Saturday, 8 January 2011

Blood and Ice - Robert Masello

GENRE: Adult/ Scifi
PAGES: 512
PUBLISHER: Vintage Books
FORMAT: Paperback
BUY IT: Waterstones


When journalist Michael Wilde is commissioned to write a feature about a remote research station deep in the frozen beauty of Antarctica he is prepared for some extraordinary sights. But on a diving expedition in the polar sea he comes across something so extraordinary to be almost unbelievable - a man and woman chained together, deep in the ice. The doomed lovers are brought to the surface but as the ice begins to thaw the scientists discover the unusual contents of the bottles buried behind the pair, and realise they are all in terrible danger...

This book may look, and even sound, like a Vampire novel, but don't be fooled. The blurb will tell you that this story centres around the discovery of 2 bodies in the Antarctic sea, but it really deals with the build up to it. The supernatural elements don't even really begin until 2/3 of the way through.

However, as much as I would like to be critical of the book I can't; it is very well written and hopelessly engaging. This seems to be the beginning of literary fiction reclaiming the vampire and the supernatural from writers like Meyer, and although it does not pack as much of a punch as the teenage stories, it is fantastically researched. The threads Masello pulls through Victorian England to today's Antarctic are fascinating and the detail is extraordinary. This book doesn't have a quick pace. It builds the story as it builds tension - gradual and intense.

Although I would not recommend this book to someone looking for cheap thrills, the atmosphere is so strong it is definately worth a few comfortable nights in. This is a good novel for moving from teenage vampires to literary fiction. Also great for fans of The Passage who aren't sure what to read next.

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