Marc Horton's Reviews > The Terror

The Terror by Dan Simmons
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's review
Feb 27, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: historical-fiction, unicorns-and-laser-beams

This book may be the most miserable I've ever read. Which is not to say that it's no good, mind you; this mid-19th century tale of the travails of a pair of ships attempting to navigate the Northwest Passage is dense, well-written, tense and pretty scary, but given that most of the story takes place while the boats are frozen in place for three years, while the crew is forced to deal with months without sunshine, 60-below freezing temperatures, a captain going through the DT's, scurvy, mutinous treachery, starvation, a mute Eskimo witch-woman, and not least of all, a horrific predator that stalks and terrorizes them all the while. I might have given it four stars, but for the fact that the book drags a bit in places, mostly due to endless descriptions of the cold that are all too effective, and made me wish I was reading this on a nice warm beach somewhere.

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