Some days before leaving for holidays my wife and I go to the library to borrow some books for her. While waiting for my wife choice I skimmed though the books. Being in a library is always a strong feeling for all those, like me, enjoy reading. Having recently read “deception point” by Dan Brown that tells about polar station and the like, I was promptly attracted by this “Ice Station” by Matthew Reilly.
I was quite curious to see how the same core idea (an alien evidence found in Antarctica) would be treated by two different writers.
The idea is simple, there is this polar scientific station where somewhat that could be an alien spaceship is found well below the sea level. The cave where the artifact is found is reachable only via scuba diving for some 900m.
The first divers group loses the radio contact with the base right after reaching the cave. The second team with rescue purposes follows the same fate.
The personnel in the base decide to call for help, but a solar activity severely hampers the communication. In the help request the wireless operator talks about an alien spaceship.
Although no answer is received, the call has been listened by three different countries – USA, France and Great Britain. Antarctica is not really under any jurisdiction and basically no law is enforced.
The story focuses on the marine commander “Scarecrow” Schofield who heads the US mission with the goal of defending the spaceship.
The premise is intriguing enough and the book is written pretty well and the story is full of action so I have been hooked in pretty fast.
There are a couple of minor glitches: first the plot is excessively based on coincidences. Beware of the spoil: the base is built over an old and forgotten military base. A few miles away another abandoned ice station is located and this base is in the iceberg were Schofield and another pal found themselves after a fighting. In this base, lost more than 30 years before they found two perfectly working scuba sets.
Other examples of this are: founding the right weapon or being at the right place.
The other glitch is about science. Diving in a bell requires the bell itself to be pressurized to balance the pressure of the water (otherwise the water would fill the bell). Moreover 900 is quite a high pressure for a scuba diver. If it is not beyond human capabilities is right away. Then, at least as far as I know, scuba divers must be extremely careful on decompression because of embolism while the writer is more concerned about compression.
Anyway these are just minor annoyances the book is really good ad I appreciated it far more than Dan Brown’s.