5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Excellent first novel,
This review is from: Dead Men (Paperback)
I enjoyed Dead Men very much. Initially uncertain if the contemporary strand of the story could prove as compelling as the interwoven polar scenes of a century ago (which bring Scott's ill-fated expedition palpably to life), as the book progressed I became just as intrigued by Adam and Birdie, an apparently ill-matched pair, and where their relationship would lead. It also became clear that, to work as a novel rather than simply another historical account, the story needed a contemporary narrative and characters to lend it perspective, contrast and relevance to readers today.
Birdie in particular - a kind of wilful female Banksy who happens to share the name of one of Scott's perished colleagues and whose obsession to visit Antarctica and discover their long-buried tent drives much of the narrative - is a genuinely original, complex and fascinating creation. Never predictable, or even that likeable, it is to Pierce's credit that we understand Adam's attraction to her nonetheless, that she remains the central force in the book and that we turn the pages eagerly as their own journey unravels.
The author's dialogue, his ability to evoke the harshness and beauty of the polar landscape, and to keep the story moving briskly forward, are especially noteworthy. I can thoroughly recommend Dead Men as an excellent first novel and look forward to seeing what he produces next.