©2002 Matthew Reilly; (P)2002 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd.
"Some of the wildest and most sustained battles in an action thriller in a long time...non-stop action, lots of explosions--and a little bit of conspiracy." (Chicago Tribune)
Main interests are crime, some science fiction, fantasy & comedy. Also very interested in playback hardware for audio books.
I probably won't try another book from this author. The hero is more of a McGyver type rather than a credible character, & there were too many common technical errors in the action for my liking.
Literary graduate and published columnist turned glorified grease monkey.
I was really looking forward to reading this after I had finished Reilly's first book "The Contest". I must say, he lives up to his fast paced reputation with this one. But I didn't like it as much as his first. I didn't get what I thought I would. Scientists discover an alien spaceship under an ice shelf in the antarctica so they send in the army to inspect it. Throughout the whole book I was just waiting for the aliens to come out and start killing people. Alas this never happened, and it just turned into a battle to see which country could claim it. The Hero of the book Scarecrow seems almost superhuman with his ability to sustain injuries and keep killing everyone. He does some unbelievable things, but you move on anyway just to see how he'll get out of his next problem. It was like everything was against him, Killer whales, Sea lions, submarines, fighter jets, hovercrafts, navy seals, SAS and even his own country!! Reilly does have a great imagination even if it sometimes gets away from him. But he manages to sort of string it back to reality in the end. And his typical narrator Sean Mangan does the job we all appreciate him for, the voice of Matthew Reilly's stories. Well done to him. So the whole thing was just slightly too far fetched for me but it was lots of fun, it got straight into the action and never stopped. I look forward to Reilly's next one, "The Temple".
This an explosive fast-action story set in Antarctica. This is Matthew Reilly' s first story featuring the character Simon "Scarecrow" Schofield. It is read by Sean Mangan who reads most of Matthew Reilly's books and gives his usual polished performance. Scarecrow and his team are sent as the forward team to secure an Ice Station in Antarctica and help rescue a research team. They find a lost secretly built stealth plane and have to fight for their lives against Killer Whales and Elephant Seals and corrupt army, navy seals and SAS teams that want to get their hands on the plane and to keep it's secrets for themselves. This is an excellent listen that I recommend to anyone who loves a good action novel.
After 10 minutes of listening to this book, you'll want to punch the author in the face every time you hear "suddenly".
"Suddenly, Mark looked at his watch. Suddenly, Karen asked what time it was. Suddenly, Mark responded with the current time. Suddenly, Greg announced that the football game was about to start. Suddenly, Karen decided to order some pizza. Suddenly, the pizza showed up, everyone ate their fill, and the team they were rooting for won the game. Suddenly, Greg went home because he had to get up early for work. Suddenly, Mark fell asleep on the couch after one too many bourbons. Suddenly, Karen decided that she should go to sleep too. Suddenly, everyone slept."
which made me mad, reduced my enjoyment.
U.S. researchers in Antarctica discover something buried in an ice cave. They believe it is an alien spaceship. Divers were killed while looking at it. They don’t know why. They send out a distress signal. Other countries hear the call and want the spaceship. So they send military groups to fight for it. Lieutenant Schofield is the first to arrive with a group of marines. His goal is to protect the researchers and the discovery. An enemy military group soon arrives with better weapons and more men. Their intent is to kill everyone.
The most frequently used weapon is Schofield’s mag gun. It shoots a grappling hook and a magnetic end with a long cable attached. The author used this gun in many different and creative ways.
Some good guys are killed, but it has a happy ending for other good guys.
This feels like 50 scenes of pulse-pounding action, fast and furious fighting. It was crisis after crisis even at the end. A lot of them were imaginative. This should appeal to video game lovers (those of them who like to read). In many scenes Schofield is about to be killed, but he finds some little thing or something unexpected which gets him out of it. It reminded me of MacGiver.
This was exciting, but I don’t want to read any more. I want more than chase, defend, attack. I want characters and other things. I prefer the Jack Reacher books over this.
