Professional Reader

out of the ice

I had heard great things about The Lost Swimmer Ann Turners first novel, but as a book blogger with lots of new reads arriving every day, I never got around to reading it. So, when Out Of The Ice appeared on the reading list I put my hand straight up. Suspense and Antarctica, why wouldn’t anyone be intrigued?

We start with Laura Alvarado, an environmental scientist who has had a rough trot with a family tragedy; a separation, an absent but brilliant father, and a mother she clashes with constantly. Escaping the loss and rebuilding her life, she takes a project out in the ice blue landscape of Antarctica assessing and compiling a report of a long deserted whaling station, which has become an exclusion zone to protect wildlife. Yet, there seems evidence of recent human interaction and the wildlife are behaving strangely. Laura needs to reconcile the hideous cruel past, when whaling was big business, with scientific progress and the tricks her mind seems to be playing. Has she been away from home and out in the ice too long?

Ann has a great skill when it comes to setting a scene and her descriptive writing is on point in Out Of The Ice. The landscape felt so barren and still, it was almost dystopian, it must have been such an interesting book to research. I felt the cold, the blistering snow storms and the tingle in her fingers as Laura enters her room to get away from the cold. I did pick up a few repeated phrases in the ARC such as ‘black eyes’ and ‘grey meat’; this may be picked up in the final print, but the words could have been purposefully chosen to convey the monotony of living out on an Antarctic base and elude to a touch of brain freeze!

abandoned whaling station
Daily Mail

The technical terms left me a little lost at times, but I was soon back on track and by the end of it I knew my Skidoos from my Haaglunds! As each character grows within the pages, you get a real feel for each of them, even the secondary characters. I also enjoyed the friendship and camaraderie of Laura and her team, but are they all on her side? As the secrets are revealed at the eerie, deserted whaling station, the tension escalates and I blasted through the pages to get to the good stuff and find out what was really happening out there in the ice.

The wildlife descriptions bring the animals of the Antarctic to life and I found myself, when I wasn’t reading, browsing the net about Adelie penguins; imagining the horrendous din that thousands of them gathered in rookeries would make and the sheer size of the seals and sea lions defending their brood. This book definitely peaked my curiousity and I will be re-watching Attenborough’s Antarctica this weekend (below is the cutest penguin video which will make your soul happy!)

I finished Out Of The Ice three days ago and I am honestly still not sure how I feel about the ending. You will have to read and decide for yourself (and for me!).

3.5 out of 5 for me

Click on now and buy for your holiday!  Read about the cold dark ice while on a hot, lazy beach!

I’m off to read The Lost Swimmer!

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