Beyond the Ice Limit (Gideon Crew, #4; Ice Limit #2) by Douglas Preston (Goodreads Author), Lincoln Child
Amy Caudill‘s review
This fourth outing in the Gideon Crew series by the writing team of Preston and Child also fulfills a fervent wish from multiple fans over the years to serve as a sequel to a previous stand-alone story by the duo, called The Ice Limit.
While this book continues the storyline of the last Gideon Crew novel, it also includes the culmination of years of work for pre-existing characters such as Eli Glinn and Manuel Garza, who we have seen in not only the original solo book, but also in the prior three Gideon Crew novels and in a couple of the authors’ Pendergast series books as well.
Glinn has apparently spent the intervening years gathering resources and making plans to return to the site of his greatest failure, and with his return to health after The Lost Island and the inclusion of Gideon, is finally ready to attempt to repair the damage done by the alien “seed.”
The nature of this creature, once thought to be a giant meteorite, eludes the explorers as they make their way to where it “planted” itself, in the “Screaming Sixties” latitude between the bottom tip of South America and Antarctica. Is the creature, nicknamed the Baobab because of its resemblance to the terrestrial tree, plant or animal? Is it a creature or a machine? The crew members probe these questions even as the Baobab begins to exert its influence over them in inexplicable and later horrifying ways.
The combined efforts of Gideon, Glinn, Garza, and latecomer Sam McFarlane (from the original book) desperately try to stop a force that seems to undermine them at every turn. Will they succeed in destroying the creature, or is the Earth doomed to be the breeding ground of more of these “seeds?” The action and the drama don’t stop until the very end in this book.
I am a big fan of the two authors, Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, of both their individual works but especially those they create together. The two seemingly work seamlessly as one when collaborating, though I suppose after so many joint projects they probably have it down to a science by this point. Their characters are engaging but flawed, each different but well-developed, and help to drive the story that already has a fantastically complex plot. This particular book dips more into the sci-fi genre than many of their others, but the result is still well-paced and thrilling.
I award this book 4.5 stars for an exciting read, that those new to the authors and series can enjoy (almost) as much as those who have read any of the previous books. I recommend it for fans of science fiction and thrillers alike.