This author did something that made me so mad and too many times. It’s a cheap trick/device. He interrupts scenes at the moment of realization or crisis - at the worst time for the reader. He doesn’t need to do that. This is already nonstop suspense. Here’s an example. A is wounded and in a hospital bed. B enters the room with a knife planning to kill A. A secretly switches on a microphone. Scene switches to C on another floor talking to a guy. Scene switches back to B smashing the microphone. Scene switches to C, still talking. Scene switches to A who is bloody but won the fight with B. The A scene was split into three pieces, and it was a short scene. (As an aside we missed the best part - how did wounded A win the fight with B?)
Here’s another example, Schofield finds a transmitter and wonders what it’s for. Then all of a sudden he realizes the answer. But the scene switches to something else without telling the reader what he realized.
If the author had not used these tricks I would have given the book more stars. But I cannot like something when I’m frustrated and mad over and over again.
I don’t mind suspending disbelief - for fun. And you need to do that A LOT. But there was one thing that really bothered me and I really needed an explanation. Large elephant seals are eating humans. A bad guy injures A and throws him into the ocean. So why does an elephant seal grab A in the water, put him back on the deck, and then leave? He saved A’s life. I’d be willing to accept this if you give me an explanation. Did he like A’s smell or something? What?
He was very good except for his accent on two words - on almost every page. It was distracting. Most of the characters are Americans, and they don’t talk like that. He said “been” (like it rhymes with green) and “again” (like the word “gain”). I’m not sure what his accent is but it doesn’t sound like U.S. marines. It was unsettling. I think the narrator should have changed his pronunciation just for those two words.
GENRE: action suspense
SPOILER answers the question: Are aliens in this story?
All the fighting and suspense is among the various military groups. There are no aliens in this story.
I enjoy reading Matthew Rielly, but Sean mangan adds another level. I own all Matthew Reilly's read by Sean mangan.
Not the calibre of Robert Ludlum or Vince Flynn but still enjoyable and hard to put down. Very action orientated and some feats of the hero Scarecrow are rather far fetch, but hey, so what - its entertainment. Narrator is OK but not superb - sometimes have difficulty distinguishing different characters. Will definitely "read" the other Matthew Reilly books.
The book starts with an interesting concept but quickly decends into a number of overly described, gorey battle scenes. The language is repeatitive to the point of distraction and the plot is totally unbelievable.
There is so much time dwelling on the brutal fighting that the secondary plot gets left and almost forgotten.
This is one of the most boring books I have ever listened to and I found it difficult to concentrate enough to listen. If I didn't hate not finishing a book I would have given up.
"Madly Marvellous Mayhem"
Having just finished this book I'm almost lost for words about how to describe it. If you take Rambo and cross him with Bourne, partner him with a Disney child hero, stir in some Jaws and even add a twist of Lassie you'll probably get as close as any description I can give you. This book is high octane, devil may care, non-stop action and there is no pause for reality checks or attention to the principles of physics.
I tend to be pretty forgiving about authors pushing the bounds of credulity but Matthew Reilly called my flexibility and raised it by the house limit. This is not a book for those who want gritty realism or even the vaguely realistic but it's a hugely fun adventure and to be fair the author makes it fairly clear what you are getting from the outset.
Sean Mangan brings it all to life in fine style so if you want a fun, hard hitting adventure with lots of action and don't mind the author taking a lot of liberties with his story's credibility you'll find it a lot of fun. If you're a stickler for detail and accuracy then abandon hope if you enter here.
"Innacurate but Entertaining"
Well, Yes, But...
I found this a very entertaining tale of action and daring do, hence the rating, BUT it was marred in my mind by either innacurately described or totally unfeasible technology. An author can probably get away with magic in a Sci Fi or Fantasy novel but there are so many good Action stories which are plausible or well researched that Matt Riellys lack of realism was a disappointment.
