Fiction. Literature. Mystery. Historical Fiction. HTML: A dozen women join a secret 1850s Arctic expeditionâ??and a sensational murder trial unfolds when some of them don't come back. Eccentric Lady Jane Franklin makes an outlandish offer to adventurer Virginia Reeve: take a dozen women, trek into the Arctic, and find her husband's lost expedition. Four parties have failed to find him, and Lady Franklin wants a radical new approach: put the women in charge. A year later, Virginia stands trial for murder. Survivors of the expedition willing to publicly support her sit in the front row. There are only five. What happened out there on the ice? Set against the unforgiving backgdrop of one of the world's most inhospitable locations, USA Today bestsellng author Greer Macallister uses the true story of Lady Jane Franklin's tireless attempts to find her husband's lost expedition as a jumping-off point to spin a tale of bravely, intrigue, perseverance and hope.
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I really wanted to like this book. I love accounts of arctic/antarctic exploration, fictional or not. The idea of an all-woman arctic expedition sounded super interesting
I really wanted more arctic adventure and less courtroom non-drama. I wanted description of the landscape. And I wanted a better protagonist. And I wanted better characters. I wanted the story to live up to the premise, and it never did.
So why did I keep reading, with so many problems? I don't really know. I guess I just wanted to see if it got better. The prose was, in fact, beautiful in places. And it was very readable, despite the issues. Which is why it gets a 3 from me and not something lower.
Jane Franklin hires Virginia, a young woman who has worked as a guide, bringing over 400 people safely to the West.
The novel goes from one location, to another. We get a good look at life aboard the ship, of conditions and the struggles the women face in the Arctic. Deaths, heartbreak and friendships that will endure.These women are formidable and I enjoyed getting to know them. What happens in this cold climate will have severe repurcussions for Virginia. Also a hidden secret of hers, which I thought quite clever of the author, will be revealed.
Quite entertaining and definitely immersive. Read it right through and avidly at that.
ARC from Edelweiss.
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This book is told in various time periods, settings and various points of view. This bothers many readers. However, the author handled this excellently and I had no trouble keeping up.
Now, there are several parts I enjoyed more than others. I loved the courtroom scenes. That is where the true mystery lies. This section is intriguing and unique.
The part about the expedition is just ok. This is why I gave the book a 4 instead of a 5 star. The expedition should have been the most exciting. But I just did not enjoy this part as much as I expected.
All that being saidâ€¦this is a unique read about strong women overcoming many facets of life! Grab your copy today! You will be glad you did!
I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.
Virgina Reeve is offered the chance to do the unthinkable: lead a group of 12 women to the Arctic in a search for the lost Franklin expedition. The chapters alternate between Virginia Reeve's trial where she is accused of murder and the past recollection of various characters detailing the quest to find out what happened to the Franklin expedition.
The chapters flow very smoothly and piece together details of the journey and what each woman thought and felt. It led to very good character development and an understanding of why the women acted in the manner they did.
The novel was thought provoking and very touching. One thing that surprised me is how the author was able to take a character who was unlikable to one who became the opposite.
This is the first novel I have read by Greer Macallister but it will not be the last.
Exceptional story telling that drew me in and kept me invested from beginning to end. I could not put it down!
What I liked:
* The seamless moves between the expedition and trial
* That I felt I was with the characters on their journey
* The plot and quality of
* That I could â€śseeâ€ť the characters and felt I knew them
* The way revelations were made
* The exceptional women and the talents they brought to the expedition
* The intrigue, infighting, contest of wills, and eventual bonding that occurred between most of the women
* The strength and fortitude of the women
* That there was a hint of romance for one or more of the women
* That there were elements of hope even when things were grim
* That I had more than one person to thoroughly dislike
* The conclusion
* Everything really exceptâ€¦
What I didnâ€™t like:
* The underhanded people with hidden objectives and what they were willing to do to achieve their goals
* The loss of life â€“ though it was expected from the beginning that not all would survive the expedition
* Having to say goodbye when the book ended
Did I enjoy this book? Yes
Would I read more by this author? Definitely
Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks-Landmark for the ARC â€“ This is my honest review.
Arctic Fury is a bone- chilling thriller
13 women board a ship heading for the Arctic North, each with their own strengths and skills, flaws and weaknesses, never knowing what to expect once they set foot on the frozen wastelands of ice and desolation. Personalities clash, secrets emerge, tragedies strike, and upon return, a Boston murder trial tries to see one of them hang.
Totally engrossing, Arctic Fury had me flipping the pages well into the wee hours of the morning. 5 stars, give it a try!
Macallister keeps us on a tense edge in the courtroom and in the frozen North, alternating the story between the trial and the women's expedition. With an apparently incompetent defense attorney and inattentive judge, it is doubtful that the support of the survivors will be enough to counter Caprice's parents' moneyed influence. On the expedition, it becomes increasingly doubtful that all 13 women will survive as danger comes not only from the weather, but from crewmen who have little regard for women on their ship.
