Eos, Jun 2002, 14.95, 288 pp.
In the year 3000 at least earth time, Icebones awakens from an extended suspended animation to realize she is not on her native planet anymore, but instead is at the top of Olympus Mons, the highest known mountain in the solar system. Even stranger is the behavior of the herd of her kin, woolly mammoths. They complain of starvation, but have no concept of feeding themselves. Instead they had been spoiled from when their former masters, the earthly humanoids, took care of them. Now the humans have deserted their pets on Mars.
Icebones realizes she is different from the other members of her species. The human scientists regenerated them all but she was born in a more natural manner enabling her to understand mammoth history, legend, tradition, and most importantly how to survive in the wild. Against some opposition, she becomes the leader and begins the journey across the planet where food and water might exist so that the species can live.
ICEBONES, the concluding novel of Stephen Baxter's imaginative personification of Woolly Mammoths, is an engaging science fiction tale that readers will enjoy. The story line requires a stretch to accept yet the audience will want to read this novel in one sitting. Fans will appreciate Icebones, a heroine who recognizes her responsibility to guide the unruly herd to the promised land and does not shirk away from doing the right thing though that would be easier on her. This is a strong epic morality tale that holds up with its two predecessors quite nicely to provide an entertaining insightful trilogy.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner