Beneath the Dark Ice
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Beneath the Dark Ice

4.1 47
by Greig Beck
     
 

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When a plane crashes into the Antarctic ice, exposing an enormous cave system, a rescue and research team is dispatched. Twenty-four hours later, all contact is lost.

Captain Alex Hunter and his highly trained commandos, along with a team of scientists, are fast tracked to the hot zone to find out what went wrong. Meanwhile, the alluring petrobiologist Aimee

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Overview

When a plane crashes into the Antarctic ice, exposing an enormous cave system, a rescue and research team is dispatched. Twenty-four hours later, all contact is lost.

Captain Alex Hunter and his highly trained commandos, along with a team of scientists, are fast tracked to the hot zone to find out what went wrong. Meanwhile, the alluring petrobiologist Aimee Weir is sent to follow up on the detection of a vast underground reservoir. If the unidentified substance proves to be oil, every country in the world will want to know about it—even wage war over it. Or worse.

Once suspended into the caves, Alex, Aimee, and the others can't locate a single survivor—or even a trace of their remains. Nor is there a energy source, only specters of the dead haunting the tunnels. But soon they will discover that something very much alive is brewing beneath the surface. It is a force that dates back to the very dawn of time—an ancient terror that hunts and kills to survive…

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Quickly paced, imaginatively detailed, and highly atmospheric, Beck's novel is an entertaining mix of thriller, horror, fantasy, and science fiction.... A fun read that offers plenty of thrills and hints at a new action-adventure hero in the making.” —Library Journal
Library Journal - BookSmack!
It is always nice to discover a first novel, then learn it is the first in a projected series. When the book is an all-out romp, the kind of vacation reading one only really gets time for at the beach or during the winter holiday, it's even better. Quickly paced, imaginatively detailed, and highly atmospheric, Beck's novel is an entertaining mix of thriller, horror, fantasy, and science fiction. Capt. Alex Hunter, leader of the HAWCs commando team and a man made nearly superhuman by a bullet lodged in the center of his brain, takes a team of experts beneath the Antarctic ice in search of two missing parties: the possible survivors of a plane crash and the rescue team of medics and scientists who went looking for them. Both groups have disappeared, leaving nothing behind—no blood, no bodies, and no sign of struggle. Hunter's team enters the vast ice caves revealed by the plane's impact crater and discovers a world protected for hundreds of millions of years from extinction events. Suddenly, they are at the bottom of the food chain, trapped miles beneath the surface, with only the fragmented story of a lost civilization left behind on ancient ruins to help them navigate the dark and very real monsters lurking in the deep. Add some evil post-Soviet soldiers, lots of Jurassic lost-world action, and even a bit of the mystery behind the lost colony of Roanoke, and the result is a fun read that offers plenty of thrills and hints at a new action-adventure hero in the making. — Neal Wyatt, "RA Crossroads," Booksmack! 1/6/11

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312599799
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
08/31/2010
Series:
Alex Hunter Series
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
463,476
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 0.90(d)

Read an Excerpt

One
Antarctica, Present Day
In the final seconds before impact, John “Buck” Banyon, arguably one of the wealthiest hotel owners in North America, released the U-shaped steering column. He folded his large arms over his chest, obscuring the hand-stitched, gold lettering across a bomber jacket that simply read “Buck.” He knew he was as good as dead as soon as the engine restart had failed and all the other backup systems which had at first gone crazy winked out one by one. There was no time now for another restart and bailing out was a joke in this weather. He snorted at the white-filled cockpit screen and whispered a final “fuck it,” as the altimeter told him the ground was just about in his face.
Banyon had invited his senior executive team and their wives or lovers on a reward-for-service flight in his private jet, the Perseus—a one-day flight out of southern Australia over the Antarctic. He had made the trip several times alone and this time he hoped to show his young Turks that there was more to Buck Banyon than making money and eighteen-hour days. There was such rare and exotic beauty here; you could keep your wildlife colonies—he could see a fucking penguin at the zoo any day. But down here he had seen things only a handful of people on earth had witnessed: rare green sunsets where the sun hovered at the horizon for hours and a band of emerald flashed out between ice and sky; floating ice mountains caused by the stillness of the air creating the mirage of an ice peak which seemed to lift off and hover hundreds of feet above the ground.
He should have known better; you fall in love with the Antarctic and she’ll hurt you. Buck had forgotten one thing; she was as beautiful as she was unpredictable. Even though he had checked the meteorology ser vice before leaving, the icy continent had surprised him with a monstrous katabatic flow jump. She hid them behind mountains and deep crevices; and then when you were close enough she revealed them in all their ferocious power—mile-high walls of snow and wind and fury that climbed rapidly over a rise in the landscape.
Light that was once so clean and clear you could see for hundreds of miles in all directions suddenly became confused and scattered by rushing snow and ice. The result was a freezing whiteout where the sky and the ground became one and there was no more horizon. In seconds, temperatures dropped by a hundred degrees and winds jumped by that amount again. A rule book didn’t exist for what to do when you were caught within one; you just avoided them—and once inside them, a plane just ceased to exist.
Buck’s ten passengers were not as calm as he was; the cacophony from the main cabin resembled something from one of Dante’s stories on the torments of hell. Martinis and cocktails were voided onto the plush velvet seats which the passengers were crushed back into as they felt the combination of velocity and steep descent.
The seventy-foot white dart fell at roughly 500 miles per hour towards the Antarctic ice on a terminal pitch; its small but powerful turbofan jets had ceased to function in the blasting icy air above the blinding white landscape. As it plummeted towards the desolate ice plains below it was all but silent, save for a high-pitched whistling that could have been mistaken for a lost snow petrel calling to its fellow wanderers. This too vanished in the louder scream of the ferocious katabatic storm pummelling the skin of the sleek metal bird.
The initial impact, when it came, was more like the sound of a giant pillow striking an unmade bed than the metallic explosive noise of 30,000 pounds of metal impacting on a hard surface. A funnel-shaped plume of snow and ice was blown a hundred feet into the air, followed by a secondary spout of rock, debris and a hollow boom as the once sleek Challenger jet at last struck solid stone. The plane penetrated the ice surface like a bullet through glass, opening a ragged black hole into a cavern hundreds of feet below. The echoes of the impact reverberated down into the tunnels for miles, bouncing off walls and ceilings as the silent stone caught and then transferred the terrible sounds of the collision.
Silence once more returned to this subterranean world—but only briefly.
The creature lifted itself from the water and sampled the air. The vibrations from the high caverns drew forth a race memory dormant for generations as it dragged itself from its primordial lair in confusion. In its darkened world it had long learned to be silent, but the noises and vibrations from the ceiling caverns excited it and it rushed towards the high caves, making a sound like a river of boiling mud.
It would take hours for it to reach the crash site, but already it could detect the faint smell of molten alloy, fuel and something else—something none of its kind had sensed in many millennia. It moved its great mucous-covered bulk forward quickly, hunger now driving it onwards.
Excerpted from Beneath the Dark Ice by Greig Beck.
Copyright © 2009 by Greig Beck.
Published in September 2010 by St. Martin’s Paperbacks.
All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.

