'A brilliant, massive combination of history and supernatural horror' STEPHEN KING
It was the most advanced scientific enterprise ever mounted and Sir John Franklin's 1845 expedition in search of the fabled North-West Passage had every expectation of triumph.
But for almost two years his ships HMS Terror and Erebus have been trapped in the Arctic ice. Supplies of fuel and food are running low. Scurvy, starvation and even madness begin to take their toll. And yet the real threat isn't from the constantly shifting, alien landscape, the flesh-numbing temperatures or being crushed by the unyielding, frozen ocean. No, the real threat is far more terrifying.
Because there is something out there in the frigid darkness. It stalks the ships and snatches men. It is a nameless thing and it has become the expedition's nemesis . . .
Based on actual events, this is the astonishing novel that inspired the chilling AMC Original TV series.
Hugo-winner Simmons (Olympos) brings the horrific trials and tribulations of arctic exploration vividly to life in this beautifully written historical, which injects a note of supernatural horror into the 1840s Franklin expedition and its doomed search for the Northwest Passage. Sir John Franklin, the leader of the expedition and captain of the Erebus, is an aging fool. Francis Crozier, his second in command and captain of the Terror, is a competent sailor, but embittered after years of seeing lesser men with better connections given preferment over him. With their two ships quickly trapped in pack ice, their voyage is a disaster from start to finish. Some men perish from disease, others from the cold, still others from botulism traced to tinned food purchased from the lowest bidder. Madness, mutiny and cannibalism follow. And then there's the monstrous creature from the ice, the thing like a polar bear but many times larger, possessed of a dark and vicious intelligence. This complex tale should find many devoted readers and add significantly to Simmons's already considerable reputation.
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This is the first Dan Simmons book I've read, but it is the first of many. Meticulously detailed, scary and completely immersive. Outstanding.