The Atlas Fracture is a solid entry in the Thriller/Adventure genre, the second in Queeney’s Perry Helion series. I’ll confess that I haven’t read the first…I jumped ahead in order, however, Queeney provides more than enough backstory to keep the reader in the game.
“Tim Queeny’s The Atlas Fracture is a refreshingly sharp adventure technothriller. Set mostly in austere Antarctic environs, the story’s plot, characters and action brought excitement and ceaseless amazement to the barren landscape. Queeny reignites the action genre with a strong blend of character development, technical detail and chain reaction adventure, pitting his protagonist Perry Helion against a diabolical group of terrorists in a nearly nonstop march to the book’s finish line.
Perry Helion, Tim Queeny’s protagonist from The Shiva Compression, is a hardened agent working for the Department of Defense’s enigmatic DARPA group, which is tasked with investigating new technologies and scientific discoveries for their possible military potential. When satellite imagery discovers that a scientific expedition to the Antarctic may have been wiped out, Helion is sent to investigate. It was no secret that the expedition had been drilling deep into the ice, in an effort to discover biological samples trapped miles below the surface.
What sets Helion apart from other “heroes” is his sense of humor and believable skill set. He’s handy with a weapon and not afraid of a little hand to hand combat, but he doesn’t excel in these areas like a Jason Bourne character. He’s a more rationale, analytical hero, often relying on his ability to make a quick, well-timed decision to throw off his enemies. Queeny cleverly injects this often-understated trait at critical times throughout the story, propelling the reader past some harrowing situations.
I particularly enjoyed watching the story’s progression through the eyes of antagonists. Queeny puts together an unholy alliance of twisted fiends, all hell bent on unleashing the power of the Atlas Fracture on an unsuspecting world for varying reasons. Money, revenge, scientific accolades…all combine to form a well-functioning evil coalition on the brink of imploding. Subplots and conspiracies abound within the coalition, adding to the suspense and intrigue…and the fun.
Without a doubt, Queeny did some solid research for this novel. He provided clear explanations of the scientific principles involved, without ever getting bogged down. I felt the same about his functional descriptions of the equipment and procedures employed by the different groups. I finished the novel thoroughly entertained, with an expanded knowledge of Antarctic operations.
The Atlas Fracture comes in shorter than most books in the genre, but while immersed in the story, I honestly didn’t notice the length. This is without a doubt, a complete story, with full background scenes and no plot holes on the way to the finish line. Queeny has effectively trimmed the fat and produced a rock solid adventure technothriller. I plan to read his first Helion Perry book, The Shiva Compression shortly.”