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Summary

In this novella set in 1924 London, ex-boxer Harry Stubbs is on the trail of a mysterious legacy. A polar explorer has died, leaving huge debts and hints of a priceless find. His informants seem to be talking in riddles, and Harry soon finds he isn't the only one on the trail - and what he's looking for is as lethal as it is valuable. The key to the enigma lies in an ancient Arabian book and it leads to something stranger and more horrifying than Harry could ever imagine.

Harry may not be an educated man, but he has an open mind, the bulldog persistence and fists like pile drivers - useful assets when you're boxing the darkest of shadows.

The story of mystery and horror draws on H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos and is inspired by Ernest Shackleton's incredible real-life adventures.

©2014 David Hambling (P)2016 David Hambling

What members say

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable story read by an annoying reader

An enjoyable little romp with the supernatural in the 1920s. Liked the story but the reader have some of the oddest pronunciation I've ever heard. The main character is an ex'boxer from Norwood who at times sounds like Prince Charles. He says Herry instead of Harry amongst other things and it's quite wearing. Would be excruciating for a full length novel.

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A thoroughly enjoyable book

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

I was a little unsure of whether I would enjoy this book at first. After starting it I very quickly became enthralled by it.

It is a curious combination of just enough historical accuracy pertaining to Shackleton and the time period, mixed with a nice amount of fiction based on classical stories.

I find myself anticipating the next book in the series. This is a nice introduction with just enough action to keep you wanting to read/listen.

The narration is well done and the accents and language are just right (not too cockney).

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Down but not out..

Excellent little supernatural tale with HP Lovecraft leaning and an unusual protagonist in the lumpen shape of Harry Stubbs, ex boxer, debt collector and now work for, what he thinks is respectable law firm, lucky for us this is not the case.
Hope to hear more of Harry's adventures soon.

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A Curious Tale

This was my first foray into the world of the Lovecraft Genre and I really enjoyed it, the story was engaging and easy to follow. I would read listen to this author again.

The only mar on an otherwise excellent listen was the readers slightly dodgy English regional accents and his mispronunciations of basic words, almost as if he was from New England USA.

Excellent audio book!y

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Aaron
  • 20-02-18

A Great Lovecraftian Adventure

I’m a big fan of Lovecraftian horror books, so this (with its great cover artwork) piqued my interest. I’m glad I took a chance on it as I enjoyed it quite a bit. 

The action scenes were probably my favorite part of the book. I’m usually picky about how the action scenes are described and portrayed as it can make or break a book for me, but thankfully, the author David Hambling did a great job depicting the fights that Harry Stubs finds himself partaking in.

I also found the story’s progression and pacing to be well executed. The buildup of the characters and their backstories lead to a great final chapter that was well worth it. The only criticism I could think of was it was too short. Hopefully its future books expand on the story, and the main character Harry Stubs, even further.

I found Brian J. Gill’s performance to be very good. He exceled at the different accents between characters and made it a joy to listen to. I’ll be adding him to my list of Narrators to consider when making future purchases.

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Steve H. Caldwell
  • 23-10-17

A noir mystery crossed with Titus Crow!

Harry Stubbs, Great War vet and former boxer, works for a prestigious London law firm, collecting debts and doing some investigative work for them. While looking into collecting large debts from the estate of famed explorer Ernest Shackleton, Harry approaches Shackleton's brother, a low end antique shop owner, to see if he had any ideas about any hidden assets. Harry gets a cold reception, and is let in on the fact that Shackleton spent money like water, and was always in debt. He also mentions he is the last person Ernest would confide in, since he has a criminal background, and Ernest had grown distant from him. Harry realizes this is a dead end and goes into work to update his employers about his progress.

Later that night, after a night at the pub, harry is attacked by four Irish ruffians. Harry beats them using his skills, but realizes he might be onto something, since they let it slip this is about his latest case. This leads him onto a wild chase, as he tries to track down one lead after another. The speed of discoveries picks up, and Harry is drawn into a conspiracy older than history. The revelations about what Shackleton really discovered are mind boggling, and it brings into question humanity's place in global pecking order! The secrets of our deep past are revealed, and its certain not to be a good revelation.

All in all, this is a very well written book. Exciting fight scenes, a mystery older than written history and engaging characters really help. The characters are well drawn out, especially Harry. His past as a boxer and soldier are both brought into play effectively, as are his investigative skills and all around tenacity. The other characters are well drawn out as well, although Harry is definitely the star of the show. The setting is well described, and you get a real feel for what 1920's London society felt like. You can really get behind and root for Harry.

The narration is handled by Brian Gill in a memorable performance. He really nails the various British accents, and brings all various characters to life. His narrative style is smooth and steady, and he has great pacing. He can really suck the listener into the story. Top marks on this work.

Any reader that is into Brian Lumley's Titus Crow, Matthew Davenport's Andrew Doran or Ari Marmell's Mick Oberon books should take a look at this series. You won't be disappointed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mary Karowski
  • 06-03-18

New additions to the Cthulhu tales

Huge fan of H.P. Lovecrafts Cthulhu myth. This is a great story with a lot of influence from that great writer and the mysterious dark gods he revealed to
Us. A must for any and all fans of those two. The writer gives us a glimpse of new stories with more to
Come and the narrator delivers it in a proper dark and gritty style. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Bikram Agarwal
  • 27-02-18

Didn't quite like it.

