Beneath the Dark Ice
St. Martin's, 2010
This is the first novel I've read by Beck, and I enjoyed it. His subterranean ocean food chain is questionable, at least in its capability to support so many big predators (Warren Fahey did a better job with Pandemonium) , but this is a fast, well-written adventure thriller with a mix of survived and evolved prehistoric animals that keep the pages turning as the human characters try to escape before they are eaten. A couple of the creatures, especially the Big Bad, aren't quite believable, but others are, and Beck sure as heck makes them all scary. Beck gets an extra point for creating a believable romance between characters who have just met, a tricky feat to pull off for any author: lesser writers would use the idea as a clumsy excuse for adding sex. There is lots of cool military technology, some of it real today, the rest plausible in 5-10 years, and military/tech adventure readers will eat this one up. I couldn't quite believe Beck's main military character, Alex Hunter, has the abilities he does, but he's well-written enough that I didn't care too much. Bottom line: this book is a lot of fun. I gave it 3.5 stars on Amazon.