Stranded, Bracken MacLeod
Every year before Halloween I try to read as many terrifying books. Bracken MacLeod’s brilliant, mind-boggling novel, Stranded, had me on edge from the first page to the last. Equal parts Twilight Zone, Cabin Fever, and The Man Who Ate His Boots, Stranded is a top-tier tale of survival horror at sea.
When Noah Cabot ships out onboard the Arctic Promise to bring supplies to the Niflheim drilling platform, the last thing he and his crewmates expect is their ship to be crippled in a punishing storm. Circumstances become increasingly dire when the ship’s navigation and communications cease to function. The sea freezes into ice, and then the men, save for Noah, grow violently ill. When the healthiest of them are ordered overboard in an attempt to break the ship free by hand, the fog lifts and reveals a shape in the distance which begs the question: is it the Niflheim or something else entirely? Noah’s of the opinion that it’s something else, but the men are running out of options (and supplies) so he agrees to lead a band of able-bodied men across the ice to whatever might be waiting for them.