Book Review: A Line in the Ice


Its weapon fell limply onto the ice. A few yards away, Theo’s monster finally crumpled to the ground.

“Jesus Christ.” Theo straightened and approached the fallen creatures. “I don’t like the fact that they’re getting smarter.”

“Are they?” She holstered her weapon as they walked. “Or were we just lucky until now?”

“I especially don’t like the fact that they’re armed now.” He put the strap of his rifle over his shoulder, though he was still tense, ready for a fight. “Steward? Guliyev? How are you doing over there?”

“We brought down the third creature, but we have a problem.” Lisa’s voice. It seemed like it came from the other end of a long tunnel.

“There’s a hole in our fuel tank,” her partner, Eduard, interjected.

“Shit,” Charlie muttered. “Who’d we piss off today to deserve this kind of luck?”

Soren’s voice cut through. “Can you patch it up?”

Charlie didn’t like the long pause before Lisa’s answer. “I’m going to try. It’s not big yet. We haven’t lost too much fuel.”

“How far away are they, Soren?”

“About two miles.”

Not so far on the glider. “We’ll retrieve these weapons and be there as soon as we can. We’ve got enough juice to share in case you lose too much.”

“Is the rift clear?”

She glanced back at the fissure. “Yeah, there’s nothing…”

Her voice faded away. At the edge of the crevice, dark shadows smudged the ice. A trick of the glare, most likely, or something on her goggles. But though she didn’t move, the shadow lifted and then promptly collapsed against the icy plain.

Those weren’t optical illusions.

The smudges were gloved hands and the shadow, the unmistakable shape of a man.

I love the idea of there being worlds other than our own be they another planet, a separate dimension or some shadowy reality not quite like our own. When I read A Line in the Ice by Jamie Craig I was treated to a little bit of all of the above, or at least it seemed that way as I read the book. The book tells the story of a unit of international special operative soldiers who have been tasked with doing something no one ever really expected them to do. They must defend the world from monsters that have started emerging from a mysterious rift in the middle of Antarctica.

The soldiers are good at what they do, but they are thrown for a loop when a half dead human being emerges from the very same rift. Is this stranger friend or foe? Does the fantastic story he tells give them the key to victory or portend their doom along with the rest of the planet? How much can anyone trust someone else that they just met?

The book is a well crafted piece of science fiction that blends the action of old time pulp stories with more modern storytelling sensibilities. The characters are distinct and realistic in their particular habits and passions, making it easy to imagine them all living in one of earth’s most forbidding environments. I enjoyed the story and the interpersonal conflict that takes place within the confines of the larger conflict of the impending alien invasion. Even if you’re not a fan of science fiction you should enjoy the book because outside of the aliens themselves there is little in the way of science to deal with. Most of the story takes place in a very real world filled with all of the modern inconveniences of twenty-first century communications and military equipment.

The quick pace of the book makes for a fast, but satisfying read though there are a few distractions along the way, one of which was major in my mind. Mid-way through the book the two main characters, Charlie (or Charlene on her birth certificate) and Lysander, become romantically involved. This is not unexpected given the authors’ previous works and in itself does not bother me since the fit seems natural and even a bit expected as the story evolves. What I have a problem with are the sex scenes.

Now before you start shouting, “PRUDE!” in my general direction hear me out. I do not have a problem with sex scenes in books, not even somewhat pornographic sex scenes as the ones in this book are, but their placement and completely graphic nature were so off putting that it made me uncomfortable. I love a good piece of erotica and after re-reading the sections they are indeed well written and would have found a home in any sexual thriller or erotic romance. Their place in this book, in my opinion, is unnecessary. Soon after finishing the first sex scene I talked it over with my wife and the best explanation I could come up with was that it felt like someone had slipped a few paged of Penthouse Letters into my copy of Guns and Ammo. As a result the scenes felt out of place and distracted me from the rest of what was going on. I think the authors would have been better off going with the less is more approach to the scenes instead of slapping the reader in the face with such an erotic offering.

All in all I think this was a good book and worth picking up. The story is intense and moves along quickly, making for an excellent vacation read. Don’t try to read this in fits and starts, because it will suck you in from the beginning. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys action or alien invasion stories since this has both.

For more information on the authors please check out their web page at: http://www.jamie-craig.com/

Tour Notes:
Please vote for my blog in the traffic-breaker poll for this tour. The blogger with the most votes wins a free promotional twitterview and a special winner’s badge. I want that to be me! You can vote in the poll by visiting the official Line in the Ice blog tour page and scrolling all the way to the bottom.
Learn more about this author duo by visiting their websiteblogFacebook or GoodReads pages or by connecting with them on Twitter.

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2 thoughts on “Book Review: A Line in the Ice

  1. Good review, Eric! I voted for you! I think I would have the same problem with the “out-of-place” feeling that the sex scene would evoke. The book sounds like a fun read, although the following sequence of lines sort of made my eyes fly open: “Its weapon fell limply onto the ice. A few yards away, Theo’s monster finally crumpled to the ground.

    “Jesus Christ.” Theo straightened and approached the fallen creatures. “I don’t like the fact that they’re getting smarter.”

    It reads/read to me like the monster is being identified as Jesus Christ! While I am certain that was not the author’s intention, (at least I hope not!), it did give me pause. . . 😉

    Good luck Eric, and great job! BTW, what have you found out about the NC Writers Conf. Are you going to go?

    1. Thanks Paula!

      I haven’t found any new details on the conference as of yet since they don’t seem to be available, but I did find out that it is well worth going to…at least in the opinion of some of the people in the writer’s group I joined.

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