Customer Reviews for

Ada Blackjack: A True Story of Survival in the Arctic

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Beautifully Surprised

I honestly have to say that it was with some hesitation that I read an advance copy of ADA. I was not familiar with Jennifer Niven and had no real desire to read a story about an Eskimo woman and 4 Arctic explorers. I was wrong. Jennifer Niven writes with ...
I honestly have to say that it was with some hesitation that I read an advance copy of ADA. I was not familiar with Jennifer Niven and had no real desire to read a story about an Eskimo woman and 4 Arctic explorers. I was wrong. Jennifer Niven writes with clarity and passion about a story that is filled with both. I am curious to explore Miss Niven's other work.

posted by Anonymous on October 10, 2003

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Looks interesting, but has serious formatting problems.

I read the sample, and it had so many formatting problems that i didn't want to spend money on the real thing. Sentences are cut off and pages of text are repeated. This is a shame, since it looks like a fascinating story.

posted by ferretchen on April 1, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2003

    Beautifully Surprised

    I honestly have to say that it was with some hesitation that I read an advance copy of ADA. I was not familiar with Jennifer Niven and had no real desire to read a story about an Eskimo woman and 4 Arctic explorers. I was wrong. Jennifer Niven writes with clarity and passion about a story that is filled with both. I am curious to explore Miss Niven's other work.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2004

    An unknown survival story that needed to be told

    Ada Blackjack shows the harshness of wilderness in the Artic and how one person overcame and survived. As the first reviewer stated, this is a sequel to the Ice Master. As one of the survivors of the Kurlak returns to the place of his nightmarish past. In both books it will show the true personality of Vilhjalmur Stefansson and his search for fame as an explorer through the deadly exploits of others.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2004

    Worthy Sequel to ICE MASTER

    I had read the ICE MASTER by Jennifer Niven when it was first published and found it a remarkably well written and compelling narrative of a strange arctic expedition lead by strange and misguided Vilhjalmur Stefansson. The story of the Karluk getting trapped in the ice and drifting north of Siberia to remote Wangel Island is gripping, as is the miracle of finding out who dies and survives. And now Jennifer Niven has written a kind of sequel or continuation of the story as the strange Mr. Stefansson sends four explorers back to Wangel island to live and settle so the island can be claimed by the British or Canadians (who want nothing to do with the expedition). Strange as it seems one of the survivors of the Karluk, Fred Maurer is one of these four. Joining the expedition is Ada Blackjack, an Inuit Eskimo woman they hire to sew clothing for them while living on Wangel Island. This second volume is told though Ada Blackjack¿s life story and introduces us to wide ranging cast of characters, the expeditions relatives, Mr. Harold Noice who leads a rescue mission and his mad wife Florence who¿s paranoia leads to lies and the undoing of Noice and Ada Blackjacks reputation. If this all sounds a bit like an arctic soap opera, it is of course, and the story is not as exciting a read as the ICE MASTER. But anyone who loved that volume as much as I did is sure to enjoy the complete irony of this return exposition and Ada Blackjack¿s Unusual life story.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2003

    Reads like exciting fiction

    In 1921, notorious explorer Stefansson hires twentyish female Inuit Ada Blackjack as seamstress to four young Anglo-American males he recruited to claim the uninhabited Arctic Wrangel Island for the British Empire. The crew was under supplied as Stefansson expected them to live off the frozen tundra. They lacked any substantial sub zero weather experience though two once traveled beyond the Circle. At least the men (Crawford, Knight, Maurer, and Galle) saw this expedition as a youthful lark. The mission failed miserably and three of the team headed to Siberia, leaving Ada to tend to the dying fifth companion. Two years later, Ada is the only one to return home; nothing but rumors of white male sightings beyond the Arctic Circle was ever heard from the trio.<P> ADA BLACKJACK is a great biography of a heroine who risks all so that her ailing son can receive proper medical care back in Nome. The book rips the dynamic leader Stefannson who remained behind in relative comfort though that might be an unfair historiography slight. His behavior is comparable to the World War I generals living in luxury in London, Paris, and Berlin while the grunts lacked shoes and breathed poison gas or presidents on campaign fundraisers while troops at war receive one MRE. Ada is a great individual whose survival is so spectacular one would think her tale is fiction. The media frenzy that follows her return brings readers back to reality as the frozen island seems warmer than the press corps. With this superb tome and the delightful ICE MASTER, Jennifer Niven is a leader of chronicling exciting and inspiring but doomed real life Arctic expeditions.<P> Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2003

