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Terminal Freeze Hardcover – February 24, 2009

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; First Edition edition (February 24, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385515510
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385515511
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 6.2 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (188 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #326,645 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Book Description
A breathtaking discovery at the top of the world...
A terrifying collision between modern science and Native American legend...
An electrifying new thriller from New York Times bestselling author Lincoln Child.

Two hundred miles north of the Arctic Circle lies Alaska’s Federal Wildlife Zone, one of the most remote and inhospitable places on Earth. But for paleoecologist Evan Marshall and a small group of fellow scientists, an expedition to the Zone represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to study the effects of global warming.

Everything about the expedition changes, however, with an astonishing find. On a routine exploration of a glacial ice cave, the group discovers an enormous ancient animal, encased in solid ice. The media conglomerate sponsoring their research immediately intervenes and arranges the ultimate spectacle--the creature will be cut from the ice, thawed, and revealed live on television. Despite dire warnings from the local Native American village, and the scientific concerns of Marshall and his team, the “docudrama” plows ahead... until the scientists make one more horrifying discovery. The beast is no regular specimen--it may be an ancient killing machine. And they may be premature in believing it dead.

In this riveting new thriller, Lincoln Child weaves together a stunning Arctic landscape, a terrifying mythic creature, and a pervasive mood of chaos--and fear. With Terminal Freeze, Child demonstrates why he has become a major bestselling author, and why his novels electrify and enthrall so many.

Amazon Exclusive: An Essay by Lincoln Child

When people ask why I write thrillers, I frequently give this answer: when I was in nursery school, my parents once gave me an empty notebook. As you might expect, I filled the first few pages with childish scrawls. But then I turned to the last page and drew something so frightening, I could never ever bring myself to look at it again.

That’s basically what I’ve been trying to do ever since: write a story so scary, even I wouldn’t dare read it.

Whether I’ve accomplished that in Terminal Freeze is your call to make. But while putting the novel together, I was careful to choose elements that increased my personal uneasiness factor. A forbidding and dangerous landscape, far from the safety and comfort of civilization. A deserted army base, unused for half a century, full of dead-ends and dark forgotten corners. And that most atavistic of terrors: a vicious enemy, as deadly as it is mysterious, that stalks and kills with impunity--and an apparently limitless appetite for death.

So I hope you’ll consider Terminal Freeze my contribution to that time-honored literary genre, the Campfire Tale From Hell. We’ve all heard them: the Thing hiding in the bedroom closet; the hook-wielding lover’s lane murderer. They tend to stay with you into the cold light of day, and they can be damnably hard to forget. If I’ve managed to even approach the level of fear that kind of story evokes, then I’ve done my job as a storyteller.

That childhood notebook of mine is now long gone. And yet I often think of it still, and wonder if--even today--I might have a little difficulty turning over that final page.

(Photo © Kramer Images)

From Publishers Weekly

In this taut, suspenseful SF thriller from bestseller Child (Deep Storm), an obscure scientific expedition in Alaska's remote Federal Wilderness Zone stumbles on the frozen body of what appears to be a saber-tooth tiger in a cave, though only the eyes are clearly visible through the ice. When news of the find reaches the cable television network sponsoring the expedition, Emilio Conti, a legendary documentary filmmaker, rushes to the scene, where he plans to film the thawing of the animal on live TV. After the frozen creature disappears, Conti suspects sabotage, until horribly eviscerated corpses begin to pile up at the military base hosting the expedition. Paleoecologist Evan Marshall suspects that the prehistoric beast is responsible—and that the initial identification of it as a saber-tooth was mistaken. While the story line of a horrific monster picking off a shrinking group of survivors in a confined area is nothing new, Child's superior writing raises this above the pack. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

More About the Author

Lincoln Child is the co-author, with Douglas Preston, of a number of bestselling thrillers including Relic, Riptide and The Ice Limit. Utopia is Lincoln Child's first solo novel: he is currently at work on his second. He lives with his wife and daughter in Morristown, New Jersey.

