Ben Babcock's Reviews > The Terror

The Terror by Dan Simmons
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's review
Apr 07, 2009

it was ok
bookshelves: 2008-read, from-library, historical-fiction
Read in January, 2008

I wish I could say I enjoyed this book more than I did. The premise is great, and the first half of the book was interesting. Dan Simmons captures the isolation, desperation, and hopelessness that encroaches when stranded in the Arctic for the winter. Unfortunately, his characters weren't up to the task of carrying that burden, and the plot was even less robust.

The story eventually devolves into a spiritual, pseudo-mythological adventure in which the protagonist comes to accept that his own Eurocentric values aren't going to keep him alive in the inimical Arctic climate. Meanwhile, the eponymous ship is being stalked by a mysterious polar-bear-like creature (and this is where the book takes the mythological turn) that would definitely puzzle Linnaeus.

By the end of the book, I was alternately confused or disappointed by the actions of the protagonist, and I was just ready to put the book down and have a good cup of tea.
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