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Arctic Rising Mass Market Paperback – December 24, 2012

3.5 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Tobias Buckell is stretching the horizons of science fiction and giving readers a hell of a lot of swashbuckling fun in the bargain.” ―John Scalzi, bestselling author of Old Man's War

“Buckell delivers double helpings of action and violence in a plot-driven story worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster.” ―Publishers Weekly on Sly Mongoose

“Buckell's world-building, full of strong Aztec and Caribbean elements, is spectacular; the story, finely tuned and engrossing.” ―Booklist on Sly Mongoose

“Zombies. Interplanetary battles. Alien races. A hero that can destroy a city in a single bounce. What's not to love? Light enough for a beach read, smart enough for bedside, this novel can be enjoyed on multiple levels.” ―RT Book Reviews on Sly Mongoose

“Buckell represents an important force behind the genre's change. Buckell's work deals with complex racial issues in a way worthy of the self-proclaimed ‘literature of ideas': head-on, with no visible flinching, while still managing to give its readers a rollicking good time.” ―The Seattle Times

About the Author

Tobias S. Buckell is a Caribbean-born writer who grew up in Grenada, the British Virgin Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel Halo: The Cole Protocol.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Science Fiction; Reprint edition (December 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765358735
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765358738
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,472,302 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Arctic Rising begins with somewhat of a bang when Anika Duncan is shot down in her airship after she and her partner attempt to investigate a ship that may be smuggling dangerous material. Anika survives the attack, but her partner, Tom, is injured, and after visiting him in the hospital, she returns home to recuperate. Relaxation is short-lived, however, when she receives a call bearing more bad news, plus she's asked to identify the men that supposedly attempted to shoot her down. Something else is in the works, though, something much worse than the dumping of hazardous materials. After taking a tour of the ship that attacked her, she finds a mysterious floating orb and smuggles it out, only to have to turn it over to higher officials. It turns out these orbs are part of a plan by the Gaia Corp. to stop warming and halt the melting of the Arctic ice. But, is this the best thing for the earth? Someone doesn't think so, and plans to use a nuclear weapon to stop Gaia. Anika Duncan, bent on revenge, will have to use every one of her resources to get justice, but will it cost her her life?

In a future world where global warming is no longer just a warning, and where the polar ice is melting at alarming rates, things have certainly changed, and the author wastes no time mining this scenario to create a fascinating setting for Arctic Rising. Anika, still young and a bit idealistic, wastes no time making the decision to go after the bad guys, especially after attempts on her life. She's no innocent though, and her background gave her plenty of backbone and bravery. After teaming up with a former mercenary,and a beautiful drug dealer, Anika pretty much stops at nothing to do the right thing, and this is what I really liked about her.
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Format: Hardcover
Arctic Rising is the best James Bond novel I've ever read. Wait, what? Indeed Tobias Buckell's latest novel could be taken as an Ian Fleming experiment gone terribly... right. An ironic homage to Bond, based on gads of research into the nature of climate change and some of the more inventive solutions, Buckell has created a near term speculative novel that's as current as it is authentic. Believable? Let's not get greedy; I did say Bond after all.

Buckell's premise begins a few years in the future, where global warming has transformed the Earth. The Arctic Ice Cap has all but melted, and the international community is racing to claim the oil beneath the newly accessible ocean. Enter Gaia Corporation whose founders have come up with a plan to roll it all back using thousands of tiny mirrors floating in the air to redirect heat and cool the Earth's surface.

The protagonist is Anika Duncan, Buckell's first piece of Bond irony. She's a black lesbian, tough as nails, but far from a trained covert operative. She's an airship pilot for the underfunded United Nations Polar Guard. It's her job to ensure things run smoothly in the new Wild West. When a smuggled nuclear weapon makes it into the Polar Circle on Anika's watch, she winds up caught up in a plot to destroy Gaia Corporation and with it Earth's hope the future.

When I read the synopsis for Arctic Rising last winter, I was skeptical. I was aware of Buckell's relationship with Karl Schroeder and Paola Bacigalupi, two staunch environmental advocates, and of his own interest in environmentalism. It concerned me that Buckell was tackling climate change, and setting it in such a near future. The possibilities for political commentary, finger pointing, and hair shirt environmentalism were rife.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was really intrigued about this book, so I was excited to read it after I downloaded it. I just felt less and less interested the further I went. By the time I was at the end, I wasn't enjoying this book, and I'm really not sure why. Maybe the action wasn't good or maybe the politics at the end were too wild, honestly I wish I had a better idea. But it wasn't bad per se, just not my cup of tea. Don't pay more than $10 for this.
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Format: Hardcover
I won't go into the story line. Enough has been written about that. Though I finished this book, it was a struggle and I will probably never again read a book edited by Paul Stevens. The mistakes were downright embarrassing! Since I was reading a library copy, I didn't underline all the typos, grammatical errors, or gibberish encountered, but I will give one example taken from page 297, sentence #6: 'Then he left them to hopped his down into the palatial main cabin, looking for tools...' Enough said.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The arctic is melting. Actually, it's pretty much melted, the Northwest Passage has been open water for a while, and the gold rush has opened northern Canada, Greenland, and Alaska to the best and worst of land, oil, and mineral speculators. There are factions that want to suck out everything they can from the unfrozen North, and others who want to protect the environment at any cost. While this book is unrelated to Buckell's Ragamuffin universe, there are some subtle references from that universe that appear here, such as why the island country of Anageda was originally abandoned (easy to guess). But don't expect any appearances by Pepper or his friends.

The story starts with a Coast Guard blimp being shot down by some bad guys after the blimp crew detects nuclear material on their ship and goes down to investigate. Various factions and organizations then want to get to the pilot to either (a) figure out what's really going on, or (b) prevent the pilot and her allies from figuring out what's going on.

Most of the action takes place inside the Arctic Circle as the various organizations face off and as various loyalties change. Buckell does a good job of keeping the story moving and not overdoing the action sequences until the very end. Buckell has created some interesting characters and "towns", and it would be interesting to see where he can take them in future stories or books.
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