About the Book
The men on board HMS Terror have every expectation of finding the Northwest Passage. When the expedition's leader, Sir John Franklin, meets a terrible death, Captain Francis Crozier takes command and leads his surviving crewmen on a last, desperate attempt to flee south across the ice. But as another winter approaches, as scurvy and starvation grow more terrible, and as the Terror on the ice stalks them southward, Crozier and his men begin to fear there is no escape. A haunting, gripping story based on actual historical events, The Terror is a novel that will chill you to your core.
It's gripping, it's terrifying and it's just about impossible to put down. That's Dan Simmons' Terror for you!
The novel promises and delivers a lot. What I sincerely admire is the amount of research the author has done, the painstaking details he recreates in his story and the effort to get them true to real life. That's what succeeds in making this novel stand-out and be a force unto itself.
The readers get sucked into the narrative gradually since the way it weaves back and forth, from the past to the present and back, is disconcerting if one doesn't pay attention to the Chapter titles which indicate the time period. The maps provided toward the beginning of the book are helpful in keeping the reader on track as the ships go to and forth along routes and places too confusing to understand otherwise. We follow the story from when the ships are already stuck in ice. The background is then gradually revealed and in such a way as to keep the readers continually challenged and filled with suspense. The Terror is not just not physical, but mental and emotional too and Simmons in-depth writing has the power to make the reader experience it all along with the characters. From some hope to total hopelessness, it's a bleak journey just like the landscape. But one filled with human and unnatural experiences that just too painful and sometimes unbelievable at times.
I went into this novel having just briefly read the back blurb. As such, I went in without much expectation or bias. And while, in the end, I found the novel to be irresistible and a very worthwhile reading experience, I must mention the one thing I keenly felt the lack of. That of a foreword by the author or a preface where readers are given an introduction to the background behind the search for the legendary Northwest Passage. Instead readers are left to put together the pieces through the recollections and viewpoints of various characters and this doesn't always make for coherent reading.
That apart, the novel is a stellar read and one I wouldn't hesitate to recommend!
And now for the...
FIVE lucky winners will each win a copy of this book.
- Visit Hachette Books and tell me which of their New or Upcoming releases you'd love to read and why. I'd also love it if you include why you want to win this book.
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Deadline Midnight CST of March 6, 2009.
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