What readers think of The Terror, plus links to write your own review.

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The Terror

A Novel

by Dan Simmons

The Terror by Dan Simmons X
The Terror by Dan Simmons
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  • First Published:
    Jan 2007, 784 pages
    Paperback:
    Dec 2007, 672 pages

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Ann

In my Top 5 Reads
I've now read this book 14 times since I discovered it. I keep going back again and again. The ice and cold give the setting such a sense of permanent isolation--nobody is coming for them-- that haunts me every time. The fact that the story is based on truth also gives it a haunting quality. Who knows what these men really went through? Simmons makes you feel as if you're aboard the ship itself. I also have such sympathy for Crozier. He had a difficult place among the English as an Irishman, and his alcoholism made him unapproachable and very misunderstood. The battle with his demons made him a better commander and a better man as well, and I think his men respected him more after his victory over the bottle. He truly had their best interests at heart. I just wanted to shake Sir John and the others when Crozier tried to warn them of the coming pack ice. Crozier's belief that King William Land was an island was also rebuffed, and Crozier was treated as if he didn't know what he was talking about. I think he was a much better captain than Sir John, and if they had listened to Crozier and acted, they would not have lost their ships and hence, their men and their own lives. This book is an excellent example of merging a true story with a fictional horror. I'm sure I will continue to enjoy it for many years to come. I recommend it to anyone who loves a thrilling story that is difficult to put down.
Ryan

The Terror by Dan Simmons
The Terror is a chilling take on Sit John Franklin's failed 1845 search for the Northwest Passage aboard the ships Erebus and Terror. The book focuses on a few characters in particular, and keeps each section (separated by character) short enough so as not to leave the reader bored, but ending each section with a cliffhanger. You just don't want to put this book down. The mixture of fact and fiction is awesome, and many historical details, names, and occurrences are in fact correct, so although very imagined and fantastic, the writing, setting, and mood somehow give the reader the feeling that this great white monster of the north could be very real. After all, how many of us have spent years frozen in on 19th century era ships on the frozen seas of the arctic? Overall, an awesome read, hard to put down, and immensely enjoyable.
Power Reviewer
Kim

Excellent, but with weaknesses
I'm a huge fan of Dan Simmons' novels. I've read everything he's written some books more than once. There were elements of The Terror that I enjoyed very much, and consider to be far and away some of his best work. This is particularly true of the historical sections. Not only is the subject matter well-researched, but Simmons does a remarkable job of putting the reader right there on the ice with the ships' crews. From a purely historical fiction standpoint, I'd definitely give it five stars.

Unfortunately, Simmons decided to include an element of the fantastic, and that part of the novel completely turned me off. I thought it was overly contrived and unnecessary. He should have had the confidence to allow the book to stand on its own as superior historical fiction; it would have been a stronger novel, in my opinion.
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