Reviews for Abominable

Booklist Reviews 2013 September #2
Simmons, in this thematic cousin to The Terror (2007), once more plunges into a storm of snow and ice, this time tackling no less than Everest. It's 1924, and a trio of rogue climbers--mysterious WWI vet Deacon; emotional Frenchman Jean-Claude; and our narrator, brash young American Jacob--are hired to find the corpse of a dignitary lost on Everest. While they're there, they go for the legendary summit. Right away, there's a complication: a fourth team member, the dead man's cousin--and a woman, no less! But it's the subsequent complications that make this required reading for anyone inspired or terrified by high-altitude acrobatics: sudden avalanches, hidden crevasses, murderous temperatures, mountainside betrayals, and maybe--just maybe--a pack of bloodthirsty yeti. Though the first 200 pages of climbing background might have readers pining for the big climb, it is nearly always interesting, and, later, Simmons excels at those small but full-throated moments of terror when, for example, a single bent screw might mean death for everyone. Exhausting in all the best ways; maybe read this while it's still warm out? Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2013 October #1
A yeti? Jawohl! Simmons (The Terror, 2007, etc.) never met an opportunity for allusive terror that he didn't like, and though his latest is set mostly in the Himalayas, he pays quiet tribute to Poe's Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym and perhaps Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness, with a dash of Raiders of the Lost Ark for leavening. The last, after all, introduced us to the possibility of an Asian mountain range swarming with operatives of the budding Third Reich--but of that, lest spoilers result, let us speak no more. The premise is lovely: A memoirist, years after the fact, turns his manuscript over to a published writer for--well, not fame and fortune, but to find the one, just the one, ideal reader. He is one of three climbers who, having heard of the death of Mallory while having lunch after a hard climb of the Matterhorn, decide to head to Everest and find out what happened to their fallen idol. Weird possibilities ensue, including the apparent prospect that Mallory was felled, as were other climbers, by abominable (whence the title) snowmen eager to protect their mountain fastness. But perhaps not, given, as the Allied team (an American, a Briton and a Frenchman) find themselves in the cross hairs of eight-millimeter firearms "[p]opular with the Austrians and Hungarians in pistols designed before the War by Karel Krnka and Georg Roth...later produced by Germans for infantry officers." A bummer to discover such things in the midst of howling spin drifts five miles above the sea, but what's a becramponed fellow to do? Simmons never once blinks in the face of the improbable, and he serves up a lively, eminently entertaining adventure that would do Edgar Allan Poe--and even Rudyard Kipling--proud. Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Library Journal Reviews 2013 September #1

In his latest historical thriller, Simmons returns to the icy climes that made The Terror so brilliantly harrowing, only this time aiming a little higher: Mount Everest. It's 1924, and the international alpine community is reeling from the disappearance of George Mallory atop the as-yet-unscaled peak. Galvanized by the tragedy, young Jake Perry and his two climbing companions vow to make it to Earth's highest point. After securing the patronage of Lady Bromley, the grieving mother of a man who also disappeared during the Mallory expedition, they join forces with the missing man's cousin to scour the mountain and belay their way to the summit. As they ascend, the expedition takes on a terrifying significance when the climbers discover why Bromley went missing and what they must do to survive. While the ultimate reveal is somewhat anticlimactic, it's the long journey that matters, and Simmons doesn't skimp on any of the gory details. The techniques, equipment, and ascent are described with painstaking historical accuracy, which makes the actual expeditions of the early 20th century seem all the more incredible. VERDICT Simmons proves his versatility once again with this dizzying adventure. Historical fiction and thriller fans will find plenty to like. [AMC is currently developing a series adaptation of The Terror.--Ed.]--Liza Oldham, Beverly, MA

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 August #2

Even Jake Perry, the fictional travelogue author Dan Simmons "meets" in his latest novel, jokes that his reader may not make it through this "endless stack of notebooks." But lovers of Simmons's blend of alternate history, mystery, and myth will appreciate this three-act thriller set in the interwar years. Young American alpine climber Jake is invited on a "recovery" mission to find Percival Bromley, a British lord who vanished on Mt. Everest. Much of the novel is devoted to the strategies and techniques of mountain climbing as it was developing in the 1920s, and Jake, his friend Jean-Claude, and team leader Deacon spend a lot of time rubbing elbows and comparing gear with real alpinists of the era. But amid the wash of detail, Simmons plants crucial facts and conjectures about early-20th-century Europe that won't pay off until Jake and his party are nearing the top of the world. Can murder and carnage be fully explained by the evil of men? Is a supernatural threat looming over the expedition? As usual, Simmons doesn't answer all the questions he's raised when the mysteries surrounding the loss of Percy Bromley are resolved, but his fans, like Jake, are sure to enjoy the journey. Agent: Richard Curtis, Richard Curtis Associates. (Oct.)

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