Lisa's Reviews > Cold Fire

Cold Fire by Kate Elliott
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Nov 20, 11

bookshelves: scifi-fantasy, steampunk, alt-history
Read on November 20, 2011

I am hesitant here...what do I say?

I love the series.

I devoured Cold Magic. It was so incredible that I counted the days until Cold Fire came out. I've been waiting for this book for most of the year.

And yet, maybe that is the problem.

Or perhaps (spoiler alert)...








It's the zombies and steampunk and movement to a part of the world where nothing is familiar because none of it was even touched upon in the first book and then when the second book came out suddenly these things are there as though we were supposed to know about them already.

In other words, it felt as though the world Ms. Elliott had so carefully, and craftily created was suddenly subject to the marketing round table that I know, unfortunately, exists in the entertainment world forcing her to add things to her world that are buzz words and trends right now. Boy do I hope I am wrong.

Look, the story is good. It really, really is. It just felt different, disjointed, from the beginning of this series. As a writer myself I know that following up a first story with a second one can be amazingly difficult - but Ms. Elliott has done this before. I also know, as someone who was on the "suit" side of the entertainment industry for close to 11 years that sometimes the artist does not always get her way. Sometimes you just have to do what the editor tells you to do.

In this case, I hope the editor and Ms. Elliott realize that book number 3 needs to be firmed up a bit. Now that there are zombies and mixed mythologies they need to focus on bringing them together in such a way that it makes sense in the end. And one of the ways to do that may be a dictionary of terms. (Salt plague? Took me more than half the book to figure that one out as I am not someone who reads zombie books. Opia? What's that? Perdita???)

Point of fact, it may be the language that is tripping everyone up here. Again - the story is good, once you can get into it. But the culture of the islands is so different than the Europa culture - which is familiar to most of the audience for this book - that the language used here is unfamiliar. There is no framework for these words. Once you (kind of) figure out what they mean and what the culture is it becomes easier to fall back under the spell of Vai and Cat. But those words were causing me problems all the way to the end.

Regardless - I would say read the book. Definitely read it. Follow this series to the end - because there is a story here that is unique and interesting. Ms. Elliott is blessed to be able to build worlds the way she can. We just need to understand all of the culture she is adding.
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