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Arctic Rising

(Arctic Rising #1)

3.25  ·  Rating details ·  1,065 ratings  ·  194 reviews
Global warming has transformed the Earth, and it's about to get even hotter. The Arctic Ice Cap has all but melted, and the international community is racing desperately to claim the massive amounts of oil beneath the newly accessible ocean.

Anika Duncan is an airship pilot for the underfunded United Nations Polar Guard. Soon Anika finds herself caught up in a plot by a cab
Hardcover, 1st Edition, 299 pages
Published February 28th 2012 by Tor Books
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Average rating 3.25  · 
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 ·  1,065 ratings  ·  194 reviews

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Elizabeth Arnold
Mar 01, 2013 rated it liked it
I really wanted to give this book more stars. Just look at the positives:
1) Really great near-future world depiction. In many ways, it reminded me of Kim Stanley Robinson's "Mars" series, with the focus on terraforming, multinational corporations, and green terrorists.

2) Kudos to the author for the heavy focus on first nations people and the way in which global climate change would affect them disproportionately. It's not every day you read a espionage thriller peopled almost entirely with char
John Carter McKnight
Oct 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Arctic Rising needs to be a movie, right now. It's brilliantly vivid, breakneck-paced, nail-bitingly suspenseful, with visually striking and well-defined characters, and would look amazing on the big screen.

As a novel, it's still a winner. I love the characters: the African lesbian pilot protagonist, the Caribbean dreadlocked spy, the gorgeous blonde drug capo and her subtly snarky Russian bodyguard, the strip club run as a worker-owned capitalist co-op, and above all the world-weary, elderly s
Kenyon Harbison
Mar 26, 2012 rated it liked it
This is a fairly mediocre, though also quite readable, "eco-thriller" set in the near future. The ice caps have melted. A semi-country named Thule exists at the North Pole, built on the last of the ice, which they keep artificially-frozen. The "Artic Tigers" like Canada, Russia, rule the roost because global warming has given them tons more arable land while taking it away from other countries, and because they control so much of the newly-explorable oil/gas fields.

The main character, whose nam
Lelia Taylor
Apr 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: full-reviews
Arctic Rising
Tobias S. Buckell
Tor Books, February 2012
ISBN 978-0-7653-1921-0

In a not very distant future, global warming has succeeded in melting nearly all of the Arctic icecap and the results are what we should probably expect. Massive oil fields previously buried are now available for the taking and a new global economy has grown up around the remnants of the ice. Countries and corporations vie for top dog position with Canada having a territorial edge and a world much like the Ameri
May 15, 2012 added it
Arctic Rising is a bit of a change from other Tobias Buckell books I’ve read. While it’s definitely science fiction, it’s near-future SF with a strong “thriller” feel. (The genre, not the Michael Jackson song. There are no dancing zombies in this book.)

The protagonist is Anika Duncan, an airship pilot for the U.N. Polar Guard who gets shot down after discovering a nuclear missile being smuggled into the Arctic. She soon finds herself in the middle of a global power struggle. The Gaia Corporation
Michael Cummings
Feb 09, 2012 rated it really liked it

Tobias Buckell, known for his Caribbean influenced science fiction Xenowealth series and additions to the Halo universe, brings us his first new novel in four years with "Arctic Rising". In the very near future, the Arctic ice cap has all but melted as rising global temperatures change the dynamics and balance of power in the world. Tundras are now prairies, and the once ice locked islands of
C.E. Murphy
Jan 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I've just finished Tobias Buckell's absolutely terrific ARCTIC RISING, which is one of those rare books that I enjoyed so much that I dearly wish I'd written it, but am also not flailing with regret that I didn't nor would ever be able to write it. Instead I just enjoyed the hell out of it and am chomping at the bit for the sequel.

It's near-future SF, set after the melting of the Arctic ice cap. More accessible and adventure-oriented than Kim Stanley Robinson's brilliant Science trilogy, it is e
Oct 08, 2014 rated it did not like it
This book is bad, just plain bad. The story is lame, on the level of what you might find in a cliched Hollywood thriller, and it is poorly told. The author has little sense of character. Not only are they cardboard and one-dimensional, but they aren't consistently imagined. There's a lot of violence as well, some of it totally unrealistic, again like a Hollywood movie. For example, the heroine and her lover beat the living crap out of a guy with brass knuckles. They are described hitting him in ...more
Climate change meets action adventure! After years working in war zones, Anika Duncan is happy to have found a peaceful job piloting airships for the UN. Then her ship is shot down while patrolling arctic waters, and she realizes it's part of a conspiracy with global consequences.

The action in this is top-notch: easy to follow but inventive and absolutely thrilling. Anika is a great, unique character, with a strong moral center and a lot of guts. And the plot itself is a lot of fun, with twists
Geoffrey Allan Plauché
I have previously read and reviewed Tobias S. Buckell's Crystal Rain and Ragamuffin , both of which I enjoyed. On the other hand, I am skeptical of alarmist claims about global warming. So it was with some ambivalence, a mixture of excitement and trepidation, that I began reading my advance review copy (ARC) of Buckell's latest novel -- his first foray into techno-thrillers -- Arctic Rising (Tor, 2012). Though he had me worried a time or two, I was pleasantly surprised and glad I read ...more
Feb 23, 2012 rated it liked it
Originally reviewed on The Book Smugglers:

After global warming has ravaged the earth and the polar ice caps have almost entirely melted, the world is a dramatically different place. With the recession of glaciers and ice that had previously covered inaccessible regions of Canada, Norway, Finland, Greenland, Iceland and other northern regions, a slew of rich natural resources are ripe for the taking. With a rush to move up north to mine the jewels, oil, an
Feb 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Whether you call it climate change or global warming, by the time Tobias Buckell’s long awaited new novel Arctic Rising gets started, the results are obvious: the Arctic ice cap has melted down, and the Northwest Passage has opened completely for shipping. Companies are rushing into areas like Greenland to take advantage of the abundant natural resources that are much more easily accessible now all that pesky ice is no longer in the way.

