Ice Station

ISBN: 3548250459
ISBN 13: 9783548250458
By: Matthew Reilly

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Reader's Thoughts


Man, talk about junk. Not only does it use ignorance to pretend to be Sci-fi, it's HORRIBLY written. In one memorable chapter beginning, he starts three of four consecutive paragraphs with the name "Holmes", and the only reason it's not all four is because the second par of the four starts "George Holmes".Garbage.


The first in the series about Marine Lieutenant Shane M. Schofield, call-sign Scarecrow. I read Scarecrow a few months ago and loved it from the start, so I was curious as to what the start of the series was like.Let me tell you, it was as good as the third book in the series. It pulls the reader in and it doesn't spit him/her out until the very end. Engrossing, gripping, action-packed, sometimes you'll even need some suspension of disbelief, let me tell you, but I absolutely enjoyed the ride.The action was wonderful, the suspense gripping, the plot flowed effortlessly, the characters were great (I still love 'Mother' best), the mystery kept on, the intrigue was thrilling...It kept me guessing and at the edge of my seat for the entire duration.Loved it from beginning to end and I can't wait to start the second book.


Should finish more books before starting new ones. Oh well, my mistake.Fast paced, very interesting page-turner. Warning: has no real chapters, that makes it hard to stop. As some scenes are very long, like the fight scene between the two elite-units this could lead to reading this in one sleepless night, so beware - it is too long for that, per the Kindle-display of left reading time, I think it was just over 10 hours after it has adjusted to my reading speed. And it feels that way.So far this reminds me of some authors I read a lot during my teens, like Alistair MacLean and Colin Forbes.But is up-to-date with the tech described.The fight-scenes are great, but they dominate the book, more or less non-stop-action and if I take a step back to see the big picture, there are too many fight-scenes, too long and while the body-count is very high, some lucky safes-escapes are too unbelievable.The discovery, the reason for the fight scenes and the background, would so far fit on 20-30 pages. The book is long, and could have done with less fight scenes, and longer and more meat to the discovery.So, now having finished it, a solid 3. Not too bad, if it had been shorter and/or less fight scenes, it would have got a 3.5, meaning it could be rounded to 4 stars depending on my mood. Recommended as fast paced guilty pleasure, and I might check out the next books. The hero is better than the brutal torturer Scot Harvath in Brad Thor's series, although I will read more of that one, as I want to see how far Thor pushes the envelope.

Shin Chen

This is a highly action packed book by Matthew Reilly that is the beginning to one of his series. It talks about a team of US Marines sent to help scientists in an ice station in Antarctica when all hell breaks loose on the island. This is a great book for people who like lots of action, adventure or thrillers.

Jason Sta. Maria

A great debut for Shane Schofield. It was an amazing read! Shane Schofield's character was unique and full of luck, hehe! He should say "Give me a break Matt Reilly!" I really agree that those secret military organizations do exist. But I was so confused about the behavior of those Antarctic Killer Whales! This is the very second time that I've heard/read about Killer Whales attack (after watching Orca The Killer Whale), kill and eat Humans, its kinda weird! Now I want to read the Manga version of this book. But overall its an extremely total non-stop action!

Anne (Booklady) Molinarolo

4.5 StarsWow! Matthew Reilly knows how to write a thriller that kept my heart pounding to the very end! Yes, there are a couple improbable plot twists, but Reilly makes you believe all of them. His characters are wonderful: Scarecrow, Gant, Mother, Book, et al are remarkable and memorable. Wendy was simply adorable. An adorable character in a military thriller? Yup, you just love this little fur ball. She’s as brave as the leathernecks who respond to an SOS call to the American Wilkes Ice Station in Antarctica.After several scientists disappear beneath the station in a cavern estimated to be 100 million years old, Lt. Shane “Scarecrow” Schofield and his elite Marines respond to the surviving scientists’ SOS call. His mission is Reconnaissance, but the mission quickly changes, thanks to a team of French elite assassins, an escaped killer, and a traitor in his own squad. What is so valuable about the discovery below? It is thought to be an alien spaceship that visited Earth over 100 million years ago. Would the French Government actually kill for the technology? Would his own government kill for that same knowledge? Scarecrow has seen it before. His comrade, Andrew Trent, was killed by the same elite British SAS that is heading for the Ice Station. Not knowing whom he can trust and hell bent on saving the surviving scientists and his leathernecks, Schofield must find a way to get everyone to safety. It won’t be easy. Solar flares and killer whales complicate his new mission: getting everyone safely back to base. Saying more about the plot would ruin this good thriller. Be prepared to read this to the end in one or two sittings, because ICE STATION will keep you entranced to the last page.

