The more I read, the more I see themes and familiar situations from one book to another. By no means am I accusing anyone of plagiarism, it’s just that there is a limit to how many ways something can be done. So, I find myself pulled into books that are different, the ones that go somewhere I’ve never been before. The Terror is one such book.
I came across The Terror through the horror books online, but as far as I’m concerned, it is far more historical in nature. It is the untold story of what happened during the ill-fated Franklin Expedition, as they explored the Northwest Passage. Sure, there is a monster, but I find the brutality of nature to be far more horrific than any supernatural creature could ever be. The Terror became a battle between man’s hubris and the brutal power of Mother Nature.
The Terror is by no means a quick and easy read. It is damn near one thousand pages of total darkness, plodding journeys across vast expanses of ice and the desperate depravity of humanity. Some might say that the story was unnecessarily long and drawn out; I would argue that this is the brilliance of Dan Simmons. It reflects the monotony of the lives that the poor souls on the Franklin Expedition endured during the last few years of their lives.
Simmons tell his story from various perspectives, but everything comes back to Francis Crozier. This is his story. For the week and a half that I spent reading The Terror, we shared a life. I felt his frostbite and despair; I even shared some scotch with the man. It is a truly great author who can do this.
When it comes to rating The Terror, it’s a five-star book, no doubt about it, but there are a select few books that go above and beyond. When it comes to The Terror: I’m still thinking about it, I would rub my wife’s shoulders and recount my day’s adventures with Captain Crozier and I had to go searching the known history of the Franklin Expedition.