Out of the Ice was a novel that gave me chills--literally--not just for its haunting, eerie plot but for the sense of location. Laura Alvarado is an environmental scientist in her late thirties who is sent to examine an abandoned former whaling station in a remote island of Antarctica. Something feels off about the place almost immediately--the rudeness of some of her colleagues and the fact that the station does not feel quite as abandoned, or as untouched as it should. The local wildlife seem hostile, and Laura is not so sure that a penguin she has uncovered died from natural causes. When a diving trip reveals far more than what Laura--or anyone else--could ever imagine though, it soon becomes clear that something terrible is happening on the island and it needs to be stopped.
This book was a quick and gripping read for me. I very much enjoyed the setting. Some of the plot twists felt a little too quick and convenient at times, but this was more than made up for by the sense of location and the way that Laura grew and developed as a character. (For me, Laura took a little getting used to, but by the end of the novel I was most definitely on her side.) And obviously, what is going on the island is neither nice, nor pretty, but it did make me stop and wonder what if something like this could happen ...
A chilling read. Recommended.
Thank you to Simon and Schuster Australia for my ARC.