On a hot summer day picking up Blood and Ice by Robert Masello may make you thankful for the heat. Set in Antarctica, this science fiction/horror thriller chills the reader in more way than one. Two stories ultimately converge within this novel. The first is the story of Eleanor and Sinclair, and soldier and a nurse tossed aside a ship near Antarctica in 1856. The second is of Michael Wilde, a journalist for an eco-travel magazine, who is escaping personal tragedy for the opportunity of a life-time in Antarctica. Sent to document and photograph the harsh conditions and the scientists that make the extreme continent their home, Michael uncovers more than he bargained for, and more than the secluded community may be able to handle.
For a horror novel, the ending was strangely both positive and satisfying. The character Michael has been written as someone anyone would like to count as their friend. He is intelligent and strong, level-headed but compassionate. On the other hand, the book does have its spooky moments! Antarctica is such a terrifying setting because of the deadliness of the climate and the impossibility of escape. In addition, the combination of the past and present stories is done remarkably well.
There were a few points where I wished the story would progress a little faster. I found some of the passages tedious. I don’t know if that was meant to reflect on the setting, but I was often waiting for something else to happen. But overall this was a good read for hot summer days.