Review: The Elder Ice by David Hambling

37971920This was a review request that sounded really interesting, as it is a bit of a horror/mystery that takes place in… our world, but with some Lovecraftian shenanigans included as well.

So off I went into my world of 1920s London adventure!

In this atmospheric novella, ex-boxer Harry Stubbs is on the trail of a mysterious legacy. A polar explorer has died, leaving huge debts and hints of a priceless find. His informants seem to be talking in riddles, and Harry soon finds he isn’t the only one on the trail — and what he’s looking for is as lethal as it is valuable. The key to the enigma lies in an ancient Arabian book and it leads to something stranger and more horrifying than Harry could ever imagine. 

Harry may not be an educated man, but he has an open mind, the bulldog persistence and a piledriver punch — all vital for survival when you’re boxing the darkest of shadows. 

The story of mystery and horror draws on HP Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos and is inspired by Ernest Shackleton’s incredible real-life adventures.

Well then. This was a very short audiobook (only coming in at about 3 hours) so this review is probably going to be pretty short as well! πŸ™‚

This follows the exploits of Harry Stubbs, a former boxer and now solicitor who specializes in collecting on debts. He ends up following quite a mystery after investigating a rumor that Ernest Shackleton, despite being very much in debt at the time of his death, had found and brought back something priceless on one of his earlier Antarctic expeditions. Dun… dun…. duuuuuuuuuuunnnnn.

The prose was quite well done, and the story was well written. A fair amount of historical research regarding Shackleton’s expeditions went into this story, which was nice. A fair bit of boxing knowledge was in there too. I think it could have been a tad longer, but at the same time, I don’t mind a short audiobook to accompany an afternoon of work, and the story did wrap itself up before the end of the book. It wasn’t too short, I just wish it was longer is all. πŸ˜€

This audiobook is narrated by Brian J. Gill, and I will tell you that if he didn’t do the introduction to the audiobook in his natural accent, I would have had no clue that he wasn’t British. He performed this one absolutely beautifully, making each character unique and bringing them all to life with really great accents. Very entertaining, at any rate. Doctor Evans, the tardigrade doctor was my favorite character. So excited about tardigrades! So, so excited.

It’s refreshing when you get a self-published audiobook that has such great narration. I listen to many of them, and have found many with such good narration, but there were also quite a lot that weren’t so good, so I’m always curious when I pick up one where it’ll fall on that spectrum. This one is on the really good side, so hooray! πŸ˜€

Click for source!

All told I had a really good 3 hours with this one. It was quite an entertaining listen, with some really interesting and unique ideas that were presented really well. All and all, I think I can safely say that I had 4/5 stars of a good time with this one. πŸ˜€


Thanks to the author for the review copy! πŸ™‚

One thought on “Review: The Elder Ice by David Hambling

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  1. Thanks, glad you liked it!
    Do let me know if you’d like to hear or read the (slightly longer) second one in the series, “Broken Meats”

    Liked by 1 person

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