Friday 31 July 2020

Book Review: Iceapelago

This was an interesting premise. I won't regurgitate the plot myself, the publicists do that job well (see below). I was sent this book for review, all the way from Ireland!

I learned a lot from the book, and recalled things I have forgotten, such as icebergs calving, for example. I can tell the author, Dr. Peter Brennan, knows his topic intimately. He has written several non-fiction books from his perspective in Ireland about climate change.

This book wove a lot of information into the plot.
He has a wide range of characters, and he uses the learned to educate the few, including the reader. Sometimes, if an author is try to teach us something through the medium of a novel, I feel they are lecturing. This wasn't the case.

There was lots of riveting action, although most of it did not end well. A conflagration of Climate Change: ice melting, earthquakes, and the like, led to a deep, dark novel.

The beauty of reading a novel is creating the imagery in your mind. This author was very descriptive, and he knows his stuff. I could picture the glaciers, icebergs, and the volcanoes, as well as the human structures he describes, i.e., the Summit Station (see below). I think it might make a great movie, as well!

The action takes place in three disparate locations: atop the Greenland Ice Sheet, on the volcanic island of La Palma in the Canary Islands, and on the seabed off the Irish Continental Shelf. I would have loved a map. I truly have not heard about La Palma, for example. I finished the book on the back deck, with my brand new, non-cataract eyes. It was delightful to be able to read comfortably again. I read several chapters on the back deck to get to the end.

La Palma, in the Canary Islands

Brennan's descriptions were lavish. The author has visited all these places. His website has a gallery, which was really helpful. 
Summit Station:
The scientists discuss their options atop the Greenland Ice Sheet.

Ililussat: The graveyard of icebergs.

Tasiliilaq; The Sama leaves Tasiilaq

Dr. Brennan is writing a sequel, Aftermathwhich I will look forward to, as this book was gripping. I hope he includes a map. A list of acronyms would be helpful, as well, although he makes a point of writing them out in most instances. 

There were a few errors, which are disconcerting to a reader. I read that the pilot cut of his engines, rather than off.  Also, there was a missing word. One paragraph began: leant sideways to kiss his wife

There is a tendency to use gender exclusive language, which, in 2020, isn't acceptable to this feminist, i.e., 'mankind,' rather humankind or humans.

One of the characters makes a joke using the word 'Eskimo,' which isn't used anymore in Canada. Instead, they are Inuit. He does include strong female scientists, which was comforting to read. We've worked for years to encourage women in STEM. My daughter has her M.Sc., and there are many STEM women about.

Iceapelago: Epic “Climate Change Thriller” Plunges Ireland into Arctic Tundra. It’s Fiction, For Now…

Dr. Peter Brennan’s ‘Iceapelago’ is the product of a lifetime’s interest in climate change, and research trips to La Palma and Greenland, as the author embroils readers in three interconnected storylines, each a stark and bold warning. Tsunamis and the collapse of the Gulfstream have transformed Ireland into a flooded, ice-cold, and barren landscape; perfect for the arctic foxes that now call it home. A story that fuses humanity, the sciences, the environment and wildlife; ‘Iceapelago’ truly becomes a new word for what may become a new world…

Iceapelago is available now. For more information, visit the website.


Hootin Anni said...

I really enjoyed your book review. One genre I like - fiction based on fact. The kind that has thrills and yet an education at that!

The last line of your post..."it's fiction, for now"...chilling.

Ps, did you change your profile image recently? I like it.

Tom said...

...those icey images look refreshing as we suffer from global warming. said...

Good review. I like the frog/toad at the top of your page.

Christine said...

Great review! Glad you have your reading eyes back too.

Ontario Wanderer said...

Congratulations on your new eyes and what seems like a quick recovery.

Barrie said...

I'm glad you were able to read (review!) this book post cataract surgery. I haven't read much in the way of adult books this summer and was curious about this title. I wondered if the story got bogged down with too much information. It sounds as though it did not. :) I will add it to my list. Thank you for reviewing and for all the extra information.

Lucy said...

Sounds like an interesting book. Thanks for reviewing.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Lovely review. I don't often read this sort of book and I should.

Powell River Books said...

You've led me to some good books. I'll check this one out a little more. - Margy

Sarah Laurence said...

Yes, I agree about preferring books that don't lecture you but are informative. I'm glad to hear your eye surgery went well too!

Lyndi Lamont said...

I was out of town last month and just saw this review, Jen. I think I would like this book. Last September, I toured Iceland and saw glaciers and volcanoes and heard stories of legendary eruptions. The Canary Islands are on my travel wish list. And flying home from Iceland, we had a good view from the plane of bits of Greenland. All fascinating to me.

Thanks for the review. I'll look for the book.

Linda McLaughlin aka Lyndi Lamont