Posted in Book Review

The Winter Over – Matthew Iden

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The story takes place at a research station set at the South Pole in Antartica. During the summer months, the station is filled with staff and scientists, but for nine months of the year, the place is home to just over 40 crew members. During this time, it’s dark and bone-chilling cold outside, and you could freeze to death within minutes.

Cass, a mechanical engineer is looking forward to nine months of working and escaping the accident in her past. Her fellow crew members seem to have a past and at least an incident they regret. Just before the last flight out, one of the members is found outside, frozen to death.  

Weird things start happening at the station, and soon everyone is on edge. Cut off from the world, the crew at the station must figure out what is going on if they are to survive.

I loved the atmosphere Matthew Iden created in this novel; he makes you feel the sense of isolation that Cass and the rest of the crew felt during the wintering over. You can really lose yourself in the scenarios and feel the plummeting sense of fear and dread that plagues the crew members.

The book is well written and the pace is fast enough to keep you going without stopping. The characters were well developed and the descriptions are so vivid and realistic I felt as though I were living the scenes with the characters. The author did a good job of describing this bleak setting—a base at the South Pole—through Cass’s eyes during a guided tour of the facility. I loved how the author describes in depth the psychological effects of being kept in isolation in the sub-zero region for a prolonged period of time. I could literally feel the excruciating cold in the base.

The twists and turns of the plot were unexpected and well thought out to make them completely believable. Not to mention the trail of breadcrumbs the author left for the reader to follow. Though I thought some parts of the ending were rushed and a bit abrupt. It left me wondering what happened to some of the characters. I didn’t get a sense of who some of these characters were. Nevertheless, the story was engrossing, with a satisfactory outcome.

Overall, I found The Winter Over to be a well-written thriller. I couldn’t put this one down. I will definitely check out more books from this author.

  • Pages: 352
  • Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (1 February 2017)