A ‘Slasher Film’ in Book Form
As I was reading Ice
Rift, I kept thinking it had a number of similarities to a ‘slasher film.’ In particular, I was thinking of that scene
where the so-to-be-victims are deciding if they should hide in the basement,
when that is exactly where the psychotic killer does his thing. And you keep thinking, don’t go to the
basement, don’t go to the basement…and of course, they all go to the
basement. In this case, I was thinking,
don’t go into that alien space ship with the malfunctioning door…but they all go
in. Could you really expect anything
good to happen after that?
Of course, there are differences between this book
and a slasher film, one of the prime being that instead of a single, psychotic
killer, you have waves and waves of man-eating, space aliens. And therein lies one of my concerns I had
about this book – pacing. It was over-paced
with space-monster attacks for most of the story. The constant parade of odd-looking, yet
consistently predatory aliens made me numb after a while – almost to the point
of chuckling when a new variant appeared.
Even the strangest, most bloodthirsty monsters can become repetitive. And like one of the characters in the story,
I started wondering, where are the cuddly puppies and kittens? I will give the author credit, however. He did come up with some ingenious ways for
these various species to kill their prey.
The theme of near constant human-alien battle made
character development problematic.
Whenever the scientists trapped inside the ship paused to reflect on
life or the wonders of the technology or each other, it seemed grossly out of
place. Is this really what they would do
in the 30 seconds between narrow escapes?
A budding romance between two characters seemed particularly strained to
the point of breaking – I don’t think the bulk of the plot left any room for
There were a few issues in the writing –
typos, grammar, etc. – but not many that I noticed. Sentence structure in places was unusual and
the dialog seemed quite stiff on occasion.
But overall, the book was well written.
It is written as third person, allowing looks inside the heads of the
characters. But interestingly, once or
twice, the reader was given a peek inside the mind of the main, space-alien ‘villain.’ Personally, I wished the author had either used
that technique more or not at all, because the limited use was jarring and left
a inconsistent picture of this being.
Overall, readers who enjoy slasher-type stories,
recast in a space-alien setting will like Ice
Rift, unless the constant parade of monsters wears too thin.