Arctic Wargame by Ethan Jones

Arctic Wargame (Justin Hall, #1)

Arctic Wargame by Ethan Jones

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This review may contain spoilers!

Since I got this book in a give-away, I really hoped I’d like it. Alas, it was not to be.

First of all, the plot is thin. Thinner than a sheet of ice on a puddle. Evil Danes (or rather: a single evil Dane, being blackmailed by clichée russians) attacking Canada with a bunch of common criminals.

On the other side are some non-descript Canadians (our bland hero), some noble natives (one of them constantly drunk, corrupted by the evil white men!) and a compassionate American nurse which fight the evil criminal Danes. Oh, and there’s the hero’s love interest who happens to be around for no discernible reason – she adds nothing to the story, doesn’t seem to have any useful talents and is usually just being an accessory.

I’m absolutely willing to suspend my disbelief; I might even have accepted the ridiculous notion of a small country like Denmark attacking Canada, an ally, if the storytelling hadn’t been so incredibly boring. The entire story is so unbelievably predictable that only a feeling of obligation towards the author made me finish it.

The characters are so one-dimensional and uninteresting, I didn’t even care who was going to win (even though there never was any doubt), live or die. None of them are fleshed out enough to even remotely care about any of them – the heroes are always virtuous and brave, the villains are always bad and evil and the two not-so-evil Danes are daft and boring – one of them suspects something’s not right from the very beginning, then witnesses a cold-blooded murder but instead of notifying his boss’ (the single evil Dane) superiors and ending things right there and then, just plays along – endangering his life and that of his partner.

The one endearing quality of this book is its shortness – I finished it as quickly as I will have forgotten about it completely.

If you want a real thriller in an arctic setting, get “Ice Station Zebra” by Alistair MacLean and stay away from this book.

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