Literature: Ice Station

Antarctica is about to explode.

Hailed as "More Explosive than Die Hard and faster than Speed," Ice Station makes a considerable case for its inclusion in the action movie hall-of-fame. Surprising, considering it's a novel.

Written by Matthew Reilly, Ice Station is the riveting story of Lieutenant Shane Schofield and his crack team of US Marines, whose mission is to secure an important discovery at an Antarctic research station.

Meanwhile, Action Hero Schofield takes the opportunity to kill French commandos, Orca whales, British commandos, guys with crossbows, traitorous American commandos, and even a submarine.

Oh, and there are aliens. Not really.

This book contains examples of:

  • Action Survivor:
  • Area 51: The book mentions that UFO storage facilities have been built in the Nevada desert. They've remained completely empty.
  • Artificial Limbs: Mother loses her leg to a Orca, an unpleasant surprise to a shark in a Scarecrow.
  • Briar Patching: Scarecrow tricks Mr. Nero into opening a retractable bridge during a Mexican Standoff by looking nervously at the controls. He'd also tied two grenades across the opening so the pins would be pulled when it retracted.
  • Cold Sniper: Snake. It also helps that he's the mole.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: Just about everything Schofield does.
  • Die Hard on an X: As advertised on the back of the book.
  • Dwindling Party: Twelve marines arrive, but due to the French, the British, and the ICG, only four survive.
  • Five-Man Band:
  • Improvised Weapon: Gas-powered grappling hooks are used as weapons at one point. Very effectively.
  • Kill It with Ice: Liquid Nitrogen Grenades make an appearance, but don't cause the instant freezing usually seen with this trope. Instead, people exposed to them freeze from the outside in.
  • Knife Fight: The characters are reduced to this when the air becomes mixed with a flammable gas.
  • Mauve Shirt: Most of Schofield's squad count as this; Santa Cruz, Rebound, Lau, Montana, Hollywood, Healy and Legs Lane don't have much in the way of character development. Healy, Hollywood and Legs Lane last about five minutes before dying, Lau is suffocated without so much as a line, Montana is The Mole and manages to kill Cruz before dying himself. Surprisingly, Rebound is lucky enough to walk away unharmed.
  • Mysterious Antarctica: The report of an alien spacecraft discovered beneath Wilkes research station serves as the Macguffin for the various factions to fight over.
  • One Last Smoke: In the scene where the British soldiers are about to kill Schofield by lowering him headfirst into a pool of killer whales. The commander gives him a last request- "A blindfold? Cigarette? Shot of brandy?" and Schofield makes a last minute plan, opts for the cigarettenote , and uses it to set fire to the detonator cord entwined in his handcuffs, and then he escapes, kills them all and becomes a legend for killing all the bad guys and blowing everything up, classic Scarecrow style..
  • Red Shirt: Healy is introduced in the last tenth of page 89. He's dead before the page even ends. Subverted, since three scientists with no lines at all make it to Mcmurdo station with Rebound.
  • Stuff Blowing Up
  • Tropical Epilogue: Played with. The fate of a minor character from the backstory is revealed when the epilogue zips to a South American beach, where a scavenger finds debris in the ocean from the character's crashed plane.