James Rollins, Author . Morrow $24.95 (416p) ISBN 978-0-06-052156-1

While Clive Cussler maintains the gold standard in action lit, Rollins has a firm grasp on the silver. Some astonishing threat or daring feat explodes into print on nearly every page, but that's the author's weakness as well as his strength, because in Rollins's books character and even plot take a backseat to sheer action. Rollins set his last novel, Amazonia, in steaming jungles; here he does a 180 and tells a tale of brutal cold, above and beneath the North Pole ice cap. An experimental American sub comes across an abandoned Soviet polar station encased in an iceberg. Meanwhile, a Russian admiral, the son of the man who once ran the station, is preparing to alter world history by exploding a nuclear weapon at the polar cap, melting it and flooding the globe. And Fish and Game warden Matt Pike, a former Green Beret, comes across a downed aircraft in the Alaskan mountains and rescues the sole survivor, who says he's a journalist on his way to the American polar station; immediately, Matt and the survivor are relentlessly pursued by black-clad Russian special forces. Eventually all parties, including Matt's estranged wife, end up at the abandoned polar station or the nearby American station; Russians and Americans, including Delta Force, battle fiercely over the privilege of exposing or forever hiding the secret of the Russian station, and in turn they must combat the prehistoric predators who roam the Russian station in search of warm meat. The plot is preposterous from the get-go, and Rollins's characters, though fully drawn, have about as much effect on the novel's course as riders on a roller-coaster—which is what this novel is, and a first class one at that if maximum mayhem is desired. (July 1)

Reviewed on: 06/30/2003
Release date: 07/01/2003
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Analog Audio Cassette - 9 pages - 978-0-7927-2969-3
Compact Disc - 11 pages - 978-0-7927-2970-9
Mass Market Paperbound - 521 pages - 978-0-06-052160-8
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 544 pages - 978-0-06-072773-4
Open Ebook - 544 pages - 978-0-06-072775-8
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Mass Market Paperbound - 633 pages - 978-0-06-196584-5
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-7927-4389-7
Ebook - 656 pages - 978-0-06-179261-8
Paperback - 737 pages - 978-0-06-206651-0
Paperback - 476 pages - 978-0-7528-8382-3
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