If you were to tell me, “You need to read this book. It’s about the British Navy trying to find the Northwest Passage in 1845 and getting stuck in the ice for two years,” I would have said in reply, “No, that doesn’t sound interesting.” But wow, was I wrong. The Terror is the book title and the name of one of the naval vessels making the doomed voyage. Dan Simmons has written a fictionalized account of what may have happened to the sailors on that voyage; history has yet to determine for sure. And the book is 800 pages of riveting adventure. It was one of those stories that did not get boring, unfolding slowly in a cascade of unexpected events propelling the crew to their doom. I did not want the story to end, and I am going to look for other books by Dan Simmons. I hope The Terror gets made into a movie.
Just as I was finishing the book, I noted an article on the web saying the other ship making the voyage, the Erebus, had been discovered in the arctic. So perhaps a little bit of the truth of what really happened will be known soon.