    A thrilling page turner...

    I was lucky enough to get my hands on an advanced reading copy of ADA BLACKJACK. I thought at first that I would pass it on to a friend whose taste runs much more to the adventure genre than mine does, but once I opened it to the first page, I couldn't put it down. I turned off the phone, closed the blinds, and spent my entire weekend immersed in a gripping, stirring, and ultimately inspiring tale. Bravo to Niven for an amazing read and for introducing readers to a most remarkable (and controversial) heroine. My next weekend will be spent reading her first book, The Ice Master.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2012

    Read with warm blankets on

    Talk about surviving Ada never gave up! Shecwasnt trying ti be a hero she just wanted to survive.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2012

    Looks interesting, but has serious formatting problems.

    I read the sample, and it had so many formatting problems that i didn't want to spend money on the real thing. Sentences are cut off and pages of text are repeated. This is a shame, since it looks like a fascinating story.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2003

    Ada Blackjack was a true survivor!

    Ms. Niven's honest portrayal of the trusting expedition members, it's pathetic and self-serving leader, the crew's bereaved and confused family memebers, and the blood-thirsty media are epic. One could not create a more unbelievable storyline. Through all of this, Ada Blackjack proves that no matter your background, age, or gender a person's true character surfaces during harsh times and hers was heroic and proud. This must be made into a movie so we can all learn from this amazing woman.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2013

    Flameinglove to Ashkit

    " i will adopt you . Go to " Flameingtree " at fireclan and ask for Flameinglove . " she says with kind eyes.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 16, 2013

    While I would have enjoyed knowing more about Ada Blackjack, thi

    While I would have enjoyed knowing more about Ada Blackjack, this was a very well researched book, filled with suspense. The author did a fantastic job of piecing together data from journals, news articles and surviving relatives to write a book that revealed a young woman as the unwitting hero of a doomed arctic exploration planned by a charletan who let everyone down in the end.d An amazing book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2013

    I enjoyed this story, and I think you will too!

    A compelling story of a woman with little education and at a time when men were in charge of great adventures, this woman rises to the occasion to aid the men
    when their struggles to overcome adversity.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2013

    Great story

    This is a great story of survival and the general strive for Polar exploration happening in the 1920s. However, this is nothing more than a great story. It rambles at times, and the ending drags on, leaving the reader ready to be done and expecting some great surprise wrap-up that never comes. It's worth the read if your interest is peaked by the subject, but you should view it as a great story and not a great literary accomplishment.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2012

    Amazing

    Remarkable survival story of endurance and suffering of a women and 4 men on a remote island in the arctic

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2012

    Recommended

    I'll admit prejudice towards this book - after reading "The Ice Master" I was hooked on Ms. Niven's writing about Arctic exploration. This book covers Ms. Blackjack's life starting with expedition thru the end of her life, her childhood is not covered - so not a true biography. The 4 male members of the party are fleshed out as while as this lone women. Heartbreak of family members left behind and people stateside trying to make a buck off of tragedy are equally covered. A must read.

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  • Posted December 2, 2012

    Highly recommended

    I love reading books of survival. Since I am going to Antarctica soon, I have been reading stories of the Arctic and Antarctica and found this book enthralling. Couldn't put it down. What a remarkable life. Can't imagine what she went through.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2012

    a solid read

    This book was well-written, well-researched, and very readable.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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