by C.R. Lindström
A GIFT AWAKENING. A LEGEND REVEALED.
In a remote corner of the Arctic, unexplained phenomenon haunt an isolated community. Several people have disappeared, and somehow young Erika Holstrom knows why. Still reeling from the loss of her mother, she escapes to university, only to be followed by unsettling visions of the future.
When a Russian submarine vanishes in the far North, Erika's nightmares suggest the answers lay buried deep in her family history. Now, just as the melting polar ice releases its sinister secrets, Erika and her friends are in a race against time to convince the sceptical authorities what is really happening in her Arctic homeland, before it’s too late.
Will they succeed, or is the frozen North lost forever...
PUBLISHER WEEKLY REVIEW!
**Thrilling Arctic adventure with strong women and supernatural mystery.**
By Lindström, C R
Lindström elevates strong and exemplary women characters in this debut, a surprising fantasy/sci-fi thriller of the frozen Arctic. College freshman Erika Holstrom should be happily celebrating her earned ice hockey scholarship and planning her 18th birthday bash; instead, life took a solemn turn, and she is now mourning the untimely passing of her mother. When Erika travels to her mother’s Arctic homeland for the memorial service, she’s met with disturbing news. A Russian submarine is missing in the icy waters, and dead bodies have turned up with mysterious symbols branded into their skin. Facing a supernatural riddle tied into the region’s past, Erika must confront a chilling evil to preserve her mother’s homeland and save her loved ones.
Meanwhile, Lindström showcases a squad of tough, resolute women whose military bona fides contrast nicely with young Erica: Major Eleanor Matthews is an Afghanistan veteran; pilot Lieutenant-Commander Emma Gonzalez skillfully provides anti-submarine aerial surveillance; and Brigadier General Katherine Tremblay proves to be a vital and commanding leader. Through Erica’s emotional journey and rich cultural background as part Nordic and part Inuk, Lindström weaves in elements of indigenous culture, such as naasiivik, a traditional five-day mourning period for those in the Inuit community who have died. Each woman carries her own strengths and competencies, and together, form a winning cast who face dangers earthly (a stampede of caribou) and possibly stranger.
This thrilling drama also pulses with timely themes, such as the harmful effects climate change has caused on the Arctic landscape and wildlife, and Lindström balances out the mystery, suspense, and twists with thoughtful considerations of grief and the impact of colonialism within the far North, such as the long-lasting negative ramifications of forced residential schools. Readers looking for a dynamic genre mash-up with potential supernatural elements and a rousing cast will find this excursion into the cold worth taking.
Takeaway: Thrilling Arctic adventure with strong women and supernatural mystery.
Comparable Titles: Cherie Dimaline's The Marrow Thieves, M.J. McGrath.
“This is one of those books that grabs your attention from page one. Helluland's plot and characters combine to tell a compelling story that keeps you reading”.
Don Oravec, Executive Director Emeritus of the Writers' Trust of Canada, Co-Founder & Chair of the Carol Shields Prize for Fiction
"Helluland is an urban fantasy thriller that puts the reader at the nexus of realism, history, and mythology. Its outcome will cause a visceral reaction which sets it apart from others in this genre. A truly enjoyable read!"
Ted Howard, Associate Producer, Hyena Road