Badly battered by an apocalyptic storm, the crew of the Arctic Promise find themselves in increasingly dire circumstances as they sail blindly into unfamiliar waters and an ominously thickening fog. Without functioning navigation or communication equipment, they are lost and completely alone. One by one the men fall prey to a mysterious illness. Deckhand Noah Cabot is the only person unaffected by the strange force plaguing the ship and her crew, which does little to ease their growing distrust of him.
Dismissing Noah's warnings of worsening conditions, the captain of the ship presses on until the sea freezes into ice and they can go no farther. When the men are ordered overboard in an attempt to break the ship free by hand, the fog clears, revealing a faint shape in the distance that may or may not be their destination. Noah leads the last of the able-bodied crew on a journey across the ice and into an uncertain future where they must fight for their lives against the elements, the ghosts of the past, and, ultimately, themselves.
©2016 Tom Doherty Associates LLC (P)2016 Macmillan Audio
There are few things better than a good story well told!
This is an untidy story more in the paranormal fantasy realm than adventure. I think I was expecting more of the latter than the former. There is suspense and some action but there’s also a lot of repetition that should have been edited out that made the story longer than necessary. The plot is unique and held my interest though the telling wasn't as crisp as it could have been. The narration was fine.
Nothing about this book is boring. I've never read anything by MacLeod before, so I was pleased to be grabbed by the throat on page one and pulled through the storms and ice and horror of the novel by a master of pacing. The deckhands and roughnecks of STRANDED are quick to jump to conclusions or violence, but the same force that stretches the suspension of disbelief never once takes your attention for granted with long, tedious passages of forty different ways to say it's cold. MacLeod knows you get it. He doesn't have to prove it over and over. Things are tough in this story, and they can always get worse.
I've read that it's being compared to John Carpenter's THE THING, but beyond the setting and a few of the ancillary characters the two stories are altogether different beasts. I feel the comparison lessons the world MacLeod created in this book. Not every twist worked for me, but that doesn't mean I won't be lining up to get his next book as soon as I hear about it.
This is so well written, it's refreshing. Don't know anything about the author, but he's good. The narration is wonderful. Touching in parts, very scary in others. Human nature at its best and worst. Left me with some plot questions but that didn't seem to matter in the end. Wonderful look at the many facets of each life and the mystery of our existence. Going to go see if MacLeod has anything else out there.
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