Earth Winter (Review)

Earth Winter (Review)

‘ve remember reading Richard Moran’s earlier book (to which this is the sequel) when it came out two decades ago. Empire of Ice told the story of a massive sub-Atlantic volcano that heaves up in the middle of the ocean, diverting the gulf stream flow away from England and throwing Europe into a terrible ice age. In Earth Winter, we are in the same world only a year later. Now soot from the eruption blankets the northern hemisphere, the ice is advancing, crops are dying (along with millions of people). So, no, not an uplifting beginning.

And yes, if you hate animals dying, get the tissue out. Mr. Moran uses that time-honored trick of putting animals into danger (and beyond) as a way of wrenching our heartstrings. And it works. I was really depressed by the time I’d flipped a third of his pages.

So Bed Meade and his bitching fiance (yes, time out during the worst climatic event the world has ever faced for relationship issues) have to save the day. Already, the earlier plan of massive biospheres seems off to a rocky start (remember that comment about animals – ugh!). And more and more Chinese are displacing to our coasts, resulting in massive riots and indiscriminate killing (largely set in San Francisco, where I currently am vacationing). But meanwhile, way down south in Junta-land, the South American’s are reaping massive profits (selling food to us, and jumping their profits to suck out our wallets). But like all moneylenders and loan sharks, some sort of muscle is needed to preserve the “relationship”. In this case, they’ve gotten a line on an old Russian boomer sub, supposedly lost in the Black Sea but actually stored away by the Ukrainians, who have sold it to the Argentineans, mad Russian skipper included.

So that’s the set up. I’ll say that I rather enjoyed this little read. The solution the hero came up with to break the back of the cold spell (I won’t say more than it involved moving icebergs from here to there) was interesting. And the soviet sub parts were fun, as well as the south-of-the-border espionage. Probably my only wee-little complaint comes from the drag-out for the climax. The villains in their sub inch closer to launch point, closer, closer still. And back and forth our POV goes. He’s nearly ready to fire. Almost… almost… And I’m reading this, thinking, yeah, comon already. Let’s just get to the finale. Well, the author does, and its actually quite satisfying.

So overall a good read. I picked this one up in B & L Books, one of my used shops, so you might need to poke about for it. I do remember Empire of Ice being a bit long yet interesting, so tackling either as a old book jaunt would be fun for you.

Just get ready for a grim new world.