Tobias Buckell’s Arctic Rising is a rollicking, fast-paced thriller set in a near future where the polar ice caps are all but gone, and a scramble for resources is taking place in the rapidly developing Arctic north. UN airship pilot Anika Duncan is shot down while investigating a suspicious tanker that appears to be carrying radioactive materials; the investigation sets off a chain of events that very quickly put the resourceful Anika on the run, forcing her to rely on a series of colourful characters.
This is not Kim Stanley Robinson’s global warming thriller: chapters end with guns pointed at people. Little space is given to introspective reflection: things just move too fast. Nor does the setting play as strong a role as it might. In fact, for a book that is set almost entirely within Canada, there are hardly any Canadians among the very global cast; but for the climate it could have occurred in any archipelago on the planet, which I found a little disappointing. Still: fun read.