Friday, 5 January 2018

Dan Smith - Below Zero - Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books - Book Review (Chicken House)

When Zak's plane crash-lands on Outpost Zero, a small Antarctic research base in one of the most isolated places on Earth, he discovers a cold, dark nightmare. The power's out and the people who live there have disappeared. Worse, as he searches for answers, bizarre visions suggest a link to something else - deep beneath the ice - which only he can understand. 

Published by Chicken House, 4 January 2018, Paperback, £6.99, Ages 10 +

Why do we read for pleasure? The main reason for me is to escape into another world that is so far removed from my own. The Best books and the books I love do that for me - they stop time and transport the readers into the story and beyond. Dan Smith, for me, is an author who does just that in so many ways. He makes ME into an armchair adventurer and a fantasy warrior. In this story, he brings the outdoor Antarctic to Life and creates an imaginative and believable setting that will make you want to read every page from the start to the end.     

You will plough through the white wilderness with an eerie pace that will leave you on the seat of your thermal pants. This is a seasonal adventure full of horrors, mayhem and, madness. One moment you are running from creepy mechanical spiders (tick-tack, tick-tack) as they scuttle across Outpost Zero. The next moment you uncover events that challenge the characters' perspectives Which make you think about our existence on Earth. This will deliver a creative and thought-provoking punch that drives an unexpected narrative that will leave you exploring and thinking in equal measure. 

This is a clever, imaginative story that twists the perspective of the characters as they uncover trapped creatures deep underneath the arctic ice. The mystery unfurls in a vortex of bugs and insects that will leave the reader filled with dread and wonder. The book explores artificial intelligence in a world of technology and the possibilities of what a future might look like in years to come. There is also a Zombie element to this book without giving too much away, which I really loved. 

This book has everything you would Expect from Dan Smith. EXCITEMENT - it is a high octane thriller that will leave you exhilarated and satisfied. It is a book that boys and girls will love for different reasons. Nevertheless, everyone will be able to Relate to the characters and the ending. So put on some warm clothes, grab a hot drink and turn the pages if you dare. This is a distinctive read that will have you chilled to the fantasy core. JOIN US, JOIN US....

About the Author

Growing up, Dan Smith led three lives. In one he survived the day-to-day humdrum of boarding school, while in another he travelled the world, finding adventure in the padi fields of Asia and the jungles of Brazil. But the third life he lived in a world of his own, making up stories . . . Which is where some people say he still lives most of the time.

Now settled in Newcastle with his wife and two children, Dan writes books to share with both adults and children.


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