Ice Hunt Review

Yes, I forged on with the book, finishing it this afternoon.  Let me share what Goodreads says before I tear it apart:

Buried deep in the earth’s polar ice cap – carved into a moving island of ice twice the size of the United States – is a secret place, the site of a remarkable abandoned experiment that could have frightening ramifications for the planet. The brain trust of the former Soviet Union who created the seventy-year-old Ice Station Grendel would like it simply to melt from human memory. But that becomes impossible when an American undersea research vessel, the Polar Sentinel, inadvertently pulls too close to the hollowed-out iceberg… and one of the crew sees something alive inside. Something that never should have survived.

It is a discovery that sends shock waves through the intelligence communities of two powerful nations, as American and Russian scientists, soldiers, and unsuspecting civilians are pulled into Grendel’s lethal vortex of secrets, violence, and betrayal. To preserve the silence – to prevent others from uncovering the terrible mysteries locked behind submerged walls of ice and steel – no measures will be too extreme. For within the station, experiments have blurred the line between life and death. It was a place never meant to be found. One man already knows too much: Matthew Pike, a former American Special Forces operative, living in seclusion in Alaska on the edge of the Arctic Circle. On the run after rescuing the survivor of a plane crash no one was meant to observe, Pike is relentlessly drawn into the eye of the gathering storm – even as a Russian nuclear attack submarine draws silently nearer to the men and women on the Polar Sentinel. The covert battle over Grendel is spinning out of control, and the future of all human life on Earth will be altered – or destroyed – once its nightmarish truths are revealed.

OK, the book starts out with finding Grendel under the arctic ice cap.  It sounded to me that the story was going to be more about what was alive in the station, rather than the mad rush to grab the research the station conducted back in the 1930’s.  I was wrong.

The animal Grendel’s for which the station was named, did not show up until around page 170 of the 328 page book.  I was miffed to say the least.

Once the monsters did make it on the scene, I thought the story would pickup considerably and the story would focus on them ~ how the humans survived the Grendel,s how the Grendels captured humans, etc.  This was still not the case.  The Grendels were, rather, a simple distraction for the people in the ice station.  Always the real threat came from the two warring governments – America and Russia.  Both wanted to destroy the ice station and everyone who knew about it…no matter what the cost.

The big shocking secret – if you are going to read this book, stop here – is simply that the governments worked together back in the 30’s to do research on their own citizens.  Imagine that? Like that is somehow NEWS to the rest of us.  OK, maybe to a few of you.  The United States has long done “research” on its own population without our knowledge – you doubt me? Let me share a few of the reportedly factual cases pointed out in this book – it will turn your stomach:

1932: Two hundred black men diagnosed with syphilis were never told of their illness, denied treatment and instead used as human guinea pigs to understand what kind of a horrible death awaited untreated syphilis patients.

1940: Four hundred prisoners in Chicago are infected with malaria in order to study the effects of a new and experimental drug to combat the disease.  Nazi doctors later on trail at Nuremberg cite this American study to defend themselves from the atrocities they inflicted on their Jewish prisoners.

1950: In an experiment to determine how susceptible an American city would be to biological attack, the U.S. Navy sprays a cloud of bacteria from ships over San Francisco.  Many residents become sick with pneumonia-like symptoms.

1956: U.S. military release mosquitoes infected with yellow fever over Savannah, Georgia and Avon Park, Florida.  Following each test, Army agents posing as public health officials test victims for effects.

1990: More than 1500 six-month-old black and hispanic babies in Los Angeles are given an “experimental” measles vaccine that had never been licensed for use in the U.S.  CDC later admits the parents were never informed that the vaccine being injected into their children was experimental.

1995: Dr. Garth Nicolson uncovers evidence that the biological agents used during the Cold War had been manufactured in Houston, Texas and Boca Raton, Florida, and tested on prisoners in the Texas Dept of Corrections.

There are a few – the book brings out more but this alone is enough to be disheartening.  Please stop and think about it next time you want to believe your government always only has your best interest at heart.

As Spock put it (not sure who he quoted it from) “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one.”  If infecting four hundred prisoners in Chicago helped the doctors come up with an effective vaccine for maleria…millions were saved.  Science and governments believe the results outweigh the sacrifice.  Hmm…anyone want to think about the Trade Center in a different light? What is the death of 3,000 if it meant the government could further its control over the many?

No, I don’t like to think of it and don’t subscribe to conspiracy theories but they are out there.  This is another reason I don’t read books like Ice Hunt – governments racing to conceal scientific research that should never have taken place or governments trying desperately to hide the past from their citizens.  It just irritates me and makes me look at my government with distrust – I would rather read monster books and hide my head in the sand to whatever my government did or is doing.   Normal people’s imagination can’t begin to imagine the horrors the abnormal people inflict on others…I prefer it that way for myself too.

So, I am disappointed in this book – it failed to be about the Grendels and all about the governments.  I guess if you are into that kind of thing, this book would be right up your alley.  I, however, am not so I give this book a D.



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