I selected this novel for my January Book Voyage #bookvoyagechallenge choice for the Arctic and Antarctic. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel by Ashley Shelby which was set at the South Pole Station on Antarctica. Her characters were intriguing and believable and she deftly transitioned between narrators. There were moments of lightheartedness and times when I could feel the characters' frustrations with each other and the situations they were facing.
The dynamics between the scientists and the Pole staff were well presented and felt realistic. I worked in an environment where I was an intermediary between software developers and financial traders. It was an interesting dynamic at times because the two groups tend to have very different personalities and approaches to work. This experience made it easy for me to relate to the conflicts between the Scientists and the support staff/construction sector.
There is another source of conflict at the station between 2 groups within the science community. There is a climate change questioner who is at odds with the rest of the science community doing research at the station. He meets with many obstacles and his difficulties become a major plotline. The main character, Cooper, is portrayed as an impartial middle "man" because she is willing to socialize with him and not view him as evil incarnate. This plot line definitely got me thinking about the whole discussion about the climate changes we are witnessing and what the motivation in behind all the studies and money being thrown at it in the real world.
The only reason I did not provide this book with a 5 star rating was the depth of scientific discussion at times was a bit advanced. I felt a bit lost in the details at points in the story. It was not enough so that I didn't enjoy the story or miss out on the intention of the plot but it was a bit frustrating to encounter it and change my pace of reading/comprehension. Overall though I really am glad I found this book and enjoyed reading the story. I now want to visit Antarctica even more although I know I will be the laughingstock of the Polies when I visit as a tourist :)
South Pole Station by Ashley Shelby
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I really didn't know what to expect when I decided to read this book for the Book Voyage challenge. Ashley Shelby does a great job of immersing the reader in the environment of the South Pole research station. It is at times a scientific book that I didn't always follow the gist of the explanations but that didn't detract from the story. There are many layers of the characters both their surface quirkiness and their reasons why they would want to live at the remote location. There are sociology aspects to the novel, climate research, power struggles, secrets and ulterior motives all exist. All in all this is an interesting and engaging novel that even leads the reader to question some of the motivations behind much of the current scientific research. The characters are engaging and you cannot help but root for their successes. This was a great find and I am glad to have read it.
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The Challenge Prompts I will use this for are:
- Literary Escapes #LiteraryEscapes Antarctica
- Alphabet Soup Author Edition #AlphabetSoupAuthorChallenge "S"
- Color Coded # 7 White
- Beat the Backlist #44 with a map
- Mount TBR #MountTBR2021 Book #2
- Back List Reader #Backlistreader Book #5
- PopSugar #popsugarreadingchallenge #11. A book about forgetting
- Around the Year in 52 Books #28. A book connected to ice
- 52 Book Club #the52bookclub2021 #17 A Character "On The Run"
- The Unofficial Magnus Archives Challenge # The Lonely: set in the Arctic
- BooklistQueen # 20 A Book That Makes You Think
- NJM Book Challenge #NJMBookChallenge2021 #17 LGBTQ representation
- Nerd Daily #NERDREADING2021 #47. RELEASED IN JULY
- Bookworm #28.) Read a book published in the 2010s
- Magic in the Books Book 3 #2 Has a page 394
- Spells and Spaceships quest to solve a problem affecting whole world or universe
- Bloggers Bookshelf #bloggersbookshelf #2 set in a country you've never visited
- Book Voyage #bookvoyagechallenge Arctic/Antarctic
- Beyond the Bookends story set in a location you want to travel to
- 52 books in 52 weeks #28 maps
- Unruly Reader Bingo Defiance
- Pick your Poison #5Occupations #4 A book about a scientist