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Book Title: Ice Tomb (Second Edition)
Author: Deborah Jackson
Format reviewed: eBook
Publisher: Smashwords, Amazon
Published on: Jan 5, 2012
Length: ~97,000 words
Price: $0.99 USD
Genre: Science fiction, suspense/thriller

I recently downloaded ‘Ice Tomb’ from Smashwords.com, during their July Summer Sale.  I really enjoyed the book so I thought it was a good choice for my first post on “Indie Treasures?”

Here’s the book’s description quoted from the Smashwords site:

“NASA lures volcanologist Erica Daniels to a conference in Houston by promising to consider her for their upcoming mission—establishing the first moon base. Instead, her archrival and ex-lover, David Marsh, gets the plum assignment, while she’s sent to Antarctica. An irritating British archaeologist and a brilliant Russian astrophysicist accompany her on a journey through unforgiving snowscapes, mysterious ice tunnels and a frozen graveyard. They present her with extraordinary suggestions for the origin of the hotspot. Along the way, Erica unearths scientific marvels that might just prove her own theory. But why is the ice sheet littered with bodies? Is the activity under the ice the remnants of an ancient civilization or is there a more sinister explanation? To discover the truth Erica will have to join forces with the man she despises—a man who’s on the moon.”

My Review:

This is a science based adventure/thriller set in 2039. It features a female protagonist, brilliant scientist Erica Daniels, burning to be the first volcanologist to set foot on the moon.  Unfortunately her former lover and biggest academic rival, David Marsh, gets that honor while Erica finds herself stuck in Antarctica with Special Opps soldiers shooting at her.

This story grabbed my interest right from the start – it’s fast paced and interesting, and I had a hard time putting it down.  I especially liked the main character, Erica. She’s not particularly likable, but that just made her more realistic and interesting to me.  I also liked the way author Deborah Jackson captured the competitive (and often ruthless) nature of the academic world.  I live and work in that world every day and the events in this book were entirely believable to me.  Also, the science seemed well researched and credible.  The storyline was really unique and the ending was unexpected – something that always appeals to me.

My only criticisms of the book are that there were a few typos (not many!) and the characters David Marsh and Jing-Mei seemed somewhat incongruous at times.  She started out as a strong leader and he as a weak opportunist, but she folded at the sight of a few dead bodies and he immediately morphed into the leader position.  I’ve never encountered any dead bodies myself, so I can’t really say this is an unbelievable turn of events, but it did seem a little out of character for them both.

Despite those minor issues, I have to say that this is one of the best Indie book I’ve read to date.  It’s very well written and well researched.  I’ll be seeking out more books by this author.