'In the Kingdom of Ice' turns into one of the summer's hottest books

Author Hampton Sides also wrote 'Hellhound on His Trail,' a bestselling nonfiction account about the search for the assassin of Martin Luther King Jr.

By , Staff Writer

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    'In the Kingdom of Ice' is by Hampton Sides.
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“In the Kingdom of Ice” by Hampton Sides may be set in the chilly region of the Arctic, but it’s heating up to be one of the most popular titles of the end of summer.

The nonfiction book was released on Aug 5 and tells the story of the crew of the USS Jeanette, which set out for the North Pole in 1879 in an attempt to solve the mystery of what lay at the top of the world. However, after the ship encountered trouble, Captain George Washington De Long and his crew were forced to learn to survive in an unforgiving region.

Sides is also the author of the bestselling book “Hellhound on His Trail,” which was released in 2011 and follows the search for Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassin.

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Both the Monitor and Amazon named "In the Kingdom of Ice" as one of the best books released this month, with Monitor staff calling it “gripping” with “unimaginable disaster and drama … an epic, dark, heroic page-turner.” 

Amazon editorial director Sara Nelson agreed. 

“[It’s] a cross between [the TV show] 'Lost' and a boys' adventure story,” she said. “[I]t's got something for everyone.”

The book took the number one spot on the IndieBound hardcover nonfiction bestseller list for the week of Aug. 21 and is currently at number six on the New York Times combined print and e-book nonfiction bestseller list for the week of Aug 24 as well as ranking at number three on the NYT hardcover nonfiction list.

“In the Kingdom of Ice” has received positive reviews elsewhere as well, with Publishers Weekly awarding it a starred review and calling it “a masterful retelling…. Impeccable writing, a vivid re-creation of the expedition and the Victorian era, and a taut conclusion make this an exciting gem.”

Kirkus Reviews also gave the book a starred review.

“Another crackling tale of adventure from journalist/explorer Side…. A grand and grim narrative of thrilling exploration for fans of Into Thin Air, Mountains of the Moon and the like,” the publication wrote.

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