It's the late nineteenth century and the British Royal Fleet is trying to find the north-west passage. Frozen in the arctic ice for almost three years, this is the story of two ships, the flagship Erebus and her sister ship, the Terror, and the horrors the officers and crew endure while trapped with no way out and no hope of rescue. Between life on the ships and out on the ice with spoiling food, scurvy, near-mutiny, a strange mute Esquimaux woman and a terrible beast methodically stalking them, Dan Simmons weaves an engrossing tale mixed with fact and fiction of terror, madness and survival. It's written so well that you just cannot put the book down, it's always "one more chapter". The ending is quite surprising and hopeful - a real departure from the rest of the novel. I wasn't too sure about it the first time I read it, but it matters and it fits, and that is what's important to a good story. If you enjoy period pieces, nautical stories, thrillers or just a well-written novel, I definitely recommend that you give this one a read. You will not be disappointed.
Book Club discussion questions included? no