This is a blend of travelogue, scientific explanation and cultural and scientific history. It is most successful at the travelogue and least successful at the scientific explanation. The author unfortunately suffers from the "Curse of Knowledge" at times, whereby understanding gained over many years of hard study becomes second-nature and one forgets that even the basics are unfamilar to most people - even most well educated people. This makes some of the attempts to explain the origins of the aurora somewhat muddled. It's worth reading, though, if you are interested in the aurora, polar exploration or how vulnerable much of our technology is to events utterly beyond our control, whose ultimate origin is our sun.