the chart became known as the Piri Reis Map. Among its mysteries, it depicted a detailed shoreline of Antarctica.
The Piri Reis Map becomes a key element in Deborah Jackson's adventurous tale of scientists confronting bizarre mysteries in harsh conditions. Erica Daniels is a mountain climber. She's a vulcanologist and the mountains she climbs are capable of ejecting her from their slopes - along with tons of rock, ash and lava. Erica has had more than mountains to conquer. The machinations of ambitious men have been as severe a hazard as any pyroclastic flow. In university, her career well planned and ready to be undertaken, her lover decamps with her thesis to initiate his own success.
As a result, David Marsh becomes a noted geologist. He's crafty and ambitious, rising to be chosen to investigate craters on the moon for water and minerals. Chance observations of our neighbour in space have indicated the possibility that Luna may not be as dead as is thought. If the moon has geological activity, it will have serious implications for any colony. NASA has already taken the first step with a HAB base constructed only nine years from now. In Jackson's story, the year 2015 will be portentious. Relations with China will have improved to the point where an astronaut from there will be joining Marsh on his expedition. There are interesting lunar features to explore and Marsh is the best researcher available. Or is he?
Although Daniels and Marsh carry abrasive memories of their past relationship, Jackson's story keeps them interacting at several levels. Erica has been called away from an Alaskan climb that threatened to extinguish her abilities - along with herself - to journey to the other Pole. From a "hotspot" atop an Alaskan mountain, she's been asked to cross the globe to Antarctica. Another "hotspot" - one that shouldn't exist - has been reported on the southernmost continent. Worse, it seems to have been gobbling up people. On her way, Erica encounters archaeologist Allan Rocheford. Inexplicably, this desert digger is also interested in the Antarctic hotspot. He has an idea of why it's there and what it implies. He's found something in a dig in Egypt that relates to the evidence given by the Piri Reis map - Antarctica hasn't always enjoyed the conditions there now. Is the "hotspot" under the ice an alien artefact? Or something even more profound?
Marsh arrives on the moon and begins exploring one of the mysterious "rilles" - deep ravines that stretch over the moonscape. He encounters wholly unexpected conditions. "Lava tubes" are a phenomenon of some Earth volcanoes. They are the result of quick surface cooling of molten magma leaving the interior still fluid and flowing. The result is a long cylinder of stone, easily adaptable to conversion into a habitat. On the moon the much-reduced force of gravity could leave such structures much larger than found here. What might such a stone configuration contain? With his Russian companion, Vochenkov, Marsh seeks understanding of this most bizarre of lunar secrets. Is the moon still an active world? What will that mean for the extension of the habitat? Marsh's explorations indicate he needs more expertise to resolve the riddles. Who better to supply that extra knowledge than Erica Daniels? The link between the mysterious structures on the moon and the enigma under Antarctic ice reveals the deepest mystery of all.
Jackson's book is a good reason why speculative fiction should shed its stigma of "fantasy based on research". Set in the immediate future, and based on a wealth of research, there is little here that couldn't be achieved in this story. Nor are the speculations wholly invalid. The Piri Reis Map was assessed by cartographers who deemed most of its displayed landforms as conforming to modern configurations. Jackson builds her story with care, staffing it with people we might encounter in any academic or government research facility. There are petty jealousies, intense emotion both attractive and repellent. The scientist's dedication to revealing the underlying elements of what appears to be fantastic is admirably displayed. Erica Daniels may appear a bit explosive, but what other characteristics is one to expect from a vulcanologist? David Marsh plunders a thesis, but competition among scientists has bred unsavoury conduct before. In short, this is an adventuresome tale in a realistic setting. It's something to take up when you seek excitement. You won't be disappointed. [stephen a. haines - Ottawa, Canada]
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on 29 January 2016
I blame myself, I really do. I read reviews and I go by them. When will I ever learn, eh? Ancient civilizations in Antarctica, alien bases on the moon and chick-lit to boot.....When will I ever learn, eh? When will I ever learn...?
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on 24 February 2014
The first chapter is heavy going, trying to keep up with who is where, as the narration does not make it clear when the dialog is from the base crew and when from the field crew, I needed to retread bits to keep up, once past this the book is an excellent read. One point I was reading on both a Kindle and an IPad mini (kindle app) the paragraph breaks which helped to define the text were much better interpreted on the IPad kindle app than on my kindle which made the book flow better, I ended up in the end reading the book on the IPad.
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on 13 April 2014
This is one of those novels that makes me glad that I have a Kindle - 75p for an enjoyable read and a good yarn to escape into on a day off from work. I liked the story with its two locations, Antarctica and the Moon and the developing tale of the ways in which the two are linked. It took some alternative history ideas and dropped them into a light hearted science fiction context in a way that provided a good read.
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