The Ice Limit by Douglas Preston: Book Review

I have an affiliate relationship with and Malaprop's Bookstore in beautiful Asheville, NC. I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you if you purchase merchandise through links on my site. Read more on my affiliate page.
The Ice Limit

3 Stars

It’s only been about a week since I read this book, but I’m already hazy on the details, so this will be vague.

Basically, this super-rich guy hires an engineering firm with a perfect record of doing the “impossible” to extract a meteorite from the ground of a Chilean island off of Cape Horn. In the wintertime. Without Chile’s government officials finding out about it. Of course things go wrong.

This was an odd mixture of a book that I couldn’t put down and a book that felt like it was creeping along. I could have done without a lot of the day-to-day engineering feats they pulled off. They didn’t all add to the story’s plot.

I was pretty conflicted about who the bad guys and good guys were. This isn’t a very black-and-white book.

I saw where it was going. Overall, I think anyone who reads the back cover has a good idea what’s going to happen. But there’s a sudden twist in the very last sentence, and I even saw that coming from a little way out. Maybe because I’ve read both Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything and Dan Brown’s Deception Point recently. In fairness, without those, I would have been clueless and maybe a little more weirded out.

And that brings up the fact that I couldn’t help comparing this book with Deception Point. The plots weren’t all that similar, but they do both involve unique meteorites. I would recommend Deception Point instead of this one. I read it much more quickly, heavy foreshadowing and all, and just overall enjoyed it more.

This book wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t great. I’ve only read one other Preston/Child book, Thunderhead, and I would recommend it instead of this one too. I enjoyed it. I will keep reading these guys, though.

Reviewed December 21, 2008

Read an excerpt.

Find authors Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child on their website and Facebook.

Buy The Ice Limit at


Friday Flashback Reviews are a weekly feature here on The Introverted Reader. These are old reviews I wrote on GoodReads. Thanks to Angieville and her Retro Friday Reviews for the inspiration and encouragement!

I have an affiliate relationship with Malaprop’s, my local independent bookstore located in downtown Asheville, NC; and Better World Books. I will receive a small commission at no cost to you if you purchase books through links on my site.

Other Posts You May Enjoy:

I love to hear from you! Please contact me (menu bar, above) if you're having trouble commenting.