Kurt Austin Must Save the Planet from a Chilling End in Clive Cussler and Graham Brown’s ‘Fast Ice’ [REVIEW]

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Kurt Austin heads to Antarctica in Fast Ice. (Photo courtesy Canva)

When a colleague vanishes in Antarctica, Kurt Austin and Joe Zavala set out on a rescue mission to the South Pole. Along the way, however, they encounter more than just icebergs and frosty temperatures. Now they also have to stop a madman from ending the world as we know it. Will they be able to save both their friend and the planet? Find out in Clive Cussler and Graham Brown’s Fast Ice.

Clive Cussler's FAST ICE
G.P. Putnam’s Sons

In January 1939, the Nazis hoped to establish a military base in Antarctica to support their goal of world domination. Although they didn’t succeed, they did find something there that would prove dangerous far into the future.

Fast forward to the present day, and Kurt Austin and Joe Zavala are on their way to the bottom of the world to rescue a former NUMA colleague who disappeared while researching icebergs.

While there, they must try to survive both a monstrous storm and a man-made weapon that could usher in the next global Ice Age. To succeed, Kurt and the NUMA team must unravel a Nazi-era plot before we all find ourselves living in an arctic tundra.

Since Cussler’s death in 2020, I haven’t read any of his books. It just didn’t seem right. No one could bring Dirk and his merry comrades to the printed page like he did.

Although Fast Ice was co-written by both Cussler and Graham Brown, it lacks the nuanced characters and energy Cussler always brought to the printed page in the past. Don’t get me wrong, there are still plenty of action-packed scenes here, especially as Kurt and his team race across the snowdrifts in Antarctica. In fact, I still felt my pulse pound while reading several passages. And yet something was missing.

The story just seems too staged and predictable. The characters aren’t quite as ingenious as they have been in the past, particularly when they are trying to get out of a tight spot. I realize not all readers will feel the same way, particularly if this is the first time they’ve picked up one of Cussler’s books. Still, longtime fans will undoubtedly notice the difference.

That being said, however, this is not a bad read. In fact, it still offers us a great escape from reality with plenty of suspense and adventure sprinkled in for good measure. If you are looking for frosty fun with beloved characters, Fast Ice is just what the doctor ordered.

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About the authors banner

Clive Cussler was the author of more than 70 books in five bestselling series, including Dirk Pitt®, NUMA Files®, Oregon Files®, Isaac Bell®, and Sam and Remi Fargo®.

His life nearly paralleled that of his hero Dirk Pitt. Whether searching for lost aircraft or leading expeditions to find famous shipwrecks, he and his NUMA crew of volunteers discovered and surveyed more than 75 lost ships of historic significance, including the long-lost Confederate submarine Hunley, which was raised in 2000 with much publicity.

Like Pitt, Cussler collected classic automobiles. His collection featured more than 100 examples of custom coachwork.

Cussler passed away in February 2020.

To learn more, visit CusslerBooks.com, like him on Facebook, and follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

Clive Cussler
Clive Cussler
(Photo by PhotosByLeanna)
Graham Brown
Graham Brown

Graham Brown is the author of Black Rain and Black Sun and the coauthor with Cussler of Devil’s Gate, The Storm, Zero Hour, Ghost Ship, The Pharaoh’s Secret, Nighthawk, The Rising Sea, Sea of Greed, and Journey of the Pharaohs. He is a pilot and an attorney.

To learn more, visit GrahamBrownThrillers.com, like him on Facebook, and follow him on Goodreads.

By Clive Cussler and Graham Brown
416 pp. G.P. Putnam’s Sons. $29.

Purchase Fast Ice direct from Jathan & Heather Books or from one of these other fine online retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Half Price Books, Hudson Booksellers, IndieBound, Powell’s, Target, or Walmart.

About Heather Fink
Heather Fink is a writer, bibliophile and award-winning librarian who loves to introduce the next generation of readers to the wonderful world of books. She currently resides in Texas.

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