Yet each character has particular skills and abilities that keep us hopeful, many of whom were inspired by real woman of the time period. Masterful storytelling is revealed as each woman has at least one chapter written from her point of view, where something is revealed that we wouldn't otherwise know. Their reasons for attempting the adventure are as varied as their places in society, yet they share the common thread of flouting those restrictive expectations. Intertwined in all of this is Virginia's self-imposed guilt at her failures as a leader and the specter of The Very Bad Thing which haunts her conscience.
This is a great bookclub pick for discussion of this fascinating exploration of these adventurous and complex women.
Macallister chooses to tell most of her story with Virginia as narrator, shifting between the presnt day (courtroom and jail) and the progress of the women's expedition, but each member of her team is given at least one chapter of her own. This helps the reader to better understand them and their reasons for signing on for the treacherous journey. As we learn details about the journey, we also learn more about what exactly is going on in the courtroom. But if one theme dominates 'Arctic Fury,' it is the bonds formed among the female crew in the midst of a dangerous situation in which their survival depends not only upon expertise but on trust and unity.
Overall, I quite enjoyed the book. At several points, the plot got bogged down by details about the expedition's preparation and progress, but the author threw in enough twists and turns and revelations to keep me interested. Above all, the story of the women's relationships was believable and admirable and held together through the novel's two time frames.
There's no question that, despite the fact that it takes a very long time before the expedition even sets out, Mcallister writes with such forward momentum that it was hard to set this book down. There's not a lot of subtlety here and the shocking revelations were not at all surprising, nor was the ending, but somehow those flaws never stopped me from beginning the next chapter. I'm not the ideal audience for mainstream historical fiction, but despite the implausibility, I enjoyed this one.
This goes back and forth in time between Virginiaâ€™s trial and the expedition. Caprice is a character who is easy to dislike, so I was surprised at my reaction (of course, I knew it would come) when she finally died â€“ it still hit me. Leading up to her death, Virginia and Caprice were coming around and learning to get along. There were some other unlikable characters in the book, as well.
I listened to the audio, and although initially I wasnâ€™t sure if the narrator would keep my attention, I was kept interested. As I skim through other reviews, I see that Virginia was based on a real person. Itâ€™s unfortunate that was no authorâ€™s note to tell me that. I do like authorâ€™s notes in my historical fiction so I know what really happened and what didnâ€™t. I know about the Franklin Expedition and I could have guessed that there was never a womenâ€™s expedition to find Franklin, his ships and crew.
Fast-forward a year later and Virginia is on trial for murdering one of the women. Only five women from the expedition are seated in the courtroom to show their support for Virginia. So what really happened out there in the Arctic? Events unfold between chapters alternating from the expedition and the courtroom. Between the truth told and secrets kept, is the real story of what lengths people will go to survive.
This is only the second book by Greer Macallister that I've read although all of them have been on my radar, but of what I've read from her, I'm so impressed with the way she focuses these historicals so completely upon women. Giving them such agency and such depth even when they're battling within a world that caters more to men.
The Arctic Fury drew me in from the first page and I think the way that Greer Macallister cleverly delves out information, how the mystery is slowly pieced together is simply marvelous. I loved how she connects Virgina's past and present. It all clicks rather brilliantly together and I loved that I actually could see where we were being led because I kinda felt like I was in on something. It connected me a little more to the story and made those instances where I didn't know what was coming all the more impactful.
I don't want to speak too much about the story as I don't want to give any crumbs of information away because that will surely ruin some of the twists.
I loved that, even though this is mainly Virgina's story, Greer Macallister takes the time to make the other ladies within the expedition really well rounding characters themselves. She's such a talent that even these women whose voices aren't the loudest, I still feel like I understood them, their actions. Why they would choose the path they did.
My only complaint is that some of the finally revealed motivations remain a bit murky for me. They didn't have the impact that I had hoped given the build up. Mind you not everything just a few bits and pieces.
So far, Greer Macallister has never failed to draw me in, in a completely immersive way within her stories. The Arctic Fury will make you feel the frigid cold air in your bones, will make you feel the dedication and commitment of these women. And speaks a lot about our will to survive. I cannot wait to see what comes next from Greer Macallister and in the mean time to catch up on what I've missed.
*ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
We follow Virginia and the diverse collection of fellow female adventurers on their Artic expedition, thanks to an insistent Lady Franklin who wants to know what happened to her husband. The story goes back and forth from their adventures to the trial where Virginia is accused of murdering one of the several women who never returned from the expedition.
I'm impressed with the research involved in this story. I felt as if I was back in the 1840s on the ship, traveling across the frigid tundra, fighting for my life, and caring about the band of women thrown together. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me a copy of this interesting novel.