I had heard a review of Arctic Rising, and liked the idea of a suspense novel combating eco-terrorism in the newly ice-free Arctic. Set in the near future, it has a few new technologies, but is more a chase book than sci-fi. I wanted to like the book. Instead, I couldn't make myself finish it, which is pretty unusual for me. If a reader cannot truly master accents, she should just read the story straight. I spent the first few pages wondering where in the world the main character was from-- Japan? England? Africa? It was soon revealed that she was from Nigeria-- this worked some of the time-- again it would have been better read without the attempt. Her other female characters generally sounded like "Valley Girls" who one suspected were chewing gum at the same time and ready to say "ya know?" Other voices were inconsistent, making it hard to figure out who was talking.
In fairness, the story wasn't that great either. Meandered all over, a lot of talk, talk, talk. Wished I'd given it a pass.
The story, narrated by a 15 year old boy with Asperger's, is a fascinating one. While the narrator tries to solve the mystery of who killed his neighbor's dog, using the methods of his hero Sherlock Holmes, the reader tries to figure out the story of the boy's life. Told with amazing insight into the workings of a differently wired brain, there are times when I laughed out loud, and other times when I fretted over his ability to survive. As a science nerd myself, I found myself looking up some of the information he shares about space, logic and mathematics. A really seamless piece of writing, totally engaging, and very well read.
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