The Ice
The Ice by Laline Paull
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Tom Harding and Sean Cawson are Arctic Explorers and best friends but as Sean becomes more successful in business Tom becomes more of an eco-warrior and when his body is recovered three years after the accident in which he disappeared, Sean must re-evaluate all his ideas of what success really means and whether it was worth it.

I like the premise of this book which is set only a few years into the future when climate change has really set in and the Arctic ice is melting. I can see that there is definitely scope for that to be exploited on both sides and I am sure that it will be if that is indeed what transpires and I think Laline Paull’s story based upon that idea is certainly an interesting one.

Having said that, I would have liked the Arctic itself to have been more of a “character” in the book, particularly as a lot of the human characters aren’t actually that likeable themselves – even Sean has done some quite unpleasant things to get where he is and Martine and Kingsmith are thoroughly reprehensible. In actuality, the whole group of people seem to be really self involved and it is therefore quite difficult to warm to them or start to be interested in what might happen to them.

The bits about the Arctic at the beginning of each chapter are interesting, but don’t always seem to relate to the rest of the action at that stage in the book and could probably be better placed with more careful thought. They do add to the idea of the Arctic being strange and interesting though, and again, this made me want to hear more about the land in the book than the machinations of the people involved.

In summary, I enjoyed the setting of this book as it is not one I have really had much to do with previously, and I would definitely read another set in the “Frozen North”. Whether I would read another by this author though, I am not really all that sure.

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