Riju Ganguly

People talking fondly about the writers of the golden era Science Fiction (1940-s & 1950-s) often state that their single biggest skill was to make people willfully suspend disbelief. If you are looking for something in the similar vein, this is THE book for you. It has everything: alien artifact being "discovered" buried under the ice in Antarctica, mysterious & shockingly violent death of the discoverers with very little to know about what is/are killing them, an overt mission to retrieve the artifact and to save the people in the station, several covert missions trying to possess the artifact by carrying out commando operations, betrayal, adventure, death-defying bravado, a scarred (literally) hero and his team of golden-hearten warriors, science & pseudo-science getting mixed so often that a professor of physics (or biology) might simply go insane, and a huge (invisible) tag of "Film Me!" attached to everything..... Believe me, after you have finished this book, you might have a migraine, or you may just keep sitting/standing with your mouth open, with that "WHOA...." expression, but you would not be able to ignore another Matthew Reilly novel henceforth, especially if it has his hero (SCARECROW) in it. Recommended, with "for best possible results: suspend disbelief".

Mark Hebwood

Part 2 in a four-book review of Matthew Reilly's novelsContest -> Ice Station -> Temple -> Seven Ancient Wonders<= Contest ... found an engaging read again! I liked the story - a simple mystery about an alien artefact found lodged thousands of feet underneath the Antarctic ice shelf. There is an excellent turn half way through (which I will not reveal) that keeps the plot believable, and the novel more tight as a thriller. It is - for a lesser part - well written and Matthew keeps it fast paced and maintains suspense through a series of literary devices and tricks. There are cliffhangers, "mystery moments" (this is my expression for sequences in which a character's behaviour seems odd to the reader until the reason suddenly becomes apparent), "narrative time dilation" (again, my words to denote a device that extends the time it takes to narrate an event and hence creates "24"-style real-time tension), plot constraints (external constraints that require characters to solve an issue within a certain timeframe) and some others.So that's good about it. But I said 'for a lesser part' well written". That is an odd expression to use. Should it not be "for the most part"? Well yes - but only if I meant it. My edition has near 700 pages, and I think Matthew could have told his story in 300 and would not have lost anything. Why is it 400 pages longer than it needs to be? Because Matthew insists on extending fight scenes beyond anything that is remotely tolerable to a sane individual. The initial battle scene, for example, is 117 pages long. Yes, you heard right. 117. Onehundredandseventeen. An isolated occurrence? Not so. A wild chase involving a hovercraft is similarly overdone, and so are other miscellaneous action scenes dotted around the novel. The result? Unspeakable tedium. There is no psychological suspense in these plot segments and after getting through them you feel as if somebody had forced you to watch action scenes from the Transformers movies for 4 hours in a row.And the worst of this is that Matthew does this deliberately! It's not that he simply loses control over his plot, he consciously devises action scenes of this length because he thinks this is really cool. How do I know this? Because he said so himself: "... I'd been finding that the books I was reading were too slow, or taking too long between action scenes. I also saw no reason why books couldn't have really massive action scenes, action scenes that were even bigger than those you see in blockbuster Hollywood movies." ("An Australian Interview with Matthew Reilly", in Matthew Reilly, Temple, London 2000, n.p.) Well. Like I said - 4 hours of Transformers-style robot-thrashing, rather than 30 minutes."Movies are constrained by budgets", Matthew continues. "But with books, the limit of your budget is the limit of your imagination. I like to think I have a big imagination." (same place). In Matthew's case, a smaller imagination would have definitely been more.Still, I sort of still liked this one, so I went to pick up Matthew's next offering, Temple, and...=> Temple


