Cover image of "Ice Genesis," an action-packed thriller

Fair warning: don’t even think about reading this book unless you’ve already gotten through Ice, the first book in Kevin Tinto’s trilogy. The story is rewarding—thrilling from beginning to end—but it’s complicated. Oh, so complicated. Mix Native Americans from the Middle Ages, mysterious aliens, world-class mountaineers, brilliant archeologists, Russian special forces, and an American president gone off the rails, with much of the action unfolding in Antarctica . . . and, yes, you’ve got to admit, it’s complicated. Now they’re all back in Ice Genesis. It’s another action-packed thriller from the get-go. If anything, the stakes have risen, with Russia and the United States on the verge of exchanging nuclear missiles. You’ll see.

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

In both books, the central characters are Dr. Leah Andrews and Jack Hobson. Leah is a top-flight archaeologist who specializes in the Native peoples of the American Southwest. She’s driven by a lifelong obsession to learn the secret of the Anasazi, the mysterious (if not mythical) people who lived in cave dwellings in the desert of New Mexico until 800 years ago and then suddenly disappeared. And, in fact, she did find out what happened to them in Ice.

But she couldn’t have done it without Jack, her husband (or ex-husband; it’s not entirely clear). Jack is one of the world’s leading mountain-climbing guides. Without him, tough as she is, Leah couldn’t have survived all that action in Antarctica. After all, some of it was under fire. Not just from the Russians, but from Americans, too.

Ice Genesis (Ice Trilogy #2 of 3) by Kevin Tinto (2018) 334 pages ★★★★☆

Image of an airplane at Holloman Air Force Base, a site of action in this action-packed thriller
What you might see at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, site of some of the action in this novel. Image: Air University

So, here’s the story (more or less)

What Leah found in an Anasazi cave in southwest New Mexico led her and her team to Antarctica. (Don’t ask why. Read Ice.) She only got to the southernmost continent with Jack’s help. One of his clients, a billionaire, flew them all down in a private jet along with a pilot and a team of mechanics to rescue a vintage B-29 bomber that had crashed on the ice. (You see what I’m saying? Complicated. Just take my word for it.) And far in the interior of Antarctica, they found buried deep underground a huge alien bunker containing . . . get this: twenty-seven 800-year-old Native Americans in suspended animation. Some of them were, of course, Anasazi! And Leah manages to wake them up, good as new.

Are you with me so far? We’re nowhere close to the end. Remember, I called this an action-packed thriller.

Now, before Leah and the other folks can get back to warmer climes word reaches the White House and the Kremlin that Leah has made an earth-shaking discovery in Antarctica. The leaders of both countries are determined to get their hands on the alien technology. And they seem prepared to go to war over it. But the President—remember: he’s nuts—sends Special Forces down with three nuclear devices to blow up the site so the Russians can’t get into it. Well, it only half-works. They blow up the site, but Jack and Leah manage to steal one of the bombs, and they take it back to New Mexico as insurance along with the twenty-seven Natives. They have to do this because the President wants to snatch the Natives and subject them to all manner of intrusive experiments.

And all that happens before Ice Genesis even starts!

About the author

Photo of Kevin Tinto, author of this action-packed thriller
Kevin Tinto. Image: Marin Magazine

On his author website, Kevin Tinto writes that he is “based in Tiburon and Lake Tahoe, California. He has written for the San Francisco  Chronicle, Reno Gazette Journal, Bike Transamerica, Scuba Diver Magazine and more. He is an avid Mountaineer, Skier, Scuba and Free Diver, Private Pilot and Adventurer. [Kevin] is a Level II Certified Ski Instructor and you can often find him teaching at Northstar, California, when not testing the Palisades at Squaw Valley.”

For related reading

I’ve also reviewed the first book in this trilogy—Ice (Digging out the secret of the Anasazi)—and the third: Ice Revelation (The thrilling conclusion to a science fiction trilogy).

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