[These notes were made in 1992:]. This book's chief asset is its evocative setting. As a northerner, I shivered a lot at its descriptions of wind-blown expeditions across ice plains, and of submarine journeys under huge ice sheets. The theme of the novel was eco-moralist (a commercial harvesting company was upsetting the balance - magnetic and biological - of the planet) but it wasn't too much insisted upon - most of the book was taken up with good straightforward action-adventure. Despite the blood (and there was quite a lot), I think L.A. may be a woman - the descriptions of Kirk, in particular, are physical & adoring. ("Blue eyes met hazel ones of an intensity the doctor had never experienced with any other single human being... Staring into those eyes, McCoy found himself wondering just when he decided he would die for this man.") There's no Spock in this one - the two 'adventure units' are Kirk and McCoy (on the submarine) and Uhura and Chekov (above ground, on the icy plain). Chekov gets a more sympathetic reading than usual - he's head of security, responsible, a worrier. He also has 3 security people, 2 of whom perish (even tho' their red shirts aren't in evidence under the insulation suits!) The third one, a Lieutenant Howard, grew up in Calgary! Is L.A. also Canadian? A couple of minor but irritating slips in diction that should have been caught by an editor; otherwise the prose is workmanlike, and much of the description well-observed. The characterization is comfortable, and well within the bounds of the canon. A good entry in the series. The natives had both good & bad factions, & so did the pharmaceutical company, so it was all satisfyingly balanced and politically correct!