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  • Writer's pictureHannah Zunic

A Chilly January Day: A Review of Deep Freeze by Michael C. Grumley

Updated: Jan 3

Hello, Book Nerds! Welcome back to Reading Has Ruined My Life or welcome if you are new. As always, my name is Hannah and I am your captain on this journey into my bookcases.


Happy January! Happy New Year! Happy First Review of the Year! Happy First Post of the Year!


Happy dancing.
Happy day!

I hope everyone had a lovely holiday season and is ready for the new year. And I'm very glad you've returned to RHRML for another great year of reviews. We're in year four baby! RHRML has lots of great things coming your way this year. We've got reviews. We've got listicles. We've got Versus Matches. Maybe some Drunk Lit. Who knows. Well...I kinda do, but you'll just have to wait and see. We also have many comedies of errors and the trials and tribulations of falling in love with a new book each and every week.


I have a very special review to kick off the new year. Today's book was kindly sent to me by Forge Books and Tor Publishing Group; they aren't paying me for my review, they just sent me the book for free. And thank you very much for doing so. It means the world to me that someone out there wants to send me books. Thank you very much!


Releasing in just a few days on January 9, 2024, please give a warm welcome to Deep Freeze by Michael C. Grumley!


Book cover of Deep Freeze by Michael C. Grumley.

As always, a spoiler alert is in order. This is your one and only warning. I love to spoil the books I read. Long time readers know this. Also, I have a quick content and trigger warning. Deep Freeze heavily features a science lab full of animals who have undergone testing. Nothing about the procedures they have undergone are mentioned, but the animals do eventually pass away. These deaths can be avoided although they are relevant to the plot. I'm very sad, and I'm going to mourn these fictional animals once this review is over. So with that, let's crack into it.


In the not so distant future, doctors Rachel Souza and Henry Yamada are creating life! Well...more like bringing someone back to life. This isn't a Frankenstein scenario. For nearly the past decade, these two have been working on a top secret cryonics project. Their goal is to bring the first person in a cryonic sleep back to the land of the living. And manage that they do!


John Reiff was in a horrible accident during a chilly Minnesota winter. A series of unfortunate events caused the bus he was traveling on to take a dive off a bridge and into some icy water. John Reiff did not survive. But someone was watching. Someone who saw an opportunity.


Pulling John's body from the water, this mysterious person puts John in a cryonic chamber for decades while he, she, or they await science and technology to bring John back. And that day finally comes. But those working on the project don't know the true nature of it. Yes, bringing people back to life is the goal, but it's just one step of the master plan. A plan for immortality and world domination!


Upon waking up, John Reiff comes to realize something isn't exactly right and the doctors begin to think so as well. After the death of one of their own, Rachel Souza and Henry Yamada go on the run. They need to stay alive, save John, and stop whoever is in charge from following through with their evil, master plan.


"Dun-dun-dun."

Yeah. I think that's what's going on. I think members of the government are trying to create a smaller, more dictatorship-esque style government. Listen, things in this book aren't all too clear. Michael C. Grumley loves to beat around the bush. When characters ask questions, the answers they receive tend to not be answers at all and instead are vague responses. Most of this book is vague.


Spoiler, I didn't care for Deep Freeze. There's no plot. The first 200-pages are nothing but vague comment after vague comment masquerading as tension and mystery. It should also be noted that during these 200-pages there is no world building. I bring this up as the final third of the novel drops so much needed detail out of nowhere. It's lore and detail that needs to be throughout the entirety of the read and not just the final part. I knew nothing about what was going on nor exactly what type of America the book was supposed to be set in.


I get wanting to keep readers in suspense. This is a thriller after all. The whole point is to build tension and keep readers guessing. But a string of vague comments isn't how you do that. Listen, vague comments can be great if paired with world building, characters figuring things out, tension, and exciting incidents just to name a few things. Deep Freeze does not do that. In fact, as it stands, it feels unfinished. It feels like I have a copy of a rough first draft. A very rough first draft.


Thumbs down.
It's a no from me.

Deep Freeze promises thrills and chills, but I got none. I got a snooze fest with a smorgasbord of vague comments. Look elsewhere if you want a thriller that actually has thrills and chills. All I found in Deep Freeze was a basic shady government story and an ending that sets up a sequel I don't want.


With that, I must bid you all adieu. I shall see you again next week with another new review. Thank you once again to Forge Books and Tor Publishing Group for sending me a copy of Deep Freeze. It really does mean a lot to me that someone out there wants to send me books. And thank you, dear reader, for joining me today. Thanks for reading! See ya next week!


Until then, stay safe, wash your hands, and read some good books for me.


Bears waving.
See y'all then, bye!


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