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Customer Review

VINE VOICEon 25 July 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
When a strange infection takes hold of most of the world's population, a small group of refinery workers in the Arctic are initially protected from the pandemic. But they soon tire of waiting for a rescue that never comes, and eventually decide to make their own way south to establish contact with whatever might be left of civilisation.

The disparate bunch - a suicidal female vicar, a sikh handyman who seems to be maintaining the rig single-handedly, a body-building thug, a failed medic, a bank cashier looking for a bit of excitement, and various 'Star Trek'-like bit-part extras (i.e doomed to meet a bitter end!), always manage to take the least sensible or safe option (wouldn't you be more likely to stay put in your heated refuge with 6 months of food and no sign of the undead?!). However their foolhardiness admittedly does keep the action and excitement ticking along nicely. And this is probably the book's greatest strength - the incredibly fast pace and constant changes of scene. On the flipside, most of the characters are not fleshed out properly, and potentially tense and exciting situations often resolved without explanation (such as the crew member who exits the plot in the first half of the book, yet inexplicably reappears toward the end with no detail of how or why they engineered their own return).

The number of high octane explosions, crashes, fights, and treks through the frozen wastes convince me that the author had a screenplay in mind from the outset with this book. And it probably would translate quite well into a sort of polar '28 Days Later'. But it's a shame that someone who I think probably is capable of writing a slightly more highbrow novel (as evidenced by the convincing descriptions of the inhospitable frozen environment) has opted for action over substance or suspense.

In summary, tersely written and a very easy read, but probably more public transport fare than Pulitzer prize.
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