Journalist Michael Wilde is sent to a remote research station in Antarctica to write an article for a magazine. Whilst there he discovers two bodies, chained together and frozen in the ice. When the bodies defrost Michael and the scientists begin to realise that this is a discovery like no other and that they could all be in danger.
Parts one and two of this book use an almost alternating chapter system to tell two different stories. One story is that of Michael Wilde in the present day and the other is that of Sinclair Copley and Eleanor Ames in 1854. (There are slightly more present day chapters than historical ones hence the almost alternating chapters). In part three the narration moves to present day but with flashbacks to 1884 and in part four the setting is entirely in the present.
I liked this way of telling the story. Reading parts one and two was almost like reading two different books as the stories were so different. It was interesting to see how they came together.
I enjoyed reading this book a lot. The characters were well written and the imagery was excellent. The descriptions of the barren Antarctic landscapes and of London in the 1850's were equally well written.
The historical aspect of the book had an authentic feel to it, although I have no idea if it is in fact historically accurate, as I know nothing about the Crimean War!
The book was quite creepy in places, especially towards the end of part two when the ice enclosing the bodies is beginning to melt. I particularly liked this quote -
"An ear, put to the ice, would have heard a sound like static, as the ice cracked and crumbled...and a sound, too, of something else. Of scratching. Like nails on glass."
The book was an interesting blend of thriller, science fiction and historical fiction which I think worked really well. I took every possible opportunity to read the book and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Book Review: THE OUTSIDER
2 weeks ago