You can generally dismiss any blurb on the cover of a novel as hype. But a quote featured on the Kindle edition of Ice Revelation, the concluding volume of Kevin Tinto’s Ice Trilogy, leaps over the top. “A paragon of speculative fiction” boasts someone named Ed Stacker—who turns out to be the book’s editor, no less. And it’s nothing of the sort. The Ice Trilogy is a three-book adventure story grounded in the time-honored science fiction trope that extraterrestrials visited Earth in the distant past. The trilogy’s charm lies not in its speculative elements, which are fanciful and entirely unscientific, but in the propulsive action that keeps us turning the pages. And Ice Revelation follows the logic set in place earlier in the series and rushes to a gratifying conclusion. It’s a great story, but it’s a science fiction adventure story, not a paragon of speculative fiction.
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
An abundance of convincing detail
In fairness, one other impressive aspect of this trilogy lies in the extensive research the author must have done in advance. All three novels abound with a wide range of names and technical terms no one person is likely ever to learn in a lifetime. Mountain-climbing techniques. Types of aircraft and their capabilities. Names of weaponry that appear to be accurate. The detailed effects of extreme cold. Interior descriptions of warships, including a Russian submarine and a (real) US aircraft carrier. Not to mention dialogue in Navajo, Lakota, and Russian which looks correct (and may well be). Details like these lend the impression of authenticity and help drive the story forward.
Ice Revelation (Ice Trilogy #3 of 3) by Kevin Tinto (2020) 378 pages ★★★★☆
Complications erupt in this thrilling science fiction adventure story
Ice Revelation, unsurprisingly, picks up where the trilogy’s second volume, Ice Genesis, left off. The traitorous US President who nuked the alien site in Antarctica and sent an assassination squad to kill the heroes has blown his brains out, unwilling to face what lay ahead for him. The new President, the former Secretary of State, is more hospitable to billionaire Al Paulson and the teams he’s financed in Antarctica. She’s kept him on as her National Security Advisor.
Some 7,700 miles to the south of the US Capitol, the aliens have begun spreading a sheet of plasma over the Earth which is slowly moving northward from the southern continent. It’s disabling all communications in that area and rendering navigation by instrument impossible. The new President considers she has no choice but to send B-2 bombers to locate the source of what they’re calling the Anomaly and extinguishing it with a massive nuclear strike.
Meanwhile, Dr. Leah Anderson is leading the Ancients across the Antarctic snowscape in search of the same target. Their shaman, Appaloose, insists they must go there to return to stasis and await whatever destiny the aliens have planned for them. And, in a desperate hope to save Leah, Jack Hobson is on his way to Antarctica with a small team in the precious few days before the B-2s are due to arrive. But his trip may be in vain, because a Russian submarine is about to deliver a platoon of Spetsnaz special operators with a huge arsenal in hopes of eliminating the US presence on the continent.
And all that’s only the beginning.
Minor errors mar the reading experience
Ice Revelation, even more than the two volumes that precede it in the trilogy, has the earmarks of a rushed job. It abounds with minor errors. Transposed words. Words missing from familiar phrases. Obvious grammatical errors. And even at least once a sentence repeated within the same paragraph. The book cries out for a proofreader, which any professional publisher would supply.
However, Ice Revelation‘s publisher is listed on Amazon as Three Dog Publishing of St. Peters, Missouri. The company’s three titles are The Donner Party Cookbook (ouch!), Fantasy Footwear Portfolio Coloring Book, and A Day At The Museum Coloring Book. (At least, those are the only ones that appear on the company’s Facebook page.) However, in the novel itself it turns out that Three Dog Publishing is located in Tiburon, California. Is it the same publisher, or only another home-grown effort? Because it can’t be a coincidence that the author, Kevin Tinto, lives in Tiburon. Perhaps, then, we shouldn’t have high expectations about the diligence of the publisher.
About the author
Google Books notes that “Kevin Tinto 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. Also, he 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.” Google copied this text from the author’s own website.
For related reading
I’ve also read and reviewed the first two books in this trilogy:
- Ice – Ice Trilogy #1 of 3 (Digging out the secret of the Anasazi)
- Ice Genesis – Ice Trilogy #2 of 3 (The secret of the Anasazi continues to unfold)
For more good reading, check out:
- These novels won both Hugo and Nebula Awards
- The ultimate guide to the all-time best science fiction novels
- 10 top science fiction novels
- The top 10 dystopian novels
- 10 new science fiction authors worth reading now
- The five best First Contact novels
And you can always find my most popular reviews, and the most recent ones, on the Home Page.