Lieutenant Shane ("Scarecrow") Schofield, leading a crack team of U.S. Marines is rushed to an ice station in Antartica to secure the station's discovery of what may be an extraterrestrial spaceship. However, French special forces and then British SAS troops attack to secure this prize. Meanwhile, there are traitors everywhere, also working against Schofield and his team's efforts. This is truly pulp fiction, where belief has to be suspended. Schofield and a small pup seal named Wendy are the highlights of the story.


I started reading this book! And then...I put it down!And then -- I. Picked. It. Back. Up.Again.Just to see how it ended!!!!I couldn't actually finish the book. Gave up on page 500. The beginning was great, but things rapidly dissolved into stupidity. This calls for more than suspension of disbelief. Maybe a pre-frontal lobotomy. Or maybe a time machine. I could travel back in time and give this book to my 14-year-old self, who would probably enjoy it. Though a pre-frontal lobotomy might still be necessary.Give credit where credit is due, though: in the stupid action book category, Reilly is right up there on top. He's got the mojo. There is no other way to explain 3 million books sold and a 4-star rating, although this type of success is a mystery of the same caliber as crossbow-wielding commandos, US marines shooting grappling hooks at everything that moves, and a guy who gets eye replacement surgery after having his peepers sliced in half during a razorblade torture session.My favorite part was when the hero falls off a cliff, swims through 40-foot frigid artic waves--I believe at some point he's pummeled into a cliff by them--and then somehow manages to blow up a nuclear submarine with some high explosives he had in his back pocket.Oh yeah, sorry, that was a spoiler. But believe me, the plot is not the selling point of this book, so I didn't really ruin anything.

Patrick Gibson

I hesitate to put this on the library shelf after struggling to finish another one of the author’s witless action yarns ‘Seven Deadly Wonders.’ But my favorite flea market bookshop had a shitload of Reilly’s books and while admiring the artistic style with which they were stacked like iambic columns (I know, there is no such thing—but if there is Doric then why not Iambic? In my world there would certainly be a few) I had a wild hair thought, ‘maybe they all aren’t as bad as I think.’ And damn, if I didn’t just fritter away another dollar to the Scottish shop owner who has an accent thicker than binding glue. She often makes book recommendations to me. I stare at her with my mouth open and then just nod my head, like I understand.Not everything I hated about ‘Seven Deadly Wonders’ reared its ugly presence in ‘Ice Station.’ Oh, wait a minute. Yes, it did. Although ‘Ice Station’ actually has an idea at its core, which the author abandons for hundreds of pages at a time, he never seems to want to develop it. What starts out as an intriguing, sort of, mystery, quickly digresses into one preposterous action sequence after another. Damn, I want my dollar back. Reading this endless stream of high speed progressions is like playing a 33 1/3 album on 78. What is supposed to be a breathless page turner, in fact, is laughable for its pure superciliousness. Geez, I like that word.I’m guessing Matt Reilly got a C minus in Clive Cussler 101 because he forgot that a story can be as exciting as a barreling hundred-car freight train full chaotic fight scenes and ludicrous cliff hangers resolved with preposterous conclusions.I like Souza marches. But I can’t listen to three hours of them at a time. That’s what I felt like was happening while reading ‘Ice Station.’ Why did I finish? Why do we keep watching Shark Week every summer when we have seen all the episodes before? Right. We keep hoping for a miraculous change and that it will actually get better. Never happens does it?When I finally learn Scottish I will inform Book Stall Lady to never sell another Matt Reilly book to me ever again. Unless it’s marked down to 75 cents.


