Author: Matthew Iden
Published: February 1st 2017 by Thomas & Mercer
Purchase: Amazon / Book Depository
Each winter the crew at the Shackleton South Pole Research Facility faces nine months of isolation, round-the-clock darkness, and one of the most extreme climates on the planet. For thirty-something mechanical engineer Cass Jennings, Antarctica offers an opportunity to finally escape the guilt of her troubled past and to rebuild her life.
But the death of a colleague triggers a series of mysterious incidents that push Cass and the rest of the forty-four-person crew to the limits of their sanity and endurance. Confined and cut off from the outside world, will they work together or turn against one another? As the tension escalates, Cass must find the strength to survive not only a punishing landscape but also an unrelenting menace determined to destroy the station—and everyone in it.
In the Shackleton South Pole Research Facility, the place is usually packed with staff and scientists during the summer months, but for 9 months of the year, when it's dark for months at a time and it's so cold outside that you could freeze to death in minutes, it's staffed with only a skeleton staff. It's called The Winter Over. Cass, a mechanical engineer has gone through the rigorous evaluation and is looking forward to 9 months of working and escaping the accident in her past. Working in such a stressful environment is hard enough but when one of their colleagues is found dead, and the heat and electricity start turning off and on, the staff at the station have to figure out what is going on before it's too late for all of them.
I have to say that the cover of this is stunning, very eye catching!! Once I saw the cover and read the synopsis I immediately added this to my list, and when it came on Netgalley I downloaded it and couldn't wait to start. And I must admit, I'm a little disappointed to be honest. The first half of the book was extremely slow and took a while for me to get through. I nearly gave up at one stage but I wanted to see if the story got better!!
Eventually it did pick up and I flew through the second half. Plot wise, I loved the idea of a thriller set in the South Pole because it's such a bleak and desolate setting and the author portrayed the isolation and horrible conditions perfectly. Imagine living in a place where if the heat goes out for any length of time you would have ice forming on your eyes!! I was shivering with the cold just thinking about it.
Character wise, I found the secondary characters needed to be fleshed out a little more, we don't really get a sense of who they are. Cass though was well written and developed and I liked her character a lot. She has baggage and I felt she grew a lot throughout the story. Initially she came across as an introvert but over the course of the story she became strong and willing to get to the bottom of things.
In all, this would have been a solid 5 stars if the first half of the book wasn't so slow and drawn out. I mean, the second half of the book was extremely fast paced and tense!! I still enjoyed the overall story and will definitely check out more from Matthew Iden.