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Meet the Author

Greig Beck lives in Australia. Beneath the Dark Ice is his first novel.

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Beneath the Dark Ice 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 47 reviews.
Tunguz More than 1 year ago
An expedition, consisting of scientists and military personnel, is sent to Antarctic in order to explore potentially enormous reserves of oil. However, something goes wrong and a rescue operation is launched consisting of even more experiences and hardened special operations units and a handful of scientists. What they encounter is very shocking, dangerous and unusual, and it may be connected to the ancient evil described in many pre-Columbian American myths and legends. “Beneath the Dark Ice” is an entertaining and interesting thriller that combines the features of sci/tech genera, as well as all the elements of a good creature feature, with smatterings of geopolitical intrigue thrown in for a good measure. It is certainly a very interesting and somewhat original book, and will keep you intrigued till the end. However, in my mind what distinguishes a great thriller from just a very good one is the believability of the basic premises on which the plot hangs. And this is where “Beneath the Dark Ice” falls well short. You don’t have to have a Ph. D. in biology, ancient history, or even geology to know that many of the claims in this book are so ridiculously out of the sphere of what is possible, and these really put your suspension of disbelief to some severe tests. This is unfortunate, since I think that a much more reasonable set of parameters would have made this a truly great thriller. As it is, I think the author just went overboard with trying to incorporate too much in a single volume. It’s still a very good read, but there is enough material in here for at least two or three separate plotlines that in themself would have made very interesting novels.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great and fast pace book. I like the idea of the native people and the way the piont of view sometimes is from the monster.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A huge thumbs up! I couldn't put it down. A very creative blend of characters and underground surprises. A must read for anyone that loves horror, suspense & gore with a touch of sci-fi. I'm looking forward to seeing more of Alex and Aimee in the future!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed both of Mr. Becks books. They are full of action and adventure without becoming bogged down in unnecessary military jargon or page after page of fighting. The characters are well developed and very likeable. My only critique might be that too many of the main characters died in both books. Otherwise, i recommend these books and am anxious for more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
what a wonderful book and plot. the Characters, everything was great. I am buying more of his books
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed the storyline of this book. Unfortunately, the book was not edited well. Sometimes, it makes it hard to read.
Drewano More than 1 year ago
This book was really well written and interesting. It’s a very original idea (both Alex’s situation and the premise) and played out well in the structure of the book. The characters are interesting and likable but for some reason I just couldn’t get into this book. Maybe it focused a little too much on the history aspect rather than adding more action or maybe I was just distracted while I tackled it but I just felt like it didn’t pull me in.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
IT was ok ,not as good as you think .a bit slow.not really worth the money.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
rscTN More than 1 year ago
great
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed how the tension slowly builds and takes you along for the journey thru the cave with all its tunnels and tribulations! Slow start but worth the trip...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting story but for some reason it didn't grab me like an Andy McDermott or Matt Reilly story does. Maybe I had a hard time with the super soldier concept, maybe too much monster. Nonetheless I'm planning to read the next in the series.
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Thrilladdict More than 1 year ago
Although some aspects are a little hard to swallow, if you take this book as just sheer entertainment and don't look too closely at whether certain things could actually take place, it's a great read. The author has a great imagination and describes places and events in marvelous detail. The science is far-fetched at best, but it's all good fun!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jonathan barnard More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book, i would have to say it was pretty original especially with the creatures in and out of the water. Super good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago