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Freezing Point Mass Market Paperback – September 30, 2008
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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.
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"
Top customer reviews
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Interesting theme on water needs. Descriptive writing that draws the reader into each scene.
Believable characters (one who drives a Miata!) with distinct personalities. Thought-provoking and informative dialogue.
'It wasn’t what you had, he often preached, but what you did with it that mattered.'
We thought, because we had power, we had wisdom.
STEPHEN VINCENT BENÉT
A scientist can discover a new star, but he cannot make one. He would have to ask an engineer to do that.
GORDON L. GLEGG, AMERICAN ENGINEER, 1969
No desire to re-read this story. I am interested in other works by this author.
The dead turn up as stripped and polished skeletons, not even a small scrap of their former bodies remain. What's causing this? Is there a cure? Will people survive?
I began cheering for Zo, Ben and Ross in their attempts to end the scourge, however, it soon appears like somebody else is intentionally sabotaging the project. Meanwhile, the first tanker filled with harvested water is en route to Los Angeles. The ship needs to be stopped, but there is no way of contacting them...all the equipment has been destroyed. Time is running out! The threesome are racing death and almost succumb.
Freezing Point is a real nail biter and will have you stay up late in the night to find out what happens next. I really enjoyed the story and recommend it to all.
John Podlaski, author
Cherries: A Vietnam War Novel
My favorite character is researcher Zo Zelinsk. She is strong, resourceful, and a survivor, but can any one person realistically survive the ordeals she goes through? The other characters are not as well-developed. Ben Maki, a Soldyne engineer, hopes to solve the world's water shortage. When he discovers what Gillette has done, he does not wrestle long in a moral conflict between money and doing the right thing. Ross, the microbiologist known as the Iceman to students around the world, teams with Zo to save as many researches as possible from the happenings at the station.
Ms. Dionne shows how one environmental change can have unexpected and catastrophic effects. The real villains are the rats that came with the early explorers. Her descriptions of these rodents terrified me more than most horror fictions. I could envision them better than a movie, which made it all that more frightening.
Greed, betrayal, eco-terrorism, and a strong scientific lean coupled with quick actions and plot twists makes this a trilling read.
Dionne's debut novel just reaches too far. She had a way with words of that there is no doubt. The opening line "The wind howled around the solitary trawler like an angry god" grabbed me immediately. The imagery of ice, solitude, and rugged nothingness was stunning. Instead of tapping into the nightmare of this landscape decayed, Dionne chooses to unleash monster rats. In addition, we have a cast of characters (all of whom seem to have confusing connection) with little distinction or depth. Our corporate bad guys and eco-terrorists do, say, and act precisely as we expect. By the time the pandemic-style disease comes along courtesy of the rats, I had long since checked out.
Dionne's female lead was a breath of fresh air in a male-dominated genre and the descriptive elements to her narrative are wonderful. The plot however, just feels like a hydra growing heads with each new chapter. Extraneous details bog down the pacing and she then sacrifices character development to keep the story moving. Research errors and cliché indicate a rush-job on the manuscript. Rather than a well-crafted tale, we have horror movie tropes galore all packed together in the Antarctic. There's potential here, but not with this one.
Originially published at Horror Novel Reviews