BEYOND THE ICE LIMIT by Douglas Preston

BEYOND THE ICE LIMIT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Effective Engineering Solutions’ chief honcho, Eli Glinn, is out of his wheelchair, walking and ready for revenge after his agent Gideon Crew discovered a "restorative, health-giving lotus" on his last adventure (The Lost Island, 2014, etc.).

Years ago, Glinn was nearly killed (thus the wheelchair) when his ship, the Rolvaag, sank two miles below the sea in the Hesperides Deep near the South Pole ice limit. The Rolvaag was transporting a 25,000 ton meteorite—"the largest meteorite in the world"—that EES had been paid to remove from nearby Isla Desolación by billionaire Palmer Lloyd. Now Glinn has learned the sunken meteorite has begun to grow into a treelike form, nicknamed "the Baobab" because of its shape. Glinn believes it’s an extraterrestrial life form, an alien seed that will destroy the Earth. He wants Crew to destroy it with a nuclear device. Thus begins relentless mayhem, another thrill-a-minute read. Piloting a Deep Submergence Vehicle, Crew snips a piece of Baobab. Aboard ship, the segment mutates into wormlike creatures that drill through the nasal passages and into the brains of sleeping crew, who thereafter run amok at Baobab’s bidding. Series readers will see a new side of the enigmatic Glinn. Crew remains the standard angst-driven hero. There’s the requisite slovenly, boorish, yet brilliant computer genius and a less memorable supporting cast. New readers will struggle with minimal references to EES’s raison d'être and its fabled Quantitative Behavior Analysis. There’s diving lore, a précis on assembling a nuke, and a short, dense dissection of "endoplasmic reticulum" and "Golgi bodies" to conjecture a "carbon-hydrogen-silicon-oxygen form of life" that seems to have no purpose other than the biological imperative.

Science fiction as action adventure, the sort of book primed for screen treatment if a producer can find a sufficient F/X budget.

Pub Date: May 17th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-4555-2586-7
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2016




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