Kiernan’s fiction debut is an impressively complex and engaging work that handles challenging subject matter with clever and haunting prose. A number of diverse characters offer their memories, allowing the drama to unfold before numerous pairs of eyes and in many distinct voices, which gives the novel at once an impressively large scope and a sense of intimacy. Heartbreaking and inspiring, this is a suspenseful and addictive reading experience that will not soon be forgotten.
Dr. Kate Philo is a member of a scientific exploration team under the egomaniacal Erasmus Carthage, charged with discovering and reviving frozen organisms in the Arctic. The study takes a shocking turn when the team locates a human body encased in ice, and Carthage demands the man be brought to their Boston lab — and brought back to life, as well. Jeremiah Rice’s life apparently ended when he fell overboard into the Arctic Ocean in 1906. But now he lives again at the center of a media firestorm. Though his relationship with Kate deepens by the day, it’s clear that Jeremiah’s second chance is slipping through his fingers, unless Kate can find a way to save the man she has come to love for a second time. (MORROW, Jul., 320 pp., $25.99)