Book Reviews

{Review} ANTARCTIC ICE BEASTS, by Hunter Shea

Published by Severed Press Genres: Creature Feature, Dark Fiction, Fiction, Horror, Mystery, Paranormal, Psychological Horror, Supernatural, Suspense, Thriller
Format: eBook

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! 

Praise for FURY OF THE ORCAS “Incredibly horrifying. Highly recommended!” – Horror After Dark

“Full of absolute mayhem and tense scenes that will have you on the edge of your seat.” – The Horror Bookshelf

Cryptid horror with THE DOVER DEMON “Hunter does a complete mind twist in the pages of The Dover Demon. The sheer horrors come from a very dark and scary corner of Hunter’s mind.” – The Scary Reviews

“An excellent horror novel and a strong standout in the UFO and cryptid subgenres.” – Hellnotes

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4.5 stars!

ANTARCTIC ICE BEASTS, by Hunter Shea, is a book I originally thought of as a “creature feature”, but after finishing it, I have to say that it is much more than that! Now I love a good creature feature, but when you throw some amazingly original, complex characters into the mix, you’ve gone from “good” to “great”, in my humble opinion.

“Hope is starting to become a four letter word around here . . . “ 

We start at the South Pole in June–the “Winter of Hell”–at the structure known as The Freedom Base. Seven people are currently living there, acting as the maintenance crew, over the worst months of the Antarctic darkness. When a large storm suddenly develops over the station–reminiscent of one that caused the deaths of a much larger crew in a similar station, years before–the group quickly takes notice.

“This one was different . . . as if it was sentient, its ire focused on Freedom Base . . . “ 

There’s no denying the tremendous impact the elements have on this novel. Imagine living somewhere for months where the sun never rises, and where a breach in your housing would prove fatal as the sub-zero temperatures quickly permeate any layers of clothing. This hostile environment says a lot about the fortitude of those willing to literally risk their lives for a job. These people are driven. They’re survivors.

“. . . The only thing impossible in this world was the concept that there was an impossible . . . “ 

These aren’t random people off the street. Shea takes the time to let us see inside their temporary “home”. We learn about them through their mannerisms, interactions with each other, their own inner thoughts, and the opinions of the others. I can honestly say that I felt I “knew” each and every one of them, as if they were a personal friend.

“. . . We’re all a little broken in our own ways . . . .” 

This book managed to do something very few novels can lately.

It twisted and morphed into so much more than I was expecting.

“It’s all of those, but none of them . . . “ 

Overall, I have to stress that ANTARCTIC ICE BEASTS was not a mere “fun” creature feature. This novel had all of the key components to make it one that you simply don’t want to put down. From realistic characters that you come to “know”, inhospitable atmosphere, and things that you’ll never expect, this book has just about everything you could want in a horror novel.

“You can’t scare a man who’s already dead . . . “ 

Highly recommended.


Hunter Shea is the author of over 25 books, with a specialization in cryptozoological horror that includes The Jersey Devil, The Dover Demon, Loch Ness Revenge and many others. As part of the new horror line at Flame Tree Press, his novel Creature has gained critical acclaim. His novel, The Montauk Monster, was named one of the best reads of the summer by Publishers Weekly. A trip to the International Cryptozoology Museum will find several of his cryptid books among the fascinating displays. Living in a true haunted house inspired his Jessica Backman: Death in the Afterlife series (Forest of Shadows, Sinister Entity and Island of the Forbidden). In 2011, he was selected to be a part of the launch of Samhain Publishing’s new horror line alongside legendary author Ramsey Campbell. When he’s not writing thrillers and horror, he also spins tall tales for middle grade readers on Amazon’s highly regarded Rapids reading app.
An avid podcaster, he can be seen and heard on Monster Men, one of the longest running video horror podcasts in the world, and Final Guys, focusing on weekly movie and book reviews. His nostalgic column about the magic of 80s horror, Video Visions, is featured monthly at Cemetery Dance Online. You can find his short stories in a number of anthologies, including Chopping Block Party, The Body Horror Book and Fearful Fathoms II.

A lifetime New Yorker, Hunter is supported by his loving wife and two beautiful daughters. When he’s not studying up on cryptozoology, he’s an avid explorer of the unknown, having spent a night alone on the Queen Mary, searching for the Warren’s famous White Lady of the Union Cemetery and other mysterious places. 
You can follow his travails at www.huntershea.com

Kimberly

I am an avid reader/reviewer and collector of books--primarily horror, supernatural, and supernatural-themed thrillers.

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