** spoiler alert ** If you pick up this book and read the blurb (or scroll to the top of this page and read the summary) you should know exactly what you're in for: high-action, high-octane, military-operation-gone-south thriller. Pretty much standard vacation fare, the stuff you'd bring on a plane or to the beach and blaze through in a couple days.While certainly similar to books like Dan Brown's "Deception Point" and Clive Cussler's "Iceberg" in that it follows the basic formula of "take action thriller, stir in conspiracy, just add ice," the biggest difference is that when Reilly takes the action and turns it up to 11, he keeps it there. For practically the entire book. Between pages 57 and 497 (2000 edition), the narrative is a white-knuckle roller coaster ride of people shooting at each other and things exploding. Even before that, we have mysterious and violent disappearances, hovercrafts hurtling through a blizzard, political intrigue, etc.By page 497 literally everyone still left alive has just come out of the worst day of their life. The biggest surprise of all is that the whole thing is a surprisingly enjoyable read [if you can stomach the gleeful ultraviolence and inane suspension of disbelief you'll need to get through this book].Let me explain: every criticism you can lob against Reilly (and there are plenty, just see all the 1-star reviews) doesn't change that fact that he does what he does very, very well, which is construct a tightly plotted action thriller. So let's get those criticisms out of the way before we move onto the goods. -Yes, the science is preposterous, but chances are you’re not reading this book for a look at late 90’s cutting edge SCUBA diving methods, marine mammal behavior and feeding habits, or the practical applications of a magnetic grappling hook. - No, Reilly is not the most poetic or subtle of writers. There are far too many exclamation points in the book, like he was so incredibly excited to tell us about the new! and exciting! dangers our heroes are about to face. Case in point, from page 295: “…Schofield quickly jammed the big vehicle into reverse and engaged the turbofan again.Now he was travelling backward! At eighty miles per hour.In front of Book and the two British hovercrafts!”It happens a couple times. Even more frequently, Schofield will have his characters dip into highly technical language to explain some pretty simple concepts to other characters [and presumably readers] who are supposed to be at least mildly competent. At one point a 7th grader lectures a team of marines about the Fibonacci sequence (though to be fair this might be a form of payback, considering the main character steals her asthma inhaler several many chapters prior). -Yes, the characters take an unbelievable amount of punishment and come back up swinging, considering their injuries include but are not limited to: bruising, contusions, concussions, broken bones, partial dismemberment, gunshot wounds, hypothermia, and death (not even kidding on this one). But who else is going to carry on the narrative if not for our ruggedly handsome/ doggedly determined protagonist and his ragtag team of marines? Not that their characters are fleshed out much, but a lot of them end up as cannon fodder so I guess that doesn’t really matter. Shane Shofield, our hero, gets a neatly-packaged and unnecessarily gruesome backstory about a quarter of the way through the book, but he never really rises above the role he plays in the first 30 or 40 pages, which is… ultra-capable military grunt with a heart of gold who can shoot and/ or improvise his way out of any situation. There’s just nothing else there.But I did not come here for well-rounded characters. I showed up for the action and stayed for the fact that every ridiculously over the top situation was but the precursor to an even crazier fix. You think 