Below the Ice: Lake Vostok resides in one of the deadliest climates on Earth. Its waters have been frozen for millions of years. Now, those waters are warming. The crew of Freedom Station Alpha will soon find themselves in a desperate struggle to survive against creatures that have existed since long before the world of man. And the monsters rising from the ice are more horrific than anything that mankind has ever known. – Goodreads
Below the Ice Review
People on a remote icy outpost terrorized by a shape-shifting monster.
John Carpenter’s The Thing is a Oh, wait, we’re not talking about Who Goes There/ The Thing right now. We’re talking about Below the Ice, a short horror story from Eric S. Brown. When Lake Vostok starts warming up, something deadly is unleashed. Something the world has not seen in ages, more deadly than any monster known to man. And it’s out to take over the world! Bwuahahahaha!!
Okay, look, Below the Ice plays on some pretty classic tropes. There’s nothing new or exciting in it. The writing is not particularly fantastic (it’s actually rather mediocre). There were some corny lines that got a huff of amusement out of me, but that was about it. The most interesting character is the grumpy old man, but all of them are fairly forgettable. I have to say the only thing that possibly broke the mold was the behavior of the female scientist at a key point. I did appreciate that.
It also rings so strongly of The Thing (I haven’t actually read the short story Who Goes There, so I can’t say anything about it), that it’s hard to see it as even slightly original. I’m not accusing the writer of plagiarism or anything. Just stating that this has been done before – and it’s been done much better. If you’re going to do your own version of a well-loved book/movie, then you need to make sure you have some unique element that sets it apart. Otherwise, what you get is exactly what’s happening in this review. “You know, like that book/movie, but not as good.”
Overall, unfortunately, Below the Ice has nothing going for it. It might be worth checking out some of the authors other works, though. A quick glance at his Goodreads page shows such gems as Bigfoot War and Bigfoot War 2. I mean, who doesn’t want to read a book about that?
Lake Vostok is a real place, by the way.
So, this obviously wasn’t my cup of tea, but it is available on Amazon if you want to judge for yourself.