A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Watermelon Snow by William A. Liggett- Feature and Review


Deep within the melting Blue Glacier in the Washington wilderness, climate scientist Dr. Kate Landry makes a remarkable discovery. Determined to conceal it from colleagues eager to steal her work, she must somehow distract the behavioral scientist NASA sends to study her team. 

From the moment he sets foot on the ice, Dr. Grant Poole finds himself in a strange world of unexpected beauty but fraught with extreme dangers he has tried his whole life to avoid. Greeted with suspicion, he soon realizes Kate is hiding something.

When a mysterious illness strikes her crew and an intense storm engulfs their tiny research station, Kate can no longer shield the truth from Grant. Thrown together in a struggle to survive, they are trapped between keeping Kate's secret and protecting the lives of thousands, even millions. 

Time is running out. Can they find a way to save everyone and still preserve Kate's discovery?



Watermelon SnowWatermelon Snow by William A. Liggett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Watermelon Snow by William A Ligget is 2017 Sandra Jonas Publishing publication.

Tense, white-knuckled suspense-

Kate, a scientist, working inside the Blue Glacier located in the Washington wilderness, makes an incredible discovery, but must leave it behind for a while due to dangerous conditions. Just when she has the green light to return, she and her team are annoyed at having to put up with Grant Poole, who will be observing the team as they work.

Kate is furious when she learns of this stipulation. She doesn’t trust Grant, so she must keep her discovery a secret from him at all costs.

Grant accepts this mission, even though he is terrified, because his lack of an adventurous nature may have cost him the love of his life. But, once he arrives and meets the team, he gets a lot more adventure than he ever bargained for.

Unfortunately, the mission goes horribly awry when several people in Kate’s crew become violently ill with a dangerous strain of the flu. If Kate keeps her discovery a secret a possible pandemic might erupt which could cost thousands of people their lives. But, if she reveals her find, she will lose everything she has worked for.

Kate must make a moral decision and quick, but she is desperate to find a solution that will save many lives, but might also save her career, as well.

As much as I read, and as open as I usually am about trying various genres, and as knowledgeable as I would like to think I am about all the ever- increasing number of sub-genres out there, I suppose this “Environmental Thriller” or better yet- ‘Cli-fi’ thriller category escaped my notice.

Yes, I’ve read books written by Robin Cook and a few by Michael Crichton, and I see where those comparisons might come into play. But, this book centers a little more around environmental issues that are the direct result of climate change.

I suppose it was bound to happen. Someone with a wicked imagination takes the commonly associated concerns and fears about the consequences of climate change, one step further, by suggesting that there are possible repercussions we never even considered.

I think it is worth noting that while the author does mention climate change, this book is not a lecture on the subject. For all intents and purposes, this is a taut thriller, and could technically come down in the medical thriller category, as well. But, it is also a nail- biting adventure, and even has a small romantic element tossed in for good measure.

The story is thought provoking, with brisk pacing that kept me turning pages, and tuned into events as they unfolded. The convergence of various people onto the scene, all with their own agendas, felt very authentic. The dialogue was realistic, but the weak spot in the story is with the characterizations.

Kate is not especially warm, and her actions often left me feeling conflicted. Grant on the other hand has a moral compass and added much needed balance in a story chock full of ambitious scientists.

This story is very different from anything I’ve been reading recently, and was a very nice change of pace. My first official ‘cli -fi’ novel is a very solid, action packed thrill ride I really did enjoy!




Bill Liggett writes fiction that blends behavioral and earth sciences in the new cli-fi (climate fiction) literary genre. His goal is to paint a hopeful future, based on solutions to global warming. He holds a BS in geology and an MA in education, both from Stanford University, and a PhD in applied social psychology from New York University. Among the many positions he has held over the years, he taught in high school and college, conducted behavioral science studies for IBM, and consulted with health care and educational organizations. Wherever he lives, he loves being outdoors. Home for him has included the West Coast, East Coast, Alaska, and now Colorado, the state of his childhood. He and his wife, Nancy, live in Boulder.

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