The Arctic Fury by Greer Macallister
I pick books by their covers all the time. And this was one that had me hooked from the instant I first saw it on #bookstagram. Better yet? The story features an all-female arctic expedition AND a murder trial. Intrigued? So was I!
About The Arctic Fury:
(From the publisher) Eccentric Lady Jane Franklin makes an outlandish offer to adventurer Virginia Reeve: take a dozen women, trek into the Arctic, and find her husband’s lost expedition. Four parties have failed to find him, and Lady Franklin wants a radical new approach: put the women in charge.
A year later, Virginia stands trial for murder. Survivors of the expedition willing to publicly support her sit in the front row. There are only five. What happened out there on the ice?
Set against the unforgiving backdrop of one of the world’s most inhospitable locations, USA Today bestselling author Greer Macallister uses the true story of Lady Jane Franklin’s tireless attempts to find her husband’s lost expedition as a jumping-off point to spin a tale of bravery, intrigue, perseverance and hope.
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The Arctic Fury is a work of fiction but it does feature some interesting historical facts. The expedition itself is built around the true facts of Lady Jane Franklin. Following her husband’s disappearance, Lady Franklin sponsored multiple expeditions to discover his fate. The idea that she could have hired an all-female team felt like an empowering and intriguing start to this story.
The story is mainly told from the perspective of Virginia, the expedition leader. But I loved how the author was ambitious enough to include a brief chapter from each of the other twelve team members. I did, however, wish that we could have gotten to know the other characters more deeply. They each had such fascinating backstories but because of the size of the crew, there simply wasn’t time to dive deeper.
And speaking of the size… there were a lot of characters in this novel. I was constantly trying to remind myself who was who. Because of that, I was extremely thankful that the author provided a character list at the beginning of the book. I needed it!
While I enjoyed the actual plot, I did find it a little light on the actual arctic exploration side. Much of the book was spent in courtroom scenes or in the travel portion to the arctic. In some ways, this makes sense. The idea of an all-female team seems fascinating — until you see the list of women chosen. The vast majority of them seemed ill-equipped to handle a task of this size. It was unsurprising, therefore, that there were so many deaths. (Not a spoiler. This fact is revealed on the first page.)
All in all, this was an appealing read! I was curious as to how this would resolve and enjoyed both the expedition and the courtroom drama! If you enjoy strong female-led stories and historical-based novels, I recommend checking this one out.
(And one final side note: Book feel is so important to me and I LOVED the thickness of both the cover and paper in this paperback version! It made for an even more enjoyable read. Thank you to the publisher, Sourcebooks, for my copy of this book!)