Putting aside the odd grating innacuracy the story drew me in. I could have done with a map of the Ice Station to follow the action round and I was tempted at one point to pick up an Atlas and find the station and follow the escape across the Ice. I was left wanting more.
"A fantastical special ops thriller"
Fantastical (some stuff is clearly make believe but never feels over the top)
Thrilling (moves along at a good pace, never felt bored)
Intriguing (lots of twists and turns)
I've not read any of the others by this author.
The special ops/military aspect is less serious than an Andy McNabb or Chris Ryan book but may appeal if like me you enjoyed them but were a bit sick of back to Afghanistan.
The pacing reminds me of Dan Brown's books, but the lead character doesn't come off as so smug.
He does a good job with all the different accents and each character felt different.
His delivery is entertaining. Though at one point he has to read a long list of names, twice, which I expect works better in print.
Nope, I did grin at the arrival of a team half way through the book and the innovative but sadly it seems fantastical weapon they brought with them.
This references events which I assume took place in the authors book Temple. I haven't read that and don't feel I was kept in the dark but now I have no plans to go back to read it. If you have a urge to read that book, read it first.
Otherwise an entertaining read and I have downloaded the next book with Scarecrow in.
"Ice Station - nonstop action"
Non stop action, edge of seat. Couldn't wait to get back to it. This is one extremely lucky guy though. Thoroughly enjoyed.
"Now where did I put that crane?"
Why a crane? Because if you are going to read this book you need something seriously powerful to help you suspend your disbelief. So much so that it cost the book a couple of rating stars. There are so many staggering coincidences that a couple of times I actually laughed out loud.
Still, if you can put these (and a host of other similarly astonishing implausibilities) to one side it's an enjoyable enough piece of action escapism. It gets a bit sloppy (careless rather than schmaltzy) at the end which is unfortunate because it left me without any desire to read more by the author.
"Best Author Ever"
Rip roaring ride from start to finish. Keeps you turning pages until there's none left to turn.
"Ice Station.. no chilly reception here"
Ice Station has a complete different outlook to the previous audiobooks, I've listened to recently. Considering, the most recent listens were the Discworld series by Sir Terry Pratchett & Why does E=MC2 and why should it matter by Brian Cox. As you might imagine, a bit of a change of pace.Having previously read the paperback editions, I enjoyed this just as much. Great book.
There could be comparisons, I feel with early Ian Fleming (Bond Series) & Chris Kuzneski of more recent times.
"Gripping Action from Start to Finsih"
Absolutely, it is fast paced and edge of the seat stuff. I couldn't put it down
The action, and the suspense which built up
Shane Schofield of course
Close to the end
If you like military style action books this won't disappoint, although being a brit there was one painful facet.
"bond and bourne, eat you heart out"
Despite the amount of blood and guts that are so chillingly exposed in the ice station, anyone would enjoy this story portraying the classic good guy bad guy theme including a damsel in distress.
It would be cliché to say scarecrow as everyone loves a night in shinning armour. However, he is so well depicted and described that you instantly fall in love and even could wish you were at Wilkes about to be eaten by a killer whale just so he rescues you in his gruff well thought well executed way that defys human capabilities.
Sean mangan has a talent for ensuring the listener is transported deep among the action . If I had to pick one character that really stood out, it would be James renshaw. He is well portrayed with a nasal obnoxious tone who questions everything and clearly has never been in his position before. But despite his flaws and potential murdering ability becomes a comic love.
There were times where this book will make you giggle, gasp and most definitely wince.
This was my introduction to Matthew Reilly. I really enjoyed it. Slightly unusual plot. Action packed with blood, guns, whales, armys and plenty of battles. Also the odd bit humour. ( I'm the hero of this book. I can't die) I have since listened to the next two in the series (Area 7 and Scarecrow)
Sean Mangan is an exellent reader. The book just comes alive. And leaves you breathless.
I am now a Matthew Reilly fan
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.