Supernatural horror and historical fiction may sound like an unlikely combination. But The Terror, by Dan Simmons, is a brooding, bone-crunching thriller and a complex survival tale. Based on the events of the lost Franklin Expedition of the 1840s, which sought the elusive Northwest Passage in the Arctic, The Terror tells the story of the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror. Told from multiple points of views, we see the rising terror and desperation of the men as they try to survive frostbite, starvation, and scurvy; as if that wasn’t enough, they are tortured by the murderous attacks of a huge polar-bear-like monster that is impervious to bullets and prone to tearing men to pieces. The historical detail and realism are impressive, and the scares are mighty compelling.