The Ice by Laline Paull
Release Date; 4th May 2017
It’s the day after tomorrow and the Arctic sea ice has melted. While global business carves up the new frontier, cruise ships race each other to ever-rarer wildlife sightings. The passengers of the Vanir have come seeking a polar bear. What they find is even more astonishing: a dead body. It is Tom Harding, lost in an accident three years ago and now revealed by the melting ice of Midgard glacier. Tom had come to Midgard to help launch the new venture of his best friend of thirty years, Sean Cawson, a man whose business relies on discretion and powerful connections – and who was the last person to see him alive. Their friendship had been forged by a shared obsession with Arctic exploration. And although Tom’s need to save the world often clashed with Sean’s desire to conquer it, Sean has always believed that underneath it all, they shared the same goals. But as the inquest into Tom’s death begins, the choices made by both men – in love and in life – are put on the stand. And when cracks appear in the foundations of Sean’s glamorous world, he is forced to question what price he has really paid for a seat at the establishment’s table. Just how deep do the lies go?
Set in the not too distant future the story centralizes around Sean Carson, a self-made entrepeneur and Tom Harding, a passionate environmentalist. Initially brought together by their love of the Arctic, The Ice follows the two men over a 30 year friendship, both before and after Tom passed away.
The bulk of the plot follows the inquest in to Tom’s death. With Sean and the supporting cast taking the stand the full twisted take of Tom’s death and Sean’s deception becomes clear.
As for genre… I’m not entirely sure where it would fall. Definitely adult but speculative fiction? political thriller? murder mystery?
For me the story was a slow burner, with most of the action beginning at 90%. It wasn’t until I was most of the way through that I realised that the inquest was the main focus of the plot. Although the chapters jumping back to the lead up to Tom’s demise was a good break up for me.
Sean Carson, the main character, is the typical workaholic, nearly alcoholic, rich bloke with a failed marriage, a daughter who hates him and a girl friend who is half his age… pretty standard.
It took me a long way into the book to develop any feelings for any of the cast; main or supporting. For me they were all pretty stereotypical;
The tormented unhappy business man
The rich boy environmentalist
The jack ass super rich old guy
The bitchy mistress
The sex-hungry european
The teenager with daddy issues
And a couple of scorned ex’s
Joe Kingston (the jack ass super rich old guy) was my favorite character, he was hideous. Although the most predictable character, by far, he was the most entertaining and added some fire to the cast.
I found that the plot focused so much on the environmental climate change issue that it over shadowed what was ultimately the main story line. I would have definitely enjoyed the book a bit more if there was less focus on climate change and more focus on character building or plot expansion. At times it felt although I was reading a Greenpeace manifesto. Dont get me wrong im all for preventing global warming, I just don’t want it continually rammed down my throat when im trying to read. On the other hand, I am more aware and feel although I understand the struggles that the people fighting to protect our Earth are going through.
This isn’t the type of book I would usually read. I am usually head first into a fast paced fantasy with minimum love and maximum blood OR speculative/dystopian, end of the world chaos. In a lot of ways this would technically fall into the speculative fiction category although in a slower more educational way. This read was a lot slower than I was used to, I carried on reading because I utterly and genuinely enjoyed Lalaine’s writing style. I could read her write about anything and still be interested. What made me appreciate the book more was the massive amount of research and care it clearly has taken to write the book.
I enjoyed her writing style sooooo much I rushed out and bought her other book THE BEES before I had finished this, and I cant wait to read it, I have heard great things.
Overall it was a strong 3 STAR read.
You can check out the author… HERE
Thank you NetGalley, Harper Collins 4th Estate UK & Laline Paul
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