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Neo-opsis Review

Ice Tomb

Deborah Jackson
The Invisible College Press
ISBN: 1-931468-19-2



          Looking for a story with hard science and some near-future speculation? Or would you rather read SF with a romantic component —something that ISN’T full of vampires or pseudo-Celtic princes? If you’re looking for a crossover novel written by someone other than Diana Gabaldon, look up Ice Tomb by Deborah Jackson.


          When we meet Erica Daniels, she’s gathering geological samples on a volcano. She’s still holding a grudge against the man who broke her heart when he stole her doctoral thesis. Now David Marsh is a crewmember on an expedition to colonize the moon. And when Erica finally gets her own call from NASA, they send her instead to Antarctica. The first team investigating a “hot spot” in the Antarctic ice has disappeared.


          Erica’s team of investigators includes Allan Rocheford, an archaeologist, who manages to antagonize her, challenge her and attract her, by turns. Which man is manipulating her, and where is this adventure leading? Just how far does a woman have to go to find true love?


          The action scenes are reminiscent of a Dick Francis mystery novel rather than a James Bond flick — and the author handles dialogue deftly, with wit as well as realism. And one scene that works most powerfully is the seduction in the restroom of a Hercules plane, flying above Antarctica. Erica cannot be faulted for accepting the charm of a man who can summon up that kind of effort in an uninsulated plane (just above freezing and background noise about 80 decibels) after a daring snow-mobile ride that saw him take a bullet in the side. In fact, it’s almost an anticlimax when Erica later finds herself transported to — no, that would be telling. Reading is better. Hunt this book down, and ignore the polar bear on the cover. His warning glare shouldn’t scare you off — it’s a sign that this romance has teeth.


                          Review by Paula Johanson.

                                First published in Neo-opsis Issue 7.


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