Saturday, November 14, 2015
Sara Raasch's "Ice Like Fire"
I am not sure that I actually enjoyed this book or if I just raced to finish it because I loved the first book of this series.
Sara Raasch's Ice Like Fire is the second book in the Snow Like Ashes series. This second book is slow. Very slow. Nothing even remotely exciting happens until the very end. The story was constantly moving and hinting towards something- a major achievement, a battle, or even an unforeseen plot twist- but for the majority I was just being strung along. I kept reading, in hopes of some excitement and thinking I would soon get there, but then I was left hanging and having to wait for book 3 to be published.
The first problem I had was the crazy amount of character names thrown out at me from the start. It has been a year since the first book, and now I am expected to remember every side character and their purpose? Really? To add insult to injury I was also supposed to remember every place previously mentioned in this vast magical empire as well. I just felt confused. I had remembered main characters and the gist of the previous book, but this was a bit much.From the get-go this book was a mess. I spent a lot of the beginning of the book going to Book Series Recap so I wasn't lost.
This book is told in first person narrative, switching back and forth between Meira and Mathers' points of view. I am not sure why Raasch chose this path because both characters are pretty much obsessing, pondering and wallowing about the same issues. It is non-stop repetitive emotions and sorrows. Constant self pity and being anxious about what to do next for the Kingdom of Winter, but doing nothing to move forward. Like I said, very little actually happens.
The entire time I read Ice Like Fire I was thinking how disappointed I was, primarily because I absolutely LOVED Snow Like Ashes. Perhaps Raasch just used Book 2 as a set-up for an epic ending in Book 3? Whatever the plans, this book seems like just a filler. Something the overall story probably could have done without.
The characters weren't one bit likable in this story. What happened to strong-headed, kick-ass, willing-to-do-anything, fearless Meira? All she did was whine, complain, and wallow in her own self pity. Obsessing over and over again about what to do, but taking no action in actually getting it done. It's like her character development took a giant step backwards. They rest of the characters were so boring they aren't even worth mentioning.
Don't get me wrong, the last 25% of this book was interesting, however it was too little too late. By the time I reached the exciting part of this journey I had no more patience. Just when it starts getting good (the last 10%) we are left in a cliffhanger. Overall it lacks the magical, fantastically entertaining action that Snow Like Ashes was all about. This book was nothing but a drawn out, painful read to set us up for Book 3. Classic "middle book syndrome". It did not justify the empty feeling I felt while reading the majority of it. I hope the third book doesn't leave me this disappointed.
I hate to be such a downer. This series started off so wonderful that it pains me to write this review. I look forward to the last book. I give Ice Like Fire a 2.5 star rating.