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review 2017-01-23 12:07
Expedition to Kangchenjunga...
Thin Air - Michelle Paver

I love stories about climbing expeditions so I try to read as many as I can. This one focuses more on the ghost story aspect versus a lot of climbing details which is still great but if you are looking for a more technical perspective then you probably want to read a true account instead of this.


With that said, I enjoyed this story immensely but when it's all said and done, it didn't 'wow' me like I was hoping for. It had all of the ingredients of a good ghost story but I just didn't get that eerie, creepy feeling that I felt like it should have evoked, which is why I only gave it 4 stars instead of 5.



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review 2016-09-28 00:19
Artic Promise...
Stranded - Bracken MacLeod

"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."


I have a huge thing for books with cold weather settings like the Artic or Antarctica so I've been really excited about reading this book. Unfortunately though it wasn't as enjoyable as I was hoping for. The first half was very slow and lacking in suspense, and it took me all week to trudge through it. The second half had a lot more action but I didn't care for the

'alternate reality'


(spoiler show)

plot turn the story took. The ending also wasn't very satisfying. It felt rushed and it didn't tie up a lot of the loose ends and questions I had.


As for all of the characters that we were introduced to, including the main character, Noah, I really only liked Connor. Sometimes I could relate to Noah's character but then other times he came across as meek and spineless and I just wanted to yell - 'Stand up for yourself please!'

It took the entire book and almost 30 deaths for him to finally stand up to his father-in-law, Brewster?! And after all the times Brewster tried to kill him, he was surprised that the he purposely left the lashings loose?? Even I figured that out right at the beginning, so those reactions and some others didn't ring true to me.


(spoiler show)


What I did enjoy about the story though was the shipboard atmosphere and the cold climate setting. No I never felt the foreboding feeling and


even with the numerous deaths


(spoiler show)

I never felt the terror I was hoping for but I was able to feel the crews' plight of being stranded in the middle of ice as far as you can see.


The story had all of the ingredients for a good horror novel but, in my opinion it just didn't quite pull it off. 


*I received this ARC from NetGalley & Tor Books in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! 



Professional Reader Reviews Published 2016 NetGalley Challenge



**I read this for my 2016 Halloween Bingo: ~It was a Dark & Stormy Night~ square



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review 2016-09-01 02:24
Snowblind II
Snowblind II: The Killing Grounds - Michael McBride

I've had a sick child this week so I'm way behind & I have a number of reviews I want to wrap up before I start Halloween Bingo so I'm going to make this short & sweet...


If you read the first book, Snowblind, then this a definite must read. Both books are fantastic but I think I liked this one even more then the first. Perfect for a cold - weather night! 



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review 2016-08-23 04:07
Hunters Become Prey...
Snowblind - Michael McBride

In Snowblind, four college friends have been going hunting every year together but this year instead of hunting, they are being hunted. Someone or something is stalking them through the woods & every time they think they have a planned worked out to thwart their stalkers, their stalkers are two steps ahead of them...


I absolutely loved it! It's the perfect story for a cold weather night - or even when it's a 100 degrees in the shade as it is here. Since the temp doesn't ever seem to want to drop around here, I have to read these cold weather stories and imagine the wind and snow on my face. The imagery in this one was perfect for this, but the terrifying feel of being hunted had my heart racing and my adrenaline pumping so cooling down went completely out of the picture. 


McBride subtly but perfectly incorporates his "horror elements" (avoiding spoilers) and uses the landscape to increase the tension which I think is even more thrilling and terrifying then a story that uses a bunch of over-the-top unrealistic elements.


If you have any plans for a winter hunting trip or vacation in the mountains, you might not want to read this before you go. It definitely made me appreciate the intense heat & flat rolling grasslands a little more. : ) 


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review 2016-08-20 08:32
Anomaly in the Ice Rift...
Ice Rift - Ben Hammott

Ice rift is about an expedition team that is sent to the Pine Glacier Ice Shelf in Antarctica to determine the acceleration rate of the ice stream and also investigate an anomaly in the ice rift that's showing up on NASA's scans. When the team descends into the rift they discover a spaceship that evidently crashed and is now buried under the ice shelf. The team sees this as the opportunity of a lifetime to gain important invaluable information about their discovery so they board the ship... 


Honestly, I loved the beginning of this story and the end of the story, but the middle of the story when the team boards the ship-not so much. For one, I felt like there way too many horror elements/creatures introduced (trying to avoid spoilers). I think one or two elements would have been satisfactory but the team encountered one thing after the other and the descriptions of the creatures and the inside of the 'never-ending' ship were so over-the-top so that they came across as completely unrealistic. Also I felt like too much of the story was spent on the team wandering around on the spaceship. I know I would've liked it a lot more if the author utilized the team's base camp and the actual Antarctic landscape more then the ship. 


Overall I think with a little bit of editing, the story has a lot of potential but if you enjoy outrageous creature features you may like it immensely the way it is.


This is the first book I've read by Indie author, Ben Hammott, but I noticed he has written some other books in different genres that look very intriguing so I definitely plan on checking those out.


*I received this ARC from NetGalley & Ben Hammott in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! 


Professional Reader Reviews Published 2016 NetGalley Challenge 

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