The Terror- Audiobook Review
Author: Dan Simmons
Genre: Historical fiction, horror, fantasy, thriller, audiobook
My rating: ★★★★★
Release Date: Released 4th July, 2018 by Transworld Digital
Format: Audiobook 28 hours, 28 minutes
What did I think?
The HMS Erebus and HMS Terror were actual ships, and the book is a fictionalised account of an actual expedition (gone wrong). The story had a lot for me to love – the arctic, ships, strength in the face of dreadful conditions such as lack of food, scurvy (wow), 1800s medicine and (gulp) surgery, and being stuck in the ice for…years. There is a horror element to this story. I like horror so it was welcome, but it wasn’t the most frightening part of the story – the conditions (and what they lead to) and the negative side of humanity were more concerning, more frightening. So if you’re reading it for the pure horror the book is probably not for you.
I listened to the audiobook and Tom Sellwood did a brilliant job of narrating. I was thrilled with the voices he managed – that can be a big problem when it doesn’t work. The Terror is over 700 pages and I liked this book enough that I may still read the book version.
The mid-1800s were harsh times where lashes were given in punishment for various crimes and, though it didn’t occur in the book, death was harshest punishment meted out for homosexuality. I rolled my eyes slightly when one man caught engaging then ( you can read the spoiler on Goodreads here) – but that was my only (bare) gripe regarding this whole book.
There were many characters who you could get behind including Lady Silence/Silna, Captain Crozier and Doctor Goodsir. Simmons explored several points of view in different chapters, some as ships logs, others as diary entries. There is some backstory given also, leading to a few moments where I thought ‘what? where are we?’ but I worked it out.
In my last novel review for The Secret History I said there were too many dream sequences. This time I feel differently. Turns out I was more than okay with the way Simmons wove in some dreams, and some myth, nearing the end of ‘The Terror’. It was interesting, made sense, and helped to wrap up the terrific ending of this mega-brilliant-novel. This book isn’t for everyone but some of you are going to love it.
For more info: Goodreads – Or your local Library