Thursday, 1 November 2018
Everland by Rebecca Hunt
This is a novel set in that most mysterious place, Antarctica. In 1912 a team of three men Dinners, Miller-Bass and Napps are sent from the base on the Antarctic mainland to explore the uncharted island of Everland. One hundred years later Brix, Jess and Decker recreate the same expedition.
The second expedition reflects the first in many ways - each team has one member who is significantly weaker than the others and both expeditions come across many problems with the weather, injury and constant interpersonal strife. At times there seemed like too many forced co-incidences between the two stories to be honest.
I felt the cahracters weren't particularly interesting but the writing is otherwise excellent and the sense of tension in both stories is really ratched up as the novel moves forward. I also loved the descriptions of the landscape and the wildlife:
"In the fifty days it took for a hatchling to grow into a self sufficient Adelie penguin] a chick needed to bulk up by around a hundred grams every twenty four hours....... The rapid transformation from tiny scrap to sleek adult was ungainly and the chicks had reached the ungainly adolescent stage. Their flippers were too big for them and dragged on the ground like long sleeves."
This is an engrossing adventure story, and a cautionary tale for anyone wanting to go to Antarctica!
Everland by Rebecca Hunt, published by Penguin (2014).