At the same time, nuclear electricity generation has become
Mar 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
This near-future techno-(or eco-)thriller is a very good novel, both extremely thought-provoking and very fast-paced. I believe Ian Fleming's work (or perhaps the films based upon them) must have been a strong influence; in fact, Bond is mentioned a time or two in the text. I was unconvinced that the protagonist (a gay African woman) could have accomplished some of the things that she does in the story, but that may just be personal bias on my part. The world is extrapolated in an intelligent, i ...more
Apr 10, 2012 rated it liked it
This was a fine book, but I think just not my bag. I've enjoyed Buckell's short fiction, and really like the way he isn't bound to the male/white/hetero protagonist template. However, I'm just not big on the techno thriller style of science fiction. I tried to get into it, and Anika was an interesting character with more depth than expected, but the book was just too much of a blockbuster movie style romp for my tastes. I finished it even though my interest really faded in the last hundred pages ...more
Jessica Thomas
Sep 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
What's not to love? A beautiful half-British, half-Nigerian female protagonist kicking ass across the arctic in a near future setting that beautifully paints a fascinating scenario of the social, environmental, economic and political impacts of climate change. Tore through this novel on the beach in St. Thomas with a sunburned nose to show for it! ...more
Feb 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Talk about your nonstop thrill ride. The action starts on, like, page 5 and doesn't end until p. 335. And, unlike the lion's share of thrillers out there, the action was all somewhat plausible--and the doomsday scenario all too probable.

And big ups for the mixed-race heroine and her Carib secret agent sidekick. They didn't make me cringe once.
Mar 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was a well-thought out and written science fiction novel about what it would be like in the future with the global warming trend. The reason I didn't give this book five stars is because it had a few holes in the plot, but other than that, Arctic Rising was suspenseful and fun to read. ...more
Mar 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Finally a new book from Tobias Buckell! Readers will definitely see the influence of Paolo Bacilagupi in this one. I enjoyed the politics, the kick-ass dyke protaganist, and the setting, though it wasn't as rich as some of his others. ...more
George Harris
Aug 16, 2013 rated it liked it
Starts off as a pretty good action thriller, but the last 1/4 or so seems muddled. Points for good ethnic and gender diversity without seeming forced.
May 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-books, 2014-reads
One gets exactly what is promised in the description.

A satisfying read with intelligent and emotional characters in a believable setting which hopefully will not come true.
Gary Lynch
May 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Tobias Buckell's 2012 novel, Arctic Rising, starts off like a ride on a wild roller coaster that keeps getting more and more thrilling. For the first 100 pages he made it almost impossible to put down. I would have given it 5 stars if he had held that pace to the end, but sadly, he couldn't.

We find ourselves in the mid-21st century where the ice cap over the north pole is almost gone, heretofore untouchable oil reserves are creating a new aristocracy and a new country which calls itself 'Thule',
Lucas Wyman
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
I chose “Arctic Rising” by Tobias S. Buckell because after reading the back cover I, an action/adventure reader, was very intrigued. In the book, Anika, the main character, gets caught up in a war between people who are battling for and against climate change. Buckell masterfully keeps you guessing about what will happen next through multiple storylines that you want to connect but can’t find a way so you have to read the whole book. While Buckell ties all the storylines well together in the end ...more
John Nordin
Oct 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Ah some more good semi-plausible sifi. The globe has warmed, the arctic has melted and the scramble for minerals is on. The UN has blimps policing the area including one piloted by our heroine. Of course she is kick-ass, African, frizzy haired, can kill while handcuffed and is slowly lesbian. Or maybe the author just wanted to introduce it to us slowly. Anyway. She's shot down after detecting something that shouldn't have been there but was that the evil companies, the maybe-evil environmentalis ...more
Jun 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Gave this book a shot as a fellow person from the Caribbean and I would describe it as post-colonial novel of the near future. as a collection of ideas it actually is fairly interesting. But the book's writing in terms of style, language and character development needed work and editing. it was interesting enough that I would give this author more chances in the future but this book while interesting in spots is just alright overall. ...more
Aug 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
Great worldbuilding, but dialogues, characters, and the overall plot are basically ridiculous (unnatural/unrealistic/full of holes). The author often dabbles in overrhetoricism, while technical details are quite unsatisfactory — this last issue being definitely detrimental to the evaluation of a techno-thriller.
Jul 27, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved the politics of this and the premise. I was intrigued by the characters--I would have enjoyed more development of them, but instead this was mostly focused on action. That's not a criticism, just an observation of the style. I could imagine this as a Hollywood action film. ...more
Apr 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
Not my usual read as this is pretty well non stop action. That does make it an easy read. I was attracted to it by the themes of climate change and energy resources; I am glad to say that these were handled as the serious and complex subjects that they are.
Brown Robin
Aug 08, 2020 rated it liked it
An engaging thriller about climate change. The Bondian elements of the story worked for me, and the pace is juggernautish. This should have been a bestseller than put Buckell on the book buyers' radar. ...more
Aug 19, 2020 rated it it was ok
I expected more from this novel. The plot was so so but got so confusing at time, I just gave up on sorting out who is who. The characters I found were somewhat flat. This novel tried to cover as many genres as could be worked out.
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Born in the Caribbean, Tobias S. Buckell is a New York Times Bestselling author. His novels and over 50 short stories have been translated into 17 languages and he has been nominated for the Hugo, Nebula, Prometheus and John W. Campbell Award for Best New Science Fiction Author. He currently lives in Ohio.

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