Ice Station by Matthew Reilly
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Series: Shane Schofield (Book 1)
Genre: High-octane action thriller
I don’t usually write nor post reviews for thrillers, but Ice Station was way too entertaining and exhilarating for me not to put it out there.
I’ve been getting hooked on thrillers of late, and the Agent Pendergast series by Preston & Child is my current favourite of this genre. They are the perfect morsel of a fast-paced and addictive read that I need when I needed a break from heavier reads (which includes SFF given the worldbuilding that’s typically involved). Thanks to my awesome co-blogger, Eon, I picked up what he called a ridiculous over-the-top edge-of-your-seat thriller. And my gosh, he described this book to perfection.
Ice Station turned out to really great fun to read, and mainly in part to the OTT action involved. The main character and eponymous hero, Shane Schofield, is a badass, handsome but scarred, Lieutenant of the US Marine Corp that earned loyalty from his team because he is also a good man. In spite of all the action – and there is A LOT of it – I felt that Reilly still managed to provide some solid character development to Schofield as a person. While we all know he won’t be dying anytime soon, because he is the hero of the series, I sympathised with him and all the horrible things he had to go through.
Now, on to what made this book ridiculously fun. The practically non-stop and insane, high-octane action. My goodness, the action in this book puts the Mission Impossible movies to shame. If you look at the page count, you can see that this book is not short. It was also really fast-paced and full of intense action sequences which were fairly long as well. Sometimes too many prolonged action scenes can start to get boring or messy, but not in this book. Firstly, there’s variety in the action to make it exciting. And secondly, Reilly’s writing was very cinematic. I found it really easy to visualise the action and play out the scenes in my mind.
One annoying thing I have to mention though, and it’s so typical in thrillers, is the obvious expository writing. A few lines would have sufficed most of the times, but to have passages of explanation of how this guy managed to trick the other person, etc etc, is something that I’ve never enjoyed reading.
All in all, Ice Station did more than satisfy what I wanted to get out of reading a thriller, and that’s good enough for me. If you’re looking for some seriously OTT fun and wouldn’t mind suspending disbelief for the pure enjoyment of reading an edge-of-the-seat action thriller, I’d highly recommend Ice Station.