The Ice Limit

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9780446610230: The Ice Limit
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The largest known meteorite has been discovered, entombed in the earth for millions of years on a frigid, desolate island off the southern tip of Chile. At four thousand tons, this treasure seems impossible to move. New York billionaire Palmer Lloyd is determined to have this incredible find for his new museum. Stocking a cargo ship with the finest scientists and engineers, he builds a flawless expedition. But from the first approach to the meteorite, people begin to die. A frightening truth is about to unfold: The men and women of the Rolvaag are not taking this ancient, enigmatic object anywhere. It is taking them.

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Review:

Billionaire Palmer Lloyd is accustomed to getting what he wants--and what he wants for his new museum is the largest meteorite on earth. Unfortunately for Lloyd, it's buried on an inhospitable Chilean island just north of the Ice Limit in the most brutal, unforgiving seas in the world.

Fortunately for Lloyd, he knows people--people like Eli Glinn, the hyper-focused president of Effective Engineering Solutions, Inc.; Glinn's nonconformist, genius of a mathematician, Rachel Amira; and the uncannily able construction engineer, Manuel Garza. Lloyd's also tapped the brilliant but disgraced meteorite hunter, Sam McFarlane, and the exceptional supertanker captain, Sally Britton, whose career was unshipped by intemperance and a reef. Of course, such a team has a hefty price tag:

Lloyd's broad features narrowed. "And that is... "

"One hundred and fifty million dollars. Including chartering the transport vessel. FOB the Lloyd Museum."

Lloyd's face went pale. "My God. One hundred and fifty million... " His chin sank onto his hands. "For a ten-thousand-ton rock. That's... "

"Seven dollars and fifty cents a pound," said Glinn.

EES's plan is to obtain mining rights to the island, secure the allegiance of various Chilean functionaries via blinding sums of money, disguise a state-of- the-art supertanker as a decrepit ore rig, mine the rock, slip it into the ship, and zip back to New York to thunderous notoriety. Unforeseen, however, are a rogue Chilean naval captain, seas to make Sebastian Junger boot, and a blood-red meteorite of undetermined pedigree and a habit of discharging billions of volts of electricity for no apparent reason.

Like Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child's earlier collaborations (Relic, Thunderhead, and others), The Ice Limit tools along swiftly, blending nicely drawn characters (excepting, regrettably, the book's true protagonist, the meteorite), a reasonably exciting narrative, and enough graspable science and plausible-seeming theories to bring readers happily up to speed and keep them climax-bound. Not the authors' best effort, certainly, but a fine diversion nonetheless. --Michael Hudson

From the Back Cover:

In the desolate reaches of southernmost Chile lies the Tierra del Fuego, the "Land of Fire", and on an island off the coast lies something else altogether -- a newly discovered 4,000-ton meteorite. Advances in modern engineering have enabled a rich tycoon to mount the transport of the priceless artifact to his New York museum, but the crew will first have to reckon with the daunting challenges of a raging storm at sea, foreboding superstition, and colliding egos as the expedition slowly moves northward.

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