Antarctic Ice Beasts – Hunter Shea
Reviewed by Steve Stred
I’ve had the pleasure of reading a few of Shea’s releases and absolutely loved his book ‘Creature.’ When I saw this announced and saw the cover I knew this would be one that I would buy!
Antarctic Ice Beasts follows a group as they hunker down for Antarctic’s ‘winter.’ From June to September, the southernmost continent is plunged into instant-freeze temperatures and hurricane-force winds. The new base that has been built is designed to withstand the worst Mother Nature can throw at it, but to be certain, the group is stationed there to ensure it withstands the harsh conditions.
Shea does a good job of introducing us to the crew and fills in their backstories to a degree that you become familiar with them early on, which is nice. One bonus is that due to a large scale failure at a different facility, the crew is paired down to a minimal number of folks, so we don’t become overwhelmed with a few dozen characters coming and going.
One of the biggest concerns that crews stationed in the South Pole is getting cabin-fever, developing a madness by not being able to go outside or even losing their minds over what Mother Nature might throw their way.
This plays key to the first opening ‘incident’ where a crew member looks outside and sees a large, muscular, naked hominid.
From there, Shea pulls out his patented creature-feature chops and we descend into utter chaos in one of the most uninhabitable locations on the planet.
Stories like this – set in places we as humans, can’t survive long will always have its plot failures or instances where reality is slightly pushed aside, but that’s ok, as long as we see the survival instinct and ‘do what it takes at all cost’ mentality, which Shea does very well.
I found that the first half of the story was great, while the dialogue was ok, with some of it falling into some stereotypical character tropes, it wasn’t so awful that I ever felt like DNFing. There were a few spots that I saw what was coming long before it happened, but overall it played out fine.
For me personally, I wished that Shea had left it at the first introduced creatures. I won’t throw out any spoilers, but the story continues down a creature path and it just lost some of its initial lustre.
This was a solid creature-feature romp, set in a very hostile environment, and I think this would make for a really fun movie.
Overall, I think fans of Shea will enjoy it and for new fans, it’s a really good starting spot. I’m looking forward to continuing my exploration into Shea’s other works!
Star Rating (out of 5): 3*
Antarctic Ice Beasts
The South Pole in winter is one of the deadliest places on Earth.
The seven-person crew of the US Freedom Base lives alone in months of utter darkness with no hope of help or rescue.
A freak storm batters the walls and threatens to expose them to the deadly cold.
All they can do is wait…and pray.
The ground quakes.
An alien screech rips through the night.
There’s something, or someone, lurking outside.
Fists bang on the walls.
Each tiny crack in the base spells death by hypothermia.
Untold horrors have come to Freedom Base…and they want in!
Steve Stred is an up-and-coming Dark, Bleak Horror author.
Steve is the author of the novel Invisible, the novellas Wagon Buddy, Yuri and Jane: the 816 Chronicles and two collections of short stories; Frostbitten: 12 Hymns of Misery and Left Hand Path: 13 More Tales of Black Magick, the dark poetry collection Dim the Sun and his most recent release was the coming-of-age, urban legend tale The Girl Who Hid in the Trees.
On June 1st, 2019 his second full-length novel, The Stranger will be welcomed to the world.
Steve is also a voracious reader, reviewing everything he reads and submitting the majority of his reviews to be featured on Kendall Reviews.
Steve Stred is based in Edmonton, AB, Canada and lives with his wife, his son and their dog OJ.
You can follow Steve on Twitter @stevestred
You can visit Steve’s Official website here
Ahhh… nothing like the annual summer family camping trip, right?
Malcolm, his wife Sam and their two kids have been staying at the same cabin, at the same campground for years now. Heck, Malcolm’s been coming to the campground since he was a kid.
Miles and miles of groomed trails, hiking, kayaking on the pristine lake. What’s not to like?
But this year… well this year’s different. You see, roof repairs have caused them to have to change their plans. Now they’re staying at the cabin at the end of season, in fact they’re the last campers before it closes for the winter.
While happy to be spending time with the family, Malcolm feels a shift.
The caretaker next door makes it known he hates him.
The trees… move and dance, as though calling him, beckoning him.
Then on a seemingly normal kayaking trip, the family makes a discovery.
YOU TAKE FROM ME
I TAKE FROM YOU
Something’s out there, just on the other side of the fence. Malcolm’s positive it’s just the caretaker trying to scare him, teach the family a lesson.
But what if it’s not…
What if there is something out there?
The Stranger is the second novel from Steve Stred and 9th release overall. The Stranger is another offering following in the footsteps of similar books Invisible, YURI and The Girl Who Hid in the Trees. As Steve describes his works; “dark, bleak horror.”
With this release, Steve has decided to look deeper into what makes humans tick. He confronts two key elements of mankind; bigotry and our environmental footprint.
Featuring stunning cover art by Chadwick St. John (www.inkshadows.com), The Stranger will be a story that will leave you feeling uneasy and have you looking at the trees differently.
Maybe it’s not the wind making the branches sway…