MaryBliss's Reviews > Ice

Ice by Sarah Beth Durst
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's review
May 14, 2010

did not like it
bookshelves: young-adult-fiction, fantasy-sci-fi
Read in May, 2010

Once again Durst tries her hand at mixing 21st century American teenage attitudes and modern technology with retold fairytales. This time it doesn't work very well. The story is an interesting idea, but Durst struggles with the prose about two-thirds of the way through. She tries to put too many adventures and too many messages in too small a space and as a result her characters begin to flatten as the story progresses and her description falters and becomes choppy and rushed. The transformation of her protagonist, Cassie, from an angsty teenager to a determined rescuer attempts but does not succeed at moral depth and insight. Her relationship with Bear starts off poorly with mutual deception and coercion and fails to become deeply believable. And there are jarring insertions of oddly placed modern morality, for example, a no-nonsense, tidy grandmother off-handedly refering to sexual relations in the back seat of a pick-up truck.

Her description of pregnancy and childbirth is alternately shallow and over-the-top. The insertion of the troll princess soul into the newborn babe is just too weird and also created a very rushed denouement. By the time I was heading into the last three chapters I had suspended belief about the limits of Cassie's 21st century human strength and grown weary of flat characters so many times that I no longer felt affinity for Cassie. I wished her and her Bear well, but that was about it.

For a better retelling of this tale, try "Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow", by Jessica Day George.

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