Customer Reviews

I have read all of his books but will not buy anymore.
D. Horbury
I enjoyed reading Terminal Freeze as I do reading all of Lincoln Child's solo books or his partnership with Douglas Preston.
Amazon Customer
Much of it is predictable and the Logan character adds little to the story.
N Gogol

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

188 of 198 people found the following review helpful By Aendigo on February 25, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I've been a fan of Lincoln Child's work (solo, and paired with Douglas Preston) ever since I read "The Relic" more than ten years ago. The fact that I've purchased and read all of the books they've published since then might be the reason why I'm becoming disillusioned with their work now. Child long ago discovered a formula that works for him (and his writing partner), and is very faithful to it. Whether you will like "Terminal Freeze" depends entirely on how you feel about that formula.

Some examples? Well, like most of their stand-alone books (outside the Pendergast series), "Terminal Freeze" has a mysterious treasure, one which experienced readers of Lincoln and Child know they shouldn't get attached to. That treasure might be pirate gold ("Riptide"), a rare meteorite ("Ice Limit"), or the strange creature in "Terminal Freeze", but it's always gone by the end of the book. I often feel a bit bad for their heroes, who go through hell and never seem to have much to show for it.

And Child is also very fond of using obsession as a plot device. Good luck finding a Child/Preston book that doesn't have at least one character who is obsessed to the point of insanity with SOMETHING. Naturally, that obsession is guaranteed to cause all sorts of hijinks as it's gradually revealed over the course of the book. In "Terminal Freeze", it's a sign of how formulaic Child's work has become that I picked out one particular character as the book's requisite obsessed nutjob the moment he was introduced. And I was right.
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Brunello VINE VOICE on February 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I thought for a moment that somehow I had mistakenly picked up "Relic" which was the first work of Child and his frequent writing partner Douglas Preston. Relic (written in the mid '90s) was fun, fresh and introduced Agent Pendergast who is a truly original and interesting character.

This new work has the same basic elements...a nightmare creature stalking various scientists and heroines in peril in dark corridors. Sadly, the result of mining old ideas is a stale plot and poorly fleshed out characters that don't resonate. To get in enough backstory to move the plot along, Child throws in a secondary character, an enigmatologist (who apparently dabbles in "black ops") who should have been the main character. He is far more interesting than the protagonist but you have no idea what he is doing in the story. Where was the editor?

Maybe Child thinks that an entire generation of his original readers has now died and he can get away with a repackaging by throwing in some snow and ice on top of the monster and we won't notice.

The good:
*Child writes in an easy to read, fluid style.
*Pacing is good. If you can get Relic out of your head, the story moves nicely along.

The bad:
*derivative plot we've read a hundred times before. What's even worse is that Child wrote the same book almost 15 years ago.
*characters are weak.

My recommendation: buy the paperback of Relic. You'll have more fun. Skip this one and don't spend your hard earned cash on the hardback. Definitely disappointing.
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53 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Jason Frost TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is my first Lincoln Child book and I almost didn't read it because a lot of the other reviews said that it didn't have a lot of action and it wasn't his best work. I remember reading the same type of comments for `Blasphemy' by Douglas Preston. I'm glad I ignored the detractors both times! I really, really enjoyed this book! The premise was too good to pass up and, for me; this was the perfect book at the perfect time. I was looking for a quick, bloody, and exciting read. I found it.

Mr. Child has blended science, adventure, suspense (tons of it actually), slight humor, horror, history, mystery, and machismo in a way that all of these genres work together in harmony. If this was one Lincoln Child's "slow" books I'm extremely interested to see what his "better" books are like.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Serene Night on April 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This was the limp and cliche-ridden story about a scientist stationed in an Arctic military base, who uncovers what appears to be a sabretooth tiger buried in the ice of an old lava tunnel. When the mission's sponsor insist on digging it up for a reality show (they intend to thaw it and film it on TV), the scientists are understandably angry. So is the monster. It is still alive, and when it defrosts... It starts killing.

What can I say? This was bad. Its like made for TV Sci-Fi channel original movie level bad. At first, I thought this had a decent premise. But the protagonists were so boring! None of them had any personality whatsoever and there were parts that just made no sense. Marshall and Logan were ciphers. The media people were ciphers. The only thing interesting was the cat.. And they didn't even explain enough about it to make its motives or biology understandable or even believable.

I was quite disappointed by this book. If you are going to make a cheesy horror book, at least write something original and give your protagonist some personality. Bad.. And not in a good way.
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