Anika Duncan is a pilot with the UN Polar Guard. She took the job to get away from the danger in war-torn Africa. Global warming has turned the Arctic into a veritable for anyone and everyone who wants to make a profit. Unfortunately that includes people who want to dump toxic and nuclear waste into the depths of the Arctic ocean. Finding and tagging these criminals is her job until the day she is shot down into the freezing ocean for doing it. What follows is a frantic scramble to find out who shot her down and why. When her partner dies in the hospital there is nothing for it but a good old-fashioned smash-everything-to-bits-takedown of the parties involved. The thing is though that it turns out not to be so simple.
The plot of the book, while excellent, pales in comparison to the characters. Not just another set of white, straight 30 somethings, the cast is instead wide and varied across ages, nationalities, skin colors and sexual orientations. And I loved every one of them. Anika most of all of course but also the drug lord, Vy, with a soft-spot in her heart for Anika and last but not least Roo, the spy from the Caribbean Islands. Not that the villains can be left far behind. There are two different villain camps who are both scary and both have believable, if not completely acceptable, motives for their villainy. Trying not to give too much away is killing me here. 😀
I really loved the big idea behind this book. Global warming is a real threat in many respects but countries and areas around the arctic circle are most likely to be the beneficiaries in that catastrophe whereas the countries that are already poor and somewhat unempowered are likely to be the biggest losers and without much say in the big picture that’s causing it. Mr Buckell managed to weave that reality deep into the plot and characters without being finger-waggy about it.
All in all the book is as action-packed as any good thriller with a solid science-fiction setting and gorgeous characters. One thing though; don’t read the back of the book synopsis. For some reason it has major plot points all through it that are just simply better coming from the text itself. Also, it kind of sucks and paints the book as something I at least didn’t find inside it.
YA/MG Science Fiction
Adult Science Fiction
Science Fiction Classic – Pre-1950s
Science Fiction Modern Classic – 1951-1992
Time Travel/Alternate History/Parallel Universe
Mad Scientists/Genetic Testing/Environmental Disaster