Title: Ice Tomb
Author: Deborah Jackson
Genre: Romance/Science Fiction/Mystery/Thriller
Published in October 2004 by Invisible College Press
Erica Daniels is an adrenaline junkie. Her idea of fun is exploring a live volcano. There is nothing like the intense heat and the thrill of seeing lava balls erupt from the cone of the volcano. She is also an impact specialist. She studies not only volcanoes, but also craters. The crisp gouges made in the earth, whether from volcano vents, asteroids, or meteorites are fascinating to her. She grew up in a small town in Canada that was literally created by an asteroid almost two billion years ago. Her ideal adventure is to make a trip to the moon and investigate the possibility that there were active volcanoes on the moon at one time. When she is asked to participate in a conference at NASA, her hopes soar that her dream will finally come true. On the way to the conference, she is seatmates on a plane with an archaeologist whose methods of exploration are questionable. Ericaís hatred for scientists that plunder tombs becomes evident during their flight. After the conference, Erica finds herself heading towards a hotspot in Antarctica instead of being the first geologist to live on the moon. While this change in events does not make her happy, she is intrigued by finally getting to explore Antarctica.
Allan Rocheford is the archaeologist who feels the wrath of Ericaís hatred on the plane. He justifies his exploration of the burial chamber beneath the Sphinx by saying that his sponsors had to be paid and that all the artifacts are on display in museums around the world. He knows that other scientists question his methods, but he does not care. He knows that he will be working closely with Erica, but does not share that information until after the conference with NASA. He is exhilarated at the possibilities of what they could find in Antarctica. The sparks fly whenever Allan and Erica come into contact. Allan knows more than he is letting on about the triangle shaped hotspot in Antarctica, but holds his cards close to his chest.
David Marsh is the geologist picked for the moon mission due to his credentials and his ability to obtain oxygen from lunar rocks. He has finally made it to the top of his field and nothing will stand in his way. David and Erica have a shared past. They were students together at the University of California and had been lovers once upon a time. At least until Davidís ambitions came in the way of their relationship. Even as a young child David was pushed to be the best, no matter what it took. A few scruples were a small price to pay to succeed. When David encounters problems on the moon, he must rely on his own skills at figuring out the best course of action, something that he has not had to do in many years.
While Ericaís usual adventures take her to the frigid temperatures of Alaska, Allan is typically conducting his explorations in dry, arid deserts, while David spends most of his time in his lab. Erica chafes at the thought that she is only being told part of the picture of what is going on with the hotspot. She does not know how she is supposed to do her job if she does not understand the entire story. Erica is skeptical that anything that they find in Antarctic will require the expertise of an archaeologist, but once there, she realized that she might have been mistaken. The more time that Erica spends with Allan, the more she is attracted to him. Erica realizes that not everything is as she first thought and that she is going to have to rely on her instincts to figure out who she can trust with her very life.
Ice Tomb by Deborah Jackson takes you on a whirlwind adventure that starts out in the frigid depths of Antarctic and ends up on the moon. Erica Daniels is an impact specialist that fervently wishes to explore the possibility of live volcanoes on the moon. Her hopes are dashed when her ex-lover, David Marsh, is giving the honor of being the first geologist to live on the moon. Erica knows the real David and is fearful that he will not be able to handle the situation if anything unexpected happens while on the mission. Most of Davidís experience has been in the lab, not out in the trenches as Ericaís experience was obtained. Allan Rocheford is an archaeologist that seems out of place exploring with Erica in Antarctica, but his expertise ends up coming in handy. Not everything proceeds as was planned on the mission that Erica and Allan are on and when she find that previous explorers are missing, the danger level shoots up a few notches. Erica has to ask herself what she was thinking when she agreed to a mission that she did not fully understand. The heat between Erica and Allan and the smoldering flames from past romances between Erica and David are rivaled only by the devastating heat that they find on their explorations.
Deborah Jackson has written a tale that is immersed in intrigue and romance. Ice Tomb gives you a look at the life of a volcanologist and includes betrayal, forgiveness, and a live and death struggle for their very survival. I enjoyed the edge of my seat suspense waiting to see what happened next. I can honestly say that the ending is not something that I guessed while reading the book. I might have thought I knew how it would end, but I was surprised by the turn of events. Ms. Jackson takes you on a roller coaster ride that tantalizes you into thinking you understand where she is going, but leaves you stunned by the unexpected conclusion. Ice Tomb is a wonderful combination of romance and adventure that is sure to please. If you want to find out how it ends, pick up a copy today.