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Icefire
Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens
Pocket Books, 484 pages

Icefire
Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens
Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens are perhaps best known for their Star Trek books. They are also the authors of the series Chronicles of Galen Sword (Shifter and Nightfeeder). On his own, Garfield Reeves-Stevens' novels include Children of the Shroud (1987), Nighteyes (1989)and Dark Matter (1990).

ISFDB Bibliography: Garfield Reeves-Stevens
ISFDB Bibliography: Judith Reeves-Stevens

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Lisa DuMond

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Not all alien landscapes exist in outer space. Icefire takes readers to a place as foreign as the surface of Mars and as inhospitable. Welcome to the frozen desert of Antarctica. Take the chance to get to know it; someone's about to make certain it's wiped out. And while you're at it, take a last look at the Pacific Rim; it's not going to be there much longer, either.

Cory Rey and Mitch Webber are in Antarctica for the same reason: to keep nuclear weapons out. That's the last thing they will agree on. Cory heads on environmental action group. Mitch is a Navy Seal. As far as Cory is concerned, that puts them on opposite sides of the issue, and was more than enough reason to break up their love affair years before. Now, it maintains the wedge between them and prevents her from trusting Mitch again.

Too bad, because they're about to be the lone survivors of a terrorist attack that destroys the land they are trying to protect and sends a lethal wall of water screaming through the Pacific. If they can't work together to warn the world, millions will die. And the most far-reaching terrorist plot ever will succeed.

Their struggle will take them halfway around the world at more than the speed of sound. The force will pin the two to their seats and readers to every word.

The Reeves-Stevens know their stuff. For those who remember the online magazine Mungo Park, this is the pair who explored the almost unknown continent of Antarctica. (Why does no one offer me chances like that?) They know the territory and the possibly more foreign territory of military hardware.

But, none of that would matter without the authors' seamless writing. Somehow, they weave exposition in without slowing down the breakneck pace of the novel. Icefire pulls you in like the trough of the wave and carries you along at blinding speed. And, in the middle of it all, the Reeves-Stevens introduce not cardboard cut-outs to deliver the dialogue, but human beings. Human beings real enough to merit tears when they are taken away.

Acronyms come hard and fast, but, pay attention and the explanations are there, subtly worked in, not set off with track lighting. In fact, "subtle" is a good way to describe the writing style in Icefire. Plot points are slipped in while your attention is occupied elsewhere. Keep your mind open, or you might miss something crucial and have to backtrack. And all that smacking yourself in the forehead isn't good for you.

Is it a perfect novel? No, anyone who has seen a movie or read a book knows the warring couple must get together at some point. That's a given. But, that's the first and last thing you'll correctly anticipate in this rocket ride. And if some scenes are more riveting than others, just be grateful for a chance to catch your breath. You won't get that many rest breaks.

Copyright © 1998 Lisa DuMond

Lisa DuMond writes science fiction and humour. She co-authored the 45th anniversary issue cover of MAD Magazine. Previews of her latest, as yet unpublished, novel are available at Hades Online.


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