While I love the multiple award winning author Dan Simmons I was initially reluctant about picking up his latest novel The Terror. My reluctance stems from the fact that the cover of the book reminded me of reading a book by Cassie Brown in eighth grade English entitled Death on the Ice.
Death on the Ice recounts the 1914 Newfoundland sealing disaster in which two thirds of 132 men died as they were left alone on the ice for two days. While The Terror is the fictional recounting of the doomed expedition of Sir John Franklin to find the Northwest Passage.
Both books deal with the horrible trials encountered by men lost on the ice but The Terror brings things to a whole new level as the sailors are also being stalked by a super-natural entity which I can best describe as a Wendigo but is more accurately called a Tuurngait.
The story is told partially in flashbacks and from multiple points for view, most notably Captain Francis Crozier but remains quite easy to follow.
I highly recommend this novel even if you are not a fan of the setting as it is a well crafted suspenseful story with great characterization. I believe that most people would love to be as noble as Dr. Goodsir.
Update: Podcast interview on NPR.