Sunday 1 July 2012

Review: Arctic Fire- Paul Byers


Gabriel  Pike a hot shot fan of old airplanes, becomes an instantaneous hero when he attacks a band of ruthless robbers using his vintage machine, called Yankee Clipper. He risked his pilot license but apparently he also prevented a major disaster – the thieves, armed, aggressive and desperate, were running away after a successful bank heist right toward a group of teen students. Pike is being rewarded really fast – people treat him like their favourite royalty and girls swarm around him like flies around a fresh, bloody carcass. Now everybody wants a bit of Pike’s fame and glory, even one very rich and very ambitious tycoon, Nigel Cain. His new project, involving an iceberg full mostly of fresh, potable water, could do with a national hero, ‘a blast from the past’, defending innocent bystanders…because the project is not as benign and goody-goody as it seems at first glance. Nigel is a clever devil and it will take some time and at least one murder to open the eyes of poor, naive Gabe.  His fate and that of the whole city is in the hands of God with the little help of the United States Air Force - what will he do?

What I liked:

  • Original premise – there is an artificial iceberg, an u-boot, Titanic, a vintage plane and at least two casinos in this book!
  • The vintage plane pic which starts every chapter – a good idea!
  • Elizabeth Mallory, an intrepid assistant; I liked her a lot, finally I came across a female character who a) is happily married, b) doesn’t love/is not in love with the male lead, c) can defend herself and defend others. Yes, she was a bit evil. Yes, I still liked her.
  • A scene with our hero facing three women, all interested in him personally, and then the fourth joins the jousting was splendid! Let me quote one fragment:
I’m having dinner with a friend then K.D. shows up out of nowhere. I start feeling like an idiot, then Marilyn appears and throws
gasoline on the fire and then you stroll up.”

His head began to clear and he stopped Mallory at the elevator.
Am I in trouble?”

Mallory laughed. “Let’s see here. You have three women interested
in you all at the same time, a coworker, the bosses’ wife and a
news reporter and they all show up at the same time. Gee, what
could possibly go wrong?”

  • The theories about the Titanic were hilarious and really inventive. My favourite? The sinking of the Titanic was a direct plot by the Jesuits as a means to an end: the creation of the Federal Reserve Board. Really, kudos for finding such a delicious jewel of utter lunacy!

  • Overall I must admit the author has a nice sense of humour and let me offer you, dear Reader , one piece of advice: if you start getting bald never wear those silly toupees, just shave the rest of your hair off . In this book one character is wearing a toupee. It doesn’t end well.

What I didn’t like:

  • Mistakes in the copy – probably left after editing but still noticeable even though I wasn’t looking for them.
  • The main hero suffers from white knight syndrome which is annoying after a while – does he really have to save every damsel in distress in his proximity? Fortunately the author broke that routine when his hero got into real troubles and had to save himself. Saving yourself is always the most tricky thing to do.
  • Why oh why the biggest baddie has to be named Cain? Kind of makes the whole suspense thing to go  hang itself from the very beginning. What is wrong with the old, good Smith or Brown? Or even Johnson?
  • The ending was too rushed, as if the author ran out of metaphorical steam.

Final verdict:
A nice, original thriller which in parts I really enjoyed but which also could have been better. 


  1. I confess I don't know if it's my kind of books. But I like the idea, mailny about Titanic. thanks for the review.

  2. Meliane it seems the author tries hard to write a different kind of thriller so you might like it better than an average novel of this genre.

  3. Nice review :)
    I agree on the toupee issue. I know what you mean about white knight syndrome too, that can get annoying.

    1. White knights can ruin any book for me - they are so delusional!

  4. Haha- When a character called Cain enters, then all suspense goes out the door, doesn't it?

    1. Definitely my thoughts. Kind of you wait till he acts up. ;)

  5. hahaha loved your review. This book seems rather.....interesting.

  6. Right, no toupee, got it! :D

  7. Great review. Sounds interesting and I really like the cover to this one.

  8. Probably not a book for me but I love when there is humor.

    No - one should NEVER wear a toupee.

  9. Loved the review of this one. I passed on it because it really isn't my cup of tea!

  10. The titanic? Really? Well, that does sounds interesting. I like to read different theories about the sinking of the ship and they are be it. lol. ;)

  11. Great review Ana, if you like Titanic books and theories, have you ever read the one by Clive Cussler?



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