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Arctic Rising
Tobias Buckell
Tor, 352 pages

Arctic Rising
Tobias Buckell
Tobias S. Buckell is a Caribbean-born New York Times best-selling author. His work has been translated into 16 different languages. He has published some 50 short stories in various magazines and anthologies, and has been nominated for the Hugo, Nebula, Prometheus, and Campbell awards.

Tobias Buckell Website
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Nascence: 17 Stories That Failed and What They Taught Me
SF Site Review: The Executioness

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Trent Walters

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Anika Duncan and her partner Tom of the United Nations Polar Guard (UNPG) patrol the Arctic waterways, searching for those who would dump nuclear waste in its waters. They're piloting a blimp when a ship plows too quickly through the nearly ice-free sea. When they check for radiation, their detector beeps. They descend to the ship, but it fires a grenade that slams their blimp into the ocean.

Anika survives the frigid water though her partner does not. Hooking up with her underground girlfriend, Anika learns that their claim to be drug smugglers is unlikely. Why lie unless they were hiding something far worse?

Meanwhile, several assassination attempts later, she's implicated in her boss's death. She has to clear her name put the baddies responsible away.

This is a fun, non-stop-action thriller set in an all-too-probable future, with a realism that I suspect would qualify it as Mundane SF. I listened to the Audible version with Dina Pearlman as narrator -- a rather impressive rendering. She often captured the accents well. Even when not, her voice was pleasant to listen to without any odd quirks.

My main qualm with the novel -- and I may be in the minority on this -- is that its ending feels like the ending of a trilogy. There's nothing wrong with trilogies, but it'd be nice if more tried to give readers a small sense of closure at the end -- even if incomplete closure -- to give readers a sense of accomplishment, a pat on the back for making it through each book.

Copyright © 2013 Trent Walters

Trent Walters teaches science; lives in Honduras; edited poetry at Abyss & Apex; blogs science, SF, education, and literature, etc. at APB; co-instigated Mundane SF (with Geoff Ryman and Julian Todd) culminating in an issue for Interzone; studied SF writing with dozens of major writers and and editors in the field; and has published works in Daily Cabal, Electric Velocipede, Fantasy, Hadley Rille anthologies, LCRW, among others.


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