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Freezing Point Mass Market Paperback – September 30, 2008

3.9 out of 5 stars 188 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The battle for control of Antarctica's ice quickly turns into a fight for survival in this uneven debut thriller. Idealistic and controversial (but corporate) environmentalist Ben Maki wants to bring fresh water to millions by melting the Antarctic icebergs. As Maki's trial run progresses, a group of scientists studying the icebergs begin falling prey to a deadly illness and to packs of vicious Antarctic rats. Maki and his colleagues must abandon their efforts, hoping only to get out of Antarctica alive. While the scientific and ethical themes are fascinating and timely and the remoteness of the Antarctic makes an ideal thriller setting, readers will find it difficult to suspend their disbelief long enough to find the rats scary rather than silly. Dionne would have done better to stick to the human capacity for monstrosity—something she touches on, but never fully explores—and the surprisingly complex and overlapping motivations of the characters. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

Dionne is going to be an author to be reckoned with if her debut novel is any indication. A fascinating blend of science fiction and fact, it weaves a great deal of information into a complex story of environmentalism, greed and potential Armageddon. Its ingenious plot, genuine characters, superlative writing and nail-biting suspense will change the way you look at a bottle of water.

Summary: Environmentalist and engineer Ben Maki sees the possibilities for Earth's future in a mountain-sized iceberg. If the Soldyne Corporation can tap into the ice, it can provide clean drinking water for millions, and if the company's vision isn't all philanthropic, well, there are always trade-offs. But environmental terrorist Rebecca Sweet lives for her cause -- free, fresh water for everyone -- and she will do anything to stop Soldyne.

As their private battle escalates, a group of researchers on a frozen tundra are drawn into that private war. As the body count rises, the terror escalates and, ultimately, it's up to Maki and two brilliant and plucky scientists to put the clues together to prevent worldwide disaster. --Pat Cooper --Romantic Times Book Review, October 2008 "Top Pick"

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Jove; First Edition edition (September 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 051514536X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0515145366
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.9 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (188 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,082,131 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Randall E. Sekeres on April 5, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The book cover's proclaiming Karen Dionne as the "next Michael Crichton" caught my attention while simultaneously raising my "Danger, Will Robinson!" alarm bells. I'm still mourning the big man's passing, so when Penguin trotted out "Freezing Point," I approached this author's inaugural work with trepidation, as though contemplating a new puppy following the loss of the family dog. As I should have expected, the book didn't deliver a wholly comparable warm-and-fuzzy, but with a little house breaking and obedience school, there's definitely hope for this newcomer.

Like most thrillers, the book opens with a bang, or rather a splash, as Ben Maki and a group of ice ropers attempt to drag a mountain-sized ice-berg to shore. The berg turns deadly, rolling out of control and swamping the tug, nearly killing everyone aboard. During the ordeal we learn Ben's an accidental corporate wonk with a heart of green. He's working on a Soldyne company project to develop a satellite microwave ice-berg melting operation that will bring trillions of gallons of fresh water to slake a thirty world's growing demands. In the process, he hopes to do well financially while doing good environmentally.

Ben's two positions of course, clash all over the place. Ben's boss, a greedy ego-maniacal giant, physically and metaphorically, stops at nothing to sabotage Ben's plans in favor of his own proposal, some kind of exotic, but dangerous high-atmosphere technology. Meanwhile, PETA-styled activist, Rebecca Sweet, yearns to literally blast her way into the history books by blowing up Ben's project. Even on the home-front, Ben battles oppositional forces, such as when his daughter hogs the family's only shower.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Karen Dionne's debut novel, Freezing Point, is a story of entrepreneurial skill, technology, ideals, and betrayal.

Ben Maki wants to harvest water from icebergs to solve the world's water shortage problem. Don Gillette just wants to make money off the issue. Antarctic researcher Zo Zelinski wants to help, but her dubious actions put her right in the center of things. Environmental activists have their own take on the matter: stop the iceberg harvesting altogether. As often happens when perspectives differ, egos and ideologies collide, resulting in a convoluted, action-laden tale.

Dionne book is visual and fast-paced, similar to a movie. That pace continues to accelerate right to the satisfying (if swift) end.

Freezing Pointt focuses on a real and growing problem on our planet. And since the book is such a great read, chances are we won't forget about it any time soon.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was looking forward to reading FREEZING POINT after David Morrell's cover blurb called the author "the new Michael Crichton," and Douglas Preston said the book was "a ripper of a story!" Good enough. So I paid the admission and buckled in for the ride. I should've saved myself the trip.

First of all, this story isn't really a thriller -- there are few thrills and no suspense, very little conflict, and no intriguing mystery to figure out. The story starts off promising with some high-seas action, which has little to do with the plot. Then the story slows and loses its way (or perhaps it never had a direction to begin with). Too many conversations in closed rooms. Despite what others say here, adventure fans should be warned there is very little action in this novel.

The first two acts are devoid of any real conflict. This paperback is dominated by narrative back story with preachy essays about clean drinking water and ho-hum environmental expositions.

The "evil" solar company with the ability to melt icebergs with its space beam is a joke (the largest solar companies in the world can't turn a profit, let alone launch satellites). And what solar company owns tankers? Of course, the company's CEO is the stereotypical bad guy with no real motive except his huge, corporate ego.

There seems to be a missing section about what happens to the Australian team that gets to the iceberg first. After a lengthy setup, poof, they vanish from the story with no explanation.

To get a bit of adrenaline going later, Dionne dumps a truck-load of killer rats on an unsuspecting Antarctica. These rodents are deadlier than a pool of great whites. Where are the rat traps? Instead, these thin-as-paper characters are eaten one by one - don't worry, you won't miss them.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I don't usually read thrillers. Just not my cup of tea. But...the reviews were good, so I downloaded this book for free on a promotion day giveaway.

What a ride!

The characters were believable. I think I've met all their types over my lifetime.

The plot was fast paced. I wish I could have read it in one sitting--but life got in the way. Still, I read it in two days. The pace never let up. I never skimmed--found no tedious details. Just action, more action, and rats! The rats added a perfect element--an urgency to the story that would otherwise have not existed.

It was a wonderful book. Just missed being a "knock my socks off five star".

I plan on reading "Boiling Point"--even though thrillers is not one of my go-to genres.
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