8 hostile French agents out to kill is bad for our hero? Wait until he gets dropped into a pool full of bloodthirsty orcas with an inexplicable taste for human flesh. He survives it all, guns blazing. You think his troubles are over? No, they are just beginning. Enter 20 British special forces soldiers and an 80-mph chase across the arctic ice in hovercrafts firing anti-tank missiles at each other. Conspiracies! Gun battles! Betrayal! Literal, fight-to-the-death cage matches! This is edge-of your seat stuff, but your butt can get a little numb sitting there for so long.The thing is, Reilly packed 3 books worth of action into 500 pages. It is literally non-stop. Our heroes are in constant danger, and the lengths to which Reilly goes to keep this danger fresh and exciting are absurd. The book’s saving grace was how tightly woven the story is- there’s a lot going on in the main narrative, and a handful of less interesting but ultimately validating side plots chugging along beside it, but for all the irons Reilly’s got in the fire he seems to have excised every element non-essential to the plot. Be assured, if you’re reading “Ice Station” and you think you’ve come upon a useless bit of trivia, there’s a 90% chance you’re wrong and it’s just one of about a dozen of the Chekhov’s guns that have been dropped into the first half of the story. I was pleasantly surprised by the clues Reilly had worked in before he brought out the crazy twists and turns, but I read through this book in just under two days so some of those clues might fall to the wayside if you like to take your time with your action/ thriller reads.Now, the last point I want to bring up is the amount of violence in the book. The best way I can describe it is that it’s like “that one kid” we all knew in grade school that got sent to the principal’s office for drawing really graphic pictures of his least-favorite classmates getting brutally murdered grew up and got his hands on a keyboard. And proceeded to bang out a 500 page book about dozens of soldiers, civilians, and secret agents dying in increasingly creative and descriptive ways at the hands of all manner of weaponry, machinery, and sea creatures. The book revels in the gory details, like this passage from page 421: “And when every single blood cell in a human body explodes it make for a horrifying sight. The SAS men on C-deck had their faces exposed– and that was where the liquid nitrogen hit them. So it was in their faces that the supercooled liquid nitrogen took its most devastating effect. The blood vessels under their facial skin– veins, arteries, capillaries– instantly began to rupture and then suddenly, spontaneously, they began to explode. Black lesions instantly appeared all over their faces as the blood vessels under their skin exploded. Their eyes filled with blood, and the sliders could no longer see. Blood exploded out from the pores of their skin. The SAS commandos fell to their knees, screaming. But they wouldn’t scream for long. Brain death would occur within the next thirty seconds as the blood vessels in their brains froze over and themselves began to hemorrhage. They would all be dead soon, and it would be agony every second of the way.”Of course, none of this fazes our too-cool-to-lose-his-cool commander, but if you, dear reader, are at all squeamish about people being devoured alive, shot at, exploded, or otherwise meeting their demise in ways neither poetic nor peaceful, then this book isn’t for you.TL;DRIn the end, this book is the equivalent of a popcorn movie. I'd give it 3.5 stars if the rating system allowed for it. What Reilly does he does extremely well, and that is grab you by the hand and drag you through 500 pages of high stakes action, adventure, blood, guts, mystery, intrigue, betrayal, explosions, missiles, guns, marine life, and ice… screaming all the way.

