Pros: Enjoyable military vs monster tale!
Cons: One or two very minor details
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
William Meikle’s Operation Antarctica (S-Squad Book 2) is a great military-vs-monsters tale of cosmic horror, involving “a horde of fucking Nazi ice zombies.” Captain John Banks, whom you might remember from the first S-Squad book, is tasked with checking out a defunct Nazi research base in the Antarctic–apparently a recent satellite pass showed an infra-red reading there, so the British government is concerned the Russians might be checking the place out. Banks brings along Sergeant Hynds and six others. They find newspapers dated 1942, and a bunch of frozen corpses with no obvious cause of death. Then they find the UFO.
Unless I missed something, the anomalous infra-red reading was never explained. It’s a little detail, but since it sets off the entire chain of events, it would be nice if it was covered.
The characters, as before, are excellent. The individual soldiers have plenty of personality, and again, dialects are handled smoothly. The characters are from the British military, so we have some variety from the typical US-centric tale. Oddly enough, I can totally see this as being the adventures of UNIT, the military branch depicted in the Dr. Who series.
The zombies are a side effect of the real evil here, which is a Lovecraftian entity that used to sleep beneath the sea. It’s an original and interesting way to play with Nazi zombies. The book is comparatively brief, but Meikle manages to fit in a fair amount of material. There are plenty of firefights, old journal entries of conversations between Winston Churchill and occult detective Carnacki, terrible frigid Antarctic conditions to endure, and death and mayhem.
If you’re looking for a fun, tense bit of military-vs-monster action with a helping of cosmic horror, this is a great reading choice!
“Can you not get us a wee job in the Bahamas? If they want us to investigate weird shit, I vote for the Bermuda Triangle next time.”