Two of a Kind: Spooky Snow Stories

I've just started reading Michelle Paver's 'Dark Matter', which was passed on to me by a friend who'd enjoyed it, and which has been sitting on my TBR pile for a while now because I thought Halloween week would be a good time to pick up a story subtitled: 'A Ghost Story'.  So far (Chapter 4) I haven't yet met any ghosts, but I am loving both the characterisation and the incredible sense of period and setting she creates. 

Having grown up on an eclectic reading diet, including 'Scott of the Antarctic' biographies and Jack London stories alongside 'Little Women' and 'Ballet Shoes', the whole Arctic setting felt very familiar.  The snow, the wind, the cracking of ice, the wheeling gulls (which turn out to be kittiwakes) all rang more bells than seemed reasonable for someone who's never travelled North of Stockholm. 

Now, Scandinavian fiction has been the 'next big thing' for a while, and I've taken in my share of 'Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow' and 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' but this was more than the general Scandinavian vibe.  It's perhaps a reflection of how much I read that it took me several minutes to make the rather obvious connection.

Not too long ago, I reviewed Richard Pierce's 'Dead Men', a creepy and compelling tale of a doomed Antarctic expedition, and the unlikely couple who devote themselves to uncovering the truth about it.  You won't find the review on my blog, because it was a radio review for Sine FM's 'Book It', but suffice it to say here that I found it absorbing and thought-provoking, and I thoroughly recommend it.  And, so far as I can tell from reading four chapters, I could say the same of 'Dark Matter'!


  1. Dear Stephanie,

    Lovely to finally come across your blog, and to be able to thank you for your comments on Dead Men on the wonderful Book It! show. I really very much appreciate your candid comments.

    For readers of yours who might be interested, I have put up a podcast of your audio review of the book at

    Thanks again.


  2. Richard,

    So glad you found my blog, and that you found my comments worth sharing! Of the many books I've reviewed for Book It, Dead Men definitely one of the ones that has stayed with me, both for the intensity of the setting, and the fascinating characters.

    Thanks for commenting!


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