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Blood and Ice    by Robert Masello order for
Blood and Ice
by Robert Masello
Order:  USA  Can
Bantam, 2009 (2009)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Tragedy shatters Michael Wilde's personal and professional life and plunges him into a long depression, as hopes that his girlfriend will awaken from a coma sustained in a freak climbing accident dwindle. When an editor friend persuades him to accept an assignment in Antarctica, Michael eventually agrees, hoping the trip will begin his healing process.

Only days later while participating in a dive to photograph some of the polar sea's strange marine life, Michael discovers two bodies encased in an iceberg. Even more bizarre, the man and woman, both of whom appear eerily alive, are bound in ship's chains. Did they accidentally fall into the sea during a violent storm - or were they purposely tossed overboard by a superstitious crew? Those questions and many more haunt Michael's every waking moment as he and the team of scientists stationed at the Adelie research station wait for the bodies of the lovers to thaw.

Before the scientists can begin their research, however, the bodies disappear and two of their own are murdered. Now everyone becomes a suspect as remaining team members launch an all out search to locate their missing discovery. Hampered by raging storms, increasing mistrust and suspicion - and then the mysterious resurrection of the murder victims, who harbour unnatural rage and a thirst for blood - real fear sets in as the team begins to wonder exactly what they had resurrected from the icy depths of the Antarctic seas.

By alternating between past and present, Masello sustains a nice degree of mystery and tension - as well as introducing readers to Eleanor Ames and Sinclair Copley, the bodies found frozen in the sea. Eventually though, the descriptive and history-laden flashbacks into Eleanor and Copley's world and backgrounds become tedious and unnecessary, since, by this point Masello makes it easy to figure out exactly why both have survived and why they've become so rabidly mistrustful of human contact, especially in Copley's case.

Readers expecting a revamping of John Campbell's (or even director John Carpenter's) The Thing will be disappointed. However, readers who enjoy rich characterizations, descriptive, moody writing, and the nice bit of scientific ingenuity that ultimately alters Eleanor's condition, will welcome their time spent reading Blood and Ice.

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