Saturday, February 25, 2012

Left unfinished: "Ice Age" by Brian Freemantle

It's not often I stop reading a book halfway through, but I couldn't keep going on this one. 

Brian Freemantle's "Ice Age" has a promising idea: An ancient virus trapped in the polar ice is set free by global warming. The virus causes its victims to age rapidly and die within days. Knowing the lethality of the virus, first-world nations rush to get in on the research and, ergo, the potential glory of finding a cure.

Considering the news of late,  it's not that far-fetched. Too bad it's not well-written. 

I kept going past the amateurish first chapter, hoping the author would ease into a more natural way of describing situations or characterizing his cast. When reading it started to feel like work, though, I gave up. I don't have much free time, and I hate to waste any of it on something I'm not enjoying.

I can tell you one thing, having gotten as far as I did: Brian Freemantle really, really, really does not like politicians. Every character in this book - with one, possibly two exceptions in a large cast - is constantly thinking about how their actions will play in the political realm, and they're all scheming about how to use events to further their personal goals. It's tough to enjoy a story when I find myself wishing the majority of the characters would just catch the virus and die already.

I'm glad I only paid 99 cents for this one, but if you're on the fence, I'd skip it even at that price.