Cover Image: A Blizzard of Polar Bears

A Blizzard of Polar Bears

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Member Reviews

These books – two so far – are a mix of adventure, climate change despair, and appreciation and love of the natural world and the creatures that share the planet with us.  In the first book, Henderson’s protagonist, Dr. Alex Carter, left Boston to study wolverines in Montana.  As that study winds down in book two, she’s delighted to get a call from a colleague, asking her to fill in for her on a polar bear study in Churchill, Manitoba.

Delighted, Alex jumps at the chance and hops on a plane.  She’s used to solitude and her main points of contact are a buddy who is an actor, and her father.  While Churchill would be no one’s idea of the big city, to Alex, it almost is, as she’ll be working at a large center with other scientists.  She’s happy enough to be able to stay in a motel on her own instead of the center’s quarters.

Much of her work is done out in the wild, however, and where Henderson truly excels are bravura scenes where Alex is out doing her job.  The job involves taking a helicopter out to the ice with a grad student assistant, and with the help of the pilot, spotting polar bears, which the scientists then sedate and then proceed to collect hair, blood and other samples to help them determine how the bears are faring.

Not well, it turns out, and the heartbreak of this book is reading about the diminishing arctic ice that restricts the bears hunting of seals.  When they can’t get out on the ice, they can’t capture and kill the seals that keep them alive and healthy.  Many of the bears are malnourished though some Alex and her team find have cubs and seem OK.

Into this mix, Henderson of course must introduce some conflict, and of course there is someone out there who isn’t appreciating the results of her study.  At first the sabotage is small, and then is becomes massive.  There’s a bravura set piece where the helicopter crashes and the three – Alex, the grad student, and the pilot – are fighting for their lives out on the ice.

To me, the action scenes paled in comparison to the recounting of simple survival on the arctic ice, the beauty of the north – there’s a lovely scene featuring the aurora borealis – and the encounters with bears, whether out on the ice or back in Churchill itself.

The action sequences that wrap up the story were, to me, less successful, though they were perfectly adequate.  I think when Henderson, a new mystery writer but an actual scientist, marries her storytelling skills to her powerful nature writing, she’ll be tough to beat.  As it is, Alex Carter is an excellent protagonist, one who holds my interest and makes me eager for the next book.
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Just as Alex, a wildlife biologist, is finishing her wolverine study, she is offered a chance to work on a polar bear study in northern Canada. Her work of tagging and getting samples from the bears to check levels of contaminants is going great at first. Before long, she is facing sabotaged results and finding dead bodies. The story details the dangers to polar bear populations, but fits so well with the story that the pace doesn’t slow. Alex must survive the Arctic conditions when out on the ice and the human killers that are after her. This was an exciting story which I didn’t want to put down! 
I received an ARC from NetGalley in return for an honest review.
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I really loved the author’s debut book and was eager to start this one.  I know very little about Polar Bears and was excited to know more as she’s masterful at weaving in wildlife and conservation information in her books.  I come away with so much more than just the entertainment of the thriller.  But make no mistake the book is a thriller and this is a doozy.

Alex Carter has finished her study in Montana and has moved on from the Wolverines to Polar Bears in Canada.  It seems long before she arrived, the mishaps involving this study has made it seem doomed.  Will Alex be able to turn things around and make a recommendation on the longevity of the Polar Bears?

I really like Alex, she is strong, independent and knowledgeable.  Her determination and willingness to help the animals really tugs at my heart.  There is an interesting cast of characters and while I never truly believed Alex was in mortal danger since this is a series, I kept guessing on if there were multiple culprits and what their true motives were.  

This is a fast paced thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat.  I love the interesting location and the wildlife data in addition to the danger.  I think all thriller lovers should jump in and read this series.
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Another fast paced novel loaded with action! Dr. Alex Carter, wildlife biologist, jumps in to another adventure as she takes on a new job tracking the polar bear population up in the Canadian Arctic. Bringing her signature enthusiasm for the job with her, Alex heads for Churchill, Manitoba with her cold weather gear and the name of her new assistant. 

