A Blizzard of Polar Bears by Alice Henderson
Publication Date: November 9, 2021
Summary from GoodReads:
Fresh off her wolverine study in Montana, wildlife biologist Alex Carter lands a job studying a threatened population of polar bears in the Canadian Arctic. Embedded with a small team of Arctic researchers, she tracks the majestic bears by air, following them over vast, snowy terrain, spending days leaning precariously out of a helicopter with a tranquilizer gun, until she can get down on the ice to examine them up close.
But as her study progresses, and she gathers data on the health of individual bears, things start to go awry. Her helicopter pilot quits unexpectedly, equipment goes missing, and a late-night intruder breaks into her lab and steals the samples she’s collected. She realizes that someone doesn’t want her to complete her study, but Alex is not easily deterred.
Managing to find a replacement pilot, she returns to the icy expanses of Hudson Bay. But the helicopter catches fire in mid flight, forcing the team to land on a vast sheet of white far from civilization. Surviving on the frozen landscape is difficult enough, but as armed assailants close in on snowmobiles, Alex must rely on her skills and tenacity to survive this onslaught and carry out her mission.
This second book in the series was just as riveting and hard to put down as the first. But it wasn’t quite as good as the first book. It seemed to be lacking a certain tension and intensity that the first one had. But still a quick and fun read.
Alex is still fighting the good fight, this time for the polar bears in Canada. I didn’t see much growth in her character this time out, but she still has a lot of spunk and thinks fast on her feet. She is a solid and well fleshed out character that is enjoyable to read. I do kind of have an issue with her lack of emotions around the fact that she has had to kill people in both books. She did it in self defense, but especially in this book there is little emotional repercussions to the act. She just goes back to doing what she needs to do to save the polar bears. It would be more believable if there was some sort of mental break or at least nightmares after some of what she has been through.
In this book we do meet her stalker, and without giving anything away, I liked him. He had a great back story and even though he might be doing what he is doing for the right reasons, he maybe needs to take stock of what he has done and change his course. I hope he continues to have Alex’s back in the next book and that we see more of him.
The main plot of why her study of polar bears is being sabotaged was not quite as good as the first book. It was kind of obvious who was behind it, but the why was a little bit surprising. The narrative also got a bit bogged down in the scientific explanations of the data she was gathering and what it all meant. Also it was repeated several times, each time she went out on the ice or was in the lab. But the scenes where she is fighting for survival were once again well done and fast paced and made it hard to put the book down.
If you like suspense thrillers and especially if you like them with a wilderness setting, this is a series you should consider reading. I did learn a bit about the animals she is studying and enjoyed the characters and the fast paced plots.