Stranded: A Novel by Bracken MacLeod
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was a good one. Is it a horror novel? A science fiction novel? An adventure story? Why choose? It’s all the above!
Noah Cabot is a deck hand on the Arctic Promise, and the ship is in a very violent storm as the story opens. The storm passes, but the fog that follows is incredibly thick. Then Noah sees that ice is starting to form in the ocean. Next thing you know, the ship ain’t moving because it’s beset by ice. But that ain’t half the problem. The ship’s master is Noah’s father-in-law … and the old man hates Noah to the point of wanting him dead. The men are getting sick and the equipment on the ship is shutting down. Then they find a lump on the horizon and a team goes out to see what it is … and things really take a turn for the weird. I can’t say too much more without giving away a major bit of the plot, so I’ll just say, alternate realities.
MacLeod seems to really know is transport ships, oil platforms, and the arctic. I would have read this book for those descriptions alone. The fact it came with a breakneck-paced plot was a serious bonus, though. There is not a dull moment in this book, and when a certain character does a certain horrific thing, there are no punches pulled.
So, yeah, I really liked it, but that doesn’t mean it was perfect. I did guess what the solution to their problem was going to be before MacLeod revealed it, and I knew what would influence Noah’s final decision. But really, there are no original plots. You read a book like this to see how the particular author will tell the story his way. MacLeod does a fantastic job.
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