This book definitely gave me the feel of a mid-grade science-fiction movie, a la Ghosts of Mars
or something in the same vein. We've got a group of soldiers stationed together in Antarctica. There are six of them, each representing a different country. The conditions are horrible; their accommodations and supplies, meager. But their mission is critical: They're fighting the inhuman beasts appearing in the frigid landscape.
As the book begins, the soldiers discover a man climbing from the rift where the beasts have appeared. He doesn't have gear for the cold and he collapses immediately. The group takes him back to their base to try to figure out who he is and where he came from. Charlie takes a particular interest in him. And as he wakes up, he begins to tell her a fantastic tale about where he came from and why he sought them out.
Lysander claims he is from another world, called Illyria. His people are descended from a group of World War I soldiers lost in a similar rift, decades ago. But his people have been nearly wiped out by an alien race and he's made it his mission to protect Earth from a similar fate. Of course, a romance brews between Lysander and Charlie. But she is cautious, especially once she finds out his plan to return to his home world.
The romance is good, though it progresses at lightning speed. Lysander is a stalwart hero, with a big heart. Frankly, he's almost too
good. The story features plenty of action. But I think I felt a bit removed from the danger, because we didn't have a face for the enemy. It was an entire race
of bad guys who are a threat to the entire race
of humanity. It wasn't a personalized danger, if that makes any sense. The tension was moderate, in both the romance and overall story arc. I was interested in how it all would play out, but not necessarily emotionally invested. It was ok. 3 1/2 stars.*ARC Provided by NetGalley