It was a coin toss that decided it. I am a determined wuss about scary books, and had a suspicion that ‘Below Zero‘ would terrify me. It did. It does. Yet it also enthrals me. Dan Smith has written a truly captivating, somehow realistic, futuristic thriller. Taking the planned Mars residency to a new habitat, the Antarctic, where the planet’s future residents are in training, the reader is already suspicious. To open with one of them, Sophie, disquieted by the secretive research being undertaken at BioMesa, another ice operation, offers potential for more chills and thrills. To extend our anxiety to include the Phoenix, a ‘Big Brother’ exploiting operative, with a global CCTV mercenary team, interested in developments in Antarctica, and readers are held captive, rather like the Outpost crew.
This is a really skilful, carefully plotted, taut and believable thriller. I love the main character, Zac, his relationship with his sister May, his developing self-confidence and understanding of his capabilities. I look forward to the inevitable sequel. I know I won the coin toss. So will any other reader lucky enough to read, ‘Below Zero’.