Alex quickly makes friends in the small town with Sasha, a marine archaeologist working in the area. As the work quickly begins to bring some unwanted attention, Alex finds she must start to figure out who would like to see her study ended quickly. The adventures brings Alex, her assistant Neil, and her helicopter pilot, Casey much more than they bargained for in the wilds of Canada. Dead bodies begin to show up; helicopters get sabotaged; and a fierce, crazy group of rifle toting snowmobilers make their appearance. And the exploits have just begun!   

An excellent suspense novel filled with an amazing amount of information about polar bears! I love the action in the stories, but the actual facts about wildlife that the author conveys through her stories are phenomenal. Great book for getting ready for cold weather! 

This ARC copy was received from William Morrow Books and Netgalley. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.
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This is a good story with some nice twists along the way, I stayed engaged (which is not always the case), and enjoyed learning about the MC, and learning some things about the animal kingdom along the way! I think a lot of mystery fans will enjoy this one.

Thanks very much for the free ARC for review!!
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action-adventure, sabotage, Canada, archaeologist, wildlife-biologist, hostile-environment, greed, secrets, thriller, theft, suspense, endangered-species*****

A murder of crows, a gaggle of geese, a blizzard of polar bears. And the Kensington Runestone of Viking exploration.
Reading this book eased my angst at the death of Clive Cussler. Here is a story with lots of great characters, action/adventure, close calls, and impeccable research to provide all the learning of new things I could want! The main character is a wildlife biologist studying the plight of polar bears in the arctic and is based out of Churchill, Manitoba, Canada. Someone is sabotaging her work and things become very dangerous there in the frozen north. There is also an archaeologist with an agenda who winds up dead and as a meal for a starving polar bear. That's it for the almost spoilers. Terrific read that I can't praise enough!
I requested and received a free temporary ebook from William Morrow and Custom House, William Morrow via NetGalley. Thank you!
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A wealth of information about the plight of polar bears in these days of climate change is wrapped up in a great mystery with lots of action and twists.  A Blizzard of Polar Bears by Alice Henderson is a welcome addition to the Alex Carter series.
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This second book from the author is even better than the first. She continues the character development of the main character from the earlier book. The story is exciting and moves along at a good pace. The setting in the arctic is described so well I felt that I was there.
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Loved this title! Henderson does it again! She has a way of combining accurate scientific information into a well-paced story. I enjoyed the adventure and can't wait to see what species she features next!
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336 pages

5 stars

What an exciting story! 

Wildlife biologist Alex Carter has just finished her wolverine study in Montana. As she looks forward to her next posting, in the Canadian Arctic. She is to study polar bears. They are an endangered animal.

While she is excited to go, she is also sad to leave her friends in Montana. 

Her job entails seeking the bears by helicopter and tagging and collecting data on the various bear populations. 

All is going well until things begin to go awry. First her helicopter pilot quits. Fortunately, she finds another one quickly. Then her lab gets broken into and her samples are stolen. This only makes Alex more determined than ever to continue her study. 

Suddenly, a fire on the helicopter forces a landing on the ice. Alex and her pilot make their escape across the ice. The conditions are very bad, and there is someone following them - attempting to do them harm - or worse. 

The tension in the book suddenly heats up. Trying to avoid a man with a gun in near blizzard conditions, the pilot Casey is forced into the water. With injuries and hypothermia, Alex manages to drag him to safety. 

The rest of the book is a mad dash to safety for the good guys and a slow road to hell for the baddies. But it is very exciting. Ms. Henderson certainly knows how to ratchet up the tension in her writing style. It was wonderfully done.. The writing is clear and concise, without filler. The plotting is very good and I really liked Alex and Casey. I liked the way she seemed to make the right friends easily. 

I want to thank NetGalley and William Morrow and Custom House/William Morrow for forwarding to me a copy of this absolutely wonderful book for me to read, enjoy and review. The opinions expressed here are my own.
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