Beyond the Ice Limit by Preston & Child

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Beyond the Ice Limit by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child is the fourth book in the Gideon Crew series and for my money is the best one so far. First off, let me say, for full disclosure that I am a huge Preston and Child fan since I first read the Relic decades ago. Having said that, the Gideon Crew series may be the only books I have read by this duo, writing together or alone, that I don’t really care for. So when Beyond the Ice Limit came along, which is a sequel to a prior novel by this tandem called The Ice Limit, featuring Gideon Crew, I decided to give the series another shot.

Five years ago, Eli Glinn led a mission to recover the largest meteorite ever discovered off a remote island off the coast of South America. That mission ended in disaster with the ship the Rolvaag sinking, most of its crew perishing, and its cargo sinking to the bottom of the ocean. One hundred and eight crew members were lost and Glinn himself left parlyzed. What was also learned was that the meteorite was in fact not a rock at all. Instead it was an organism, not of this Earth. An organism, that after five years on the ocean floor, is beginning to come alive.

Glinn, now healed, is putting together another team to head back to where the organism lays on the ocean floor. He believes that the only solution is to kill the creature and destroy it utterly. For this he needs Gideon Crew and his expertise with nuclear weapons. The creature has implanted itself in the ocean floor and is growing, with roots and branches like a tree. What Glinn and Crew don’t realize yet is that the creature is sentient, aware of it’s surroundings and with a mind and intent of it’s own.

The Ice Limit was one of the best of Preston and Child’s novels that did not include the fan favorite FBI Agent Pendergrast and instead brought along a crew and group of characters that were new to the authors and their fanbase. The novel was a terrific success but ended with far too many questions unanswered. What really was the meteorite? What became of Glinn and the other survivors and what was the result of losing it on the bottom of the ocean? It is many years later and the authors have finally answered those questions with the sequel Beyond the Ice Limit. And answer it they have! Fast paced and smart, like many of their earlier novels, the brilliance and action in Beyond the Ice Limit will make fans of P & C’s earlier works thrilled and will step up the expectations of the fans of the Gideon Crew series.

Beyond the Ice Limit is a throwback to what Preston and Child do best. Science Fiction, rooted in strong scientific fact, deep complex mystery with characters that behave with raw emotion when faced with extraordinary circumstances. As a character I have found Gideon Crew lacking in the prior novels of this series. Here, he is strong, emotional and herioc, as well as being flawed. While Crew is the central character of this novel, the other characters stand very strong, with their own ambitions and fears driving the events of the tale. Mainly Glinn, whose actions swing between redemption and revenge. Glinn is not a character given to weakness and regret, but here, faced with what his own hubris brought about, you see plenty of it and it actually makes him a far more likable character.

Beyond the Ice Limit is a worthy successor to the Ice Limit and fans of the original novel will be very pleased with this sequel. I hope this book is a change in the series of Gideon Crew and makes me, a lukewarm fan of the series, want to follow it now to see how it goes.

Another great read from this team!

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