Literature / The Ice Limit

The Ice Limit is a novel by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child first published in 2000.

Sam Macfarlane was disgraced in the scientific community. His partner had left him, his wife had left him, and everyone thought he was a quack. But when he receives news of his partner's demise while unearthing a meteorite in the southern most tip of South America, Macfarlane receives the chance to redeem himself and prove his theories to the entire world by recovering the meteorite for an eccentric billionaire. He is sent with the Effective Engineering Solutions crew to recover the meteorite, a enigmatic group of scientists led by a man named Eli Glinn who promises one thing in his work - absolute success.

This novel provides examples of:

  • Artifact of Doom: The meteorite is made of an unknown element which makes it a superconductor. Touching it releases the stored electricity and will blow you to bits.
  • Beware the Honest Ones: The Comandante is ruthless about rules and regulations and has nothing but disdain for the Americans who come offering bribes and shady mining permits. Glinn thinks his strict adherence to protocols makes him predictable. It makes him one of the most unpredictible and dangerous factors in their operation.
  • Big Eater: When they see her making a breakfast of bacon and maple syrup soup, one of the other characters comments that he's surprised she isn't dead yet.
  • The Chessmaster: Glinn makes it his career to provide absolute success in any problem presented to him. He calls his precautions "double overage" and has contingency plans for his contingency plans. He is rarely, if ever, caught off guard.
  • Eureka Moment: Glinn realizes why his profile and prediction of the Comandante was wrong when Captain Britton mentions her daughter. He realizes that Timmer was his son, and now the man was chasing them for personal revenge.
  • Fiction 500: Palmer Lloyd is worth 34 billion and purchases entire pyramids without a second thought.
  • It's Personal: The Comandante goes completely off the deep end when his son is killed and hunts down the EES crew with insane determination.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: The Comandante after he forgoes his rules and regulations obsession.
  • Spanner in the Works: Lloyd's excitement over the meteorite causes him to continually interfere and cause trouble for Glinn's plans.