|Burnt Ice is the first book by Steve
Wheeler, and is a view of human life in the distant future following the forced
abandonment of Earth.
With a summary like that one could expect Burnt Ice
to be a world of grim and gritty monochrome life with the human collective grieving the
loss of the home world and drear existence scraping a life on others hand-me-downs
and unwanted leavings. But no! Burnt Ice is an upbeat view of
expediency and making do creating a better life, of conquering adversity all in
Burnt Ice tells the story of a unit of army engineers as they
are on hand to experience alien first contact and the changes that contact unleashes in
their lives. Burnt Ice is the opening volume in a larger saga so
many threads were left hanging by the end of the book, not least what happened to those
aliens that left. That is bound to be a sequel of consequence indeed.
Burnt Ice is a fast moving story told in round from the
perspectives of the characters in the engineering unit. If I have a request of the author
it be that he better separate those viewpoint shifts. There were a couple of times when I
had to reread a section as the perspective baton was passed from one character to another
without that change being clearly signalled. Disconcerting, although not fatal perhaps a
seatbelt installed ready for book two.