Jane Stewart

Too many scenes were interrupted which made me mad, reduced my enjoyment.STORY BRIEF:U.S. researchers in Antarctica discover something buried in an ice cave. They believe it is an alien spaceship. Divers were killed while looking at it. They don’t know why. They send out a distress signal. Other countries hear the call and want the spaceship. So they send military groups to fight for it. Lieutenant Schofield is the first to arrive with a group of marines. His goal is to protect the researchers and the discovery. An enemy military group soon arrives with better weapons and more men. Their intent is to kill everyone.The most frequently used weapon is Schofield’s mag gun. It shoots a grappling hook and a magnetic end with a long cable attached. The author used this gun in many different and creative ways.Some good guys are killed, but it has a happy ending for other good guys.OPINION:This feels like 50 scenes of pulse-pounding action, fast and furious fighting. It was crisis after crisis even at the end. A lot of them were imaginative. This should appeal to video game lovers (those of them who like to read). In many scenes Schofield is about to be killed, but he finds some little thing or something unexpected which gets him out of it. It reminded me of MacGiver.This was exciting, but I don’t want to read any more. I want more than chase, defend, attack. I want characters and other things. I prefer the Jack Reacher books over this.INTERRUPTING SCENES:This author did something that made me so mad and too many times. It’s a cheap trick/device. He interrupts scenes at the moment of realization or crisis - at the worst time for the reader. He doesn’t need to do that. This is already nonstop suspense. Here’s an example. A is wounded and in a hospital bed. B enters the room with a knife planning to kill A. A secretly switches on a microphone. Scene switches to C on another floor talking to a guy. Scene switches back to B smashing the microphone. Scene switches to C, still talking. Scene switches to A who is bloody but won the fight with B. The A scene was split into three pieces, and it was a short scene. (As an aside we missed the best part - how did wounded A win the fight with B?)Here’s another example, Schofield finds a transmitter and wonders what it’s for. Then all of a sudden he realizes the answer. But the scene switches to something else without telling the reader what he realized.If the author had not used these tricks I would have given the book more stars. But I cannot like something when I’m frustrated and mad over and over again.SUSPENDING DISBELIEF:I don’t mind suspending disbelief - for fun. And you need to do that A LOT. But there was one thing that really bothered me and I really needed an explanation. Large elephant seals are eating humans. A bad guy injures A and throws him into the ocean. So why does an elephant seal grab A in the water, put him back on the deck, and then leave? He saved A’s life. I’d be willing to accept this if you give me an explanation. Did he like A’s smell or something? What?Spoiler answers the question: Are aliens in this story?(view spoiler)[All the fighting and suspense is among the various military groups. There are no aliens in this story.(hide spoiler)]NARRATOR:He was very good except for his accent on two words - on almost every page. It was distracting. Most of the characters are Americans, and they don’t talk like that. He said “been” (like it rhymes with green) and “again” (like the word “gain”). I’m not sure what his accent is but it doesn’t sound like U.S. marines. It was unsettling. I think the narrator should have changed his pronunciation just for those two words.DATA:Narrative mode: 3rd person. Unabridged audiobook length: 15 hrs and 19 mins. Swearing language: strong including religious swear words. Sexual content: none. Setting: current day Antarctica and U.S. Book copyright: 1999. Genre: action suspense.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

Rory Eggleston

Okay, first things first: SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS. Not that there's much plot to give away.Well, I saw this book on the library shelf the other day and picked it up. I'd been feeling like some brainless action for a few days, and this seemed to fit the bill, so I happily sat down and started reading. And, at first, it was great stuff. Not in any cerebral sense, of course, but entertaining enough. I mean, come on: Antarctic research stations, mysterious metal things buried in 400 million year old was addictive!But then, about two hundred pages in, I began to have misgivings. I guess, in retrospect, I should have seen it from the very beginning, when characters are worried because of a nearby pod of orcas (in the book, only referred to as killer whales) might attack some divers. And then said pod of whales sinisterly appears and start attacking and devouring humans. That's when suspension of disbelief broke down. Because here's the thing: in all of recorded human history, orcas have only attacked humans on five or six occasions, none of which resulted in death. There have been captive attacks, but that's not the point. THIS WOULD NEVER HAPPEN, which Mr. Reilly would know if he'd bothered doing even a little bit of research. And the list goes on: French special ops attacking everyone with...crossbows? American special ops retaliating with...grappling hooks? A massive flurocarbon leak which makes the air extremely flammable, but also doesn't suffocate anyone. A kid who's been at the ice station for all of a week and already has a pet seal? People without pressure suits surviving below 1000 feet in Antarctic waters? And, of course, super massive, radiation-mutated elephant seals, which, for some reason, live in the center of an ice shelf. I could go on, but there wouldn't be a point. Now, I realize that this book was in no way intended to be great literature, but merely a fun action romp, but there is suspension of disbelief, and then there is suspension of disbelief which requires a full lobotomy for one to enjoy the effects. Reality seems to have completely flown the coop in this one, and it is difficult to stick with it because of this. I guess I'd suggest it for a long airplane trip, when you have nothing better to do.


first of all, thanks to my friend for her recommendation..indeed, she was talking a lot of good stuff about this book and i had to stop her from saying anything further cause she almost give the spoiler!finished this book in one and a half day, i've totally fallen in love with Scarecrow!!lolXD

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