Something deadly and mysterious stalks the members of an isolated polar expedition in this haunting and spellbinding historical horror novel, perfect for fans of Dan Simmons’s The Terror and Alma Katsu’s The Hunger.
In the wake of the First World War, Jonathan Morgan stows away on an Antarctic expedition, determined to find his rightful place in the world of men. Aboard the expeditionary ship of his hero, the world-famous explorer James “Australis” Randall, Jonathan may live as his true self—and true gender—and have the adventures he has always been denied. But not all is smooth sailing: the war casts its long shadow over them all, and grief, guilt, and mistrust skulk among the explorers.
When disaster strikes in Antarctica’s frozen Weddell Sea, the men must take to the land and overwinter somewhere which immediately seems both eerie and wrong; a place not marked on any of their part-drawn maps of the vast white continent. Now completely isolated, Randall’s expedition has no ability to contact the outside world. And no one is coming to rescue them.
In the freezing darkness of the Polar night, where the aurora creeps across the sky, something terrible has been waiting to lure them out into its deadly landscape…
As the harsh Antarctic winter descends, this supernatural force will prey on their deepest desires and deepest fears to pick them off one by one. It is up to Jonathan to overcome his own ghosts before he and the expedition are utterly destroyed.
Published 29 March 2022| Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books | RRP: AUD$26.50
My Blurb (3 / 5 stars)
This book appealed to me because I recalled a couple of Antarctica thrillers which I enjoyed though I think neither was historical. Nevertheless, I thought that would add to the thrill (difficulty without tech etc) however I didn’t really count on the horror bit of the story. I’m not a huge fan of horror because for some reason, they just confuse me. I read & loved some paranormal, magical books but for some unknown reason, I just don’t get horror. It’s not particularly scary so I guess I just missed the point?
The novel opens with our protagonist’s family receiving news of the loss of their elder 2 sons whom it appears to have had ambitions for an Antarctica expedition adventures. What do you do when the 2 older brothers whom you worshipped were ripped away from you? Well, you do what they have always wanted to do! But well, there is the barrier of your perceived gender and your parents so the only thing to do is to stow away and hopefully prove yourself while onboard. Things never truly go smoothly for an expedition to the unknown but this time, there were other factors at play and not everyone can see them…
It is possibly my initial expectation of the book which influenced my thoughts on this book because I keep expecting a twist of the psychological thriller variety but it never happened so while accept some paranormal activity as possible, I didn’t find it scary. Since I didn’t find it scary nor was there any particular surprising twist, I found this book to be rather long and uneventful (yes, despite all the tragic incidents).
My thanks to Atria/Emily Bestler Books for ecopy of book via Edelweiss+ in exchange of my honest thoughts
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