by Dan Simmons
In 1924 the famous mountaineers George Mallory and Andrew "Sandy" Irvine disappeared during their third attempt to become the first men to summit the highest mountain on earth: Mt. Everest. Mallory and Irvine weren't the only men to try to summit Everest that year, and like them, others disappeared during their attempts as well. One year later, three men want to attempt to climb it and use the guise of locating the body of Percy Bromwell, the son of a wealthy widow in England who also went missing on Everest the year before, to obtain the funding and the permission to make their attempt.
As they make their climb up the mountain, they experience all of the challenges and face the extreme conditions that Everest presents and that have prevented all previous attempts up the mountain from being successful. But they also find a challenge that they weren't expecting--someone, or something, is following them and threatens not only the success of their attempt, but their lives as well.
Just as he did with Drood and The Terror Dan Simmons uses historical events as his backdrop and then uses them as he tells his highly entertaining and exciting story. Although the book takes awhile to really grab you and suck you in, once it does, the wait is well worth it. Just like with his other books, Simmons's level of research on this one is remarkable. His knowledge of climbing and mountaineering is astounding and it adds a level of detail and depth to the story that make it one of the most captivating books I've read in quite a long time.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