Dave's Reviews > The Ice Cradle: A Novel from the Ghost Files

The Ice Cradle by Mary Ann Winkowski
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's review
Feb 11, 11

bookshelves: fiction, speculative-fiction
Read from February 11 to 12, 2011

“The Ice Cradle” is the second novel from “The Ghost Files”, a series of novels by Mary Ann Winkowski and Maureen Foley. These novels are about Anza O’Malley, who is a ghost whisperer that can see and speak with ghosts, and even has the ability to open a portal to allow them to cross over. Not too surprisingly, there is a lot in common with this type of story and the TV series “The Ghost Whisperer”, as Mary Ann Winkowski is a consultant for the series. I did not read the first book in the series, “The Book of Illumination”, so I cannot compare the two, but as this book is supposed to be a stand-alone novel, that was not a big concern.

The premise of how Anza interacts with the ghosts will be familiar to anyone who has seen the TV series. For myself, I found it too much like the series and felt the authors should have differentiated it more, after all it is not a book affiliated with the series. The story itself is rather bland. Anza takes a job putting together a book about a ship disaster in Rhode Island. She moves temporarily to Block Island to work with the museum there to pull together the resources, and gets involved with the lives of the people she works and lives with, as well as the politics of the island. Needless to say, there are several ghosts she has to deal with as well, principally a young girl (Viveka Riegler – a.k.a. Vivi) who befriends her son Henry, and Baden whose brother’s great-grandson owns The Grand View Hotel where Anza is staying during her time on the island.

The ship disaster has produced a large number of ghosts, but Anza only interacts with a few. Far too much effort is spent on describing very small details in Anza’s life and her inner thoughts which often don’t move the story forward. This is the biggest problem with the book, and something which the authors need to work on to make their novels more interesting and worth reading. Another problem is with the reactions of others when Anza finds it necessary to discuss her supernatural ability. I found it rather unbelievable that people would have such small reactions to such a claim. As it stands, I would only recommend this book to those who are very interested in this type of ghost story, and frankly I believe one would get more entertainment out of one of the episodes of “The Ghost Whisperer” than they would with this novel, and I am one who usually prefers the written word to TV or the movies.
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