What was most disappointing about David Hambling’s story?

I wouldn't say the story was bad or even disappointing... it was just.. uninspiring / non-entertaining for me. As I kept listening to it, I didn't find any aspect of it "thrilling" or exciting. It was more or less laid back and steady flowing. I didn't find the characters engaging or the plot engrossing. It maybe just me, since I see other reviewers have liked the story.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

I have the same complaint as others - accent. The narrator does some weird accents for different characters and it doesn't go well.

Any additional comments?

I received this audiobook for free from the author / narrator / publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • jstep
  • 25-02-18

A fun, Lovecraftian novella

The Elder Ice by Davind Hambling is a fun escape from reality. In the style of HP Lovecraft, Hambling takes us on a wild ride throughout 1924 London, with Harry Stubbs, ex-boxer turned debt collector and detective. I loved the idea of the story, with the origins of the story based around a dangerous treasure that Ernest Shackleton found while on one of his many explorations. Without giving away any spoilers, I'll just say that if you're a Lovecraft fan, you'll likely enjoy this book very much.

Brian Gill did a good job with narrating this novella. He's easy to listen to and understand, and does a good job with the various voices of the many characters. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher for an honest review.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • C.T.
  • 21-02-18

The best Cthulhu adventure in years

THE ELDER ICE is a short investigative novel which is either set in the Cthulhu Mythos of H.P. Lovecraft or somewhere very similar. It's very much like a Call of Cthulhu tabletop adventure with the premise of a solictor finding out about a man's possible occult encounters from his estate relics. In this case, I was genuinely surprised to find out it was set in the Cthulhu Mythos and kind of feel bad for bringing it up except I think it will encourage people who wouldn't read the novel normally to give it a shot.

The novel doesn't waste much time and doesn't deal with much actual occult content but deals, more, with the implications of it. Basically, this is a novel about an expedition to Antarctica which never actually gets to Antarctica. It might be resolved in future volumes but I felt a little disappointment there. On the other hand, I liked the Maltese Falcon-esque quest between multiple factions to determine if there's anything worth actually going to Antarctica for.

Harry is an enjoyable everyman protagonist who isn't quite educated enough in theology, biology, physics, or other matters to understand the implications of what he's encountering. He's too "normal" of a person to be effected by it the way a hardened scientist or warrior might be. Still, he's likable enough and I want to pick up the rest of the series because of it.

I appreciated the research done into concepts like the search for the North Pole and the horrific human cost involved in exploring Antarctica. I also like the serious question over whether the man who "might" have found the city of the Elder Things (which might not actually be the Elder Things but an entirely different race which inspired H.P. Lovecraft's writings) was just delusional or even the subject of a fantasy by his own investors desperate to recoup their losses by believing he found more than he did. The ambiguity works well and I liken it to a man who has a fragment of a UFO or a piece of the Holy Grail...or might not.

If I had any complaints, it's that this really does feel like the first half of a larger novel and it's instead more of an intimate journey rather than something big and epic. Sort of like how the Five Orange Pips ended not with Sherlock Holmes going out to fight the Ku Klux Klan in America but all of his enemies dying in a shipwreck.

The audio is excellent in this one and I appreciated the narrator's flourishes to make Harry come alive. No complaints whatsoever.

9/10

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  • TU
  • 21-02-18

Wish it were longer

I was given this free review copy audio book at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

I am a fan of the Lovecraft mythos, so eagerly went for this one. I like the tough as nails and earthy Harry Stubbs character. The story was well written and is very engaging. I thought the narration was good for the content as well. I just wish it was longer.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Tiffany
  • 13-02-18

The Elder Ice

Glad I took a chance on this book. I was immediately drawn in and hooked. Interesting take on Genies. First time listener to this narrator. I really enjoyed his performance. I received this audiobook for free through Audiobook Boom for my unbiased review.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kimberly Smith
  • 13-02-18

Humorous, action packed listen

I really enjoyed this story. It's full of action, adventure and humor. The narration is excellent. I received a review copy at my request and voluntarily reviewed.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Bill Eichhorn
  • 03-03-17

A Lovecraftian Adventure, minus the cheese

Would you listen to The Elder Ice: A Harry Stubbs Adventure again? Why?

Yes, i absolutely loved this book. It was a great mix of adventure, historical reference and horror.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

the story had a great pace, interesting from start to finish. so many times Lovecraft themed adventure stories are either too b-moviesque or too dull. not this series, it is just right.

What about Brian J. Gill’s performance did you like?

every character had a very distinct voice. I believe he did Arthur best, i pictured Bob Hoskins playing the role, and the voice did not disappoint.

If you could rename The Elder Ice: A Harry Stubbs Adventure, what would you call it?

i wouldn't, that is insulting to the author.

Any additional comments?

this i a great series and a very welcome addition to the mythos.