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MacGyver Online Forums > House Boat > MacGyver on Ice Review

Posted by: MacsJeep 5 March 2016 - 02:10 AM

I finally got my hands on a copy of this a few weeks ago, and have now finished reading it.

The book is the only MacGyver novel out there as far as I know, and usually sells between 60 - 100 on auction sites. I got my copy from an English charity store (Mac would approve) for 60.

The novel is by the late Mark Daniel, and was published by Armada in 1986. It has 126 pages and originally retailed for 1.95 - how this has changed!

This copy is in pretty good condition, with no rips or tears, and just light marks down the left of the cover were its been opened to read.

The Plot - A rogue general hiding out in Alaska has got his hands on a nasty bug and is going to fire it at Russia. Pete approaches MacGyver to save the day, but Mac is having issues of his own. He's holding up in the Arctic and is very disillusioned by some of the stuff he saw in 'Nam, and now pretty much about what his purpose in life is. He's living in seclusion until he can answer the last question to himself. (There is no real suggestion of where this story fits in the Mac timeline, but bear in mind when it was written the show had only had one season)

Mac agrees to help, but the US insists he takes a scientist and an another agent along with him. The scientist is a woman (naturally tongue.gif ) And the other agent is the pilot who will fly them in - he's also a total ass. They take an antidote with them to neutralize the virus.

No adventure would be a simple cut and run, though, and their plane crashes, leaving them stuck in the middle of nowhere, with no virus and a mission to still complete before the general causes WW3 !

I won't say more, as that is spoiling the story for potential readers, but I did find it a little short. I wanted more from this as its the only Mac novel out there!

Thoughts So, is this book true to MacGyver? Well, yes and no. There are some parts I found really annoying. The author has Mac knitting. Now I know he's hands on and will try anything, and I get that he's supposed to be totally self-sufficient the way he's living up there, but it just didn't *feel* quite right. It did make for a couple of funny jokes, however.

Mr. Daniel also hasn't gotten to grips with Mac's gun aversion. While Mac doesn't actually fire a gun in this story, he handles one several times without issue, and we do get the impression he'd use it if he had to, to get food even.

I think he does get Mac's *voice* quite well most of the time, especially RDA's accent (which I always thought was more of a drawl in season one than later)

One other thing that bugs me is that Mark Daniel was a Brit, and I noticed on several occasions he used Brit phrases I just don't think you'd catch on the show. Pete would never say some of the stuff the way he does at the start of the book! This is a pet peeve of mine that I've noticed with other TV tie in novels written by Brits. (There is a Smallville one I almost didn't finish, it was simply TOO English!)

Now I'm a Brit myself, and I write fan fic, but I do try and stay true to what I'm writing. If I did a Dr Who story I'd use English grammar and try and capture the characters "accents". If I'm doing Supernatural or MacGyver, I try to use US grammar and spelling. I'm not going to have them tying the laces in their "trainers" or popping the "bonnet" of their car, for instance. SO WHY do professional writers do this?

That aside, I did still enjoy reading this, and if you're a MacGyver fan, it's definitely a nice little keepsake to add to your collection. Just don't expect it to be spot on with Mac's character - although to be fair, after only one season I guess Mark Daniel didn't have the information to work with that we do now. smile.gif


Posted by: Barry Rowland 5 March 2016 - 03:30 AM
Thanks Maclover! I wouldn't mind getting my hands on this novel either. I think it's interesting that someone took the move to write one, capitalizing on Mac's popularity at the time. If nothing else, it was written early enough that a lot of Mac's personality hadn't developed yet in the TV series. I just did a search on Amazon and there's one available here for $83...quite an increase in price!! Even better, there are several "new" ones going for $2000 plus!! Hold onto that's better than stocks and bonds for retirement!! biggrin.gif

Posted by: KiwiTek 5 March 2016 - 04:09 AM
Cool review.

Thanks for doing this. I've added a link to it on the


Posted by: MacsJeep 5 March 2016 - 07:31 AM
QUOTE (KiwiTek @ 6 March 2016 - 12:09 AM)
Cool review.

Thanks for doing this. I've added a link to it on the


You're very welcome! smile.gif If anything, I've been over-critical, but at the price it goes for I didn't want fans buying this and not getting what they expected.

Posted by: MacGeezer 6 March 2016 - 02:35 PM
Having read this many moons ago, it's a wonderful review! Thank you!

Posted by: denizen 6 March 2016 - 08:29 PM
I agree. Great review MacsJeep. Would love to own a copy myself but not for that price. smile.gif

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