Sunday, November 22, 2015

Review: Ice Like Fire by Sara Raasch

Title: Ice Like Fire (Snow Like Ashes #2)
Author: Sara Raasch
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Source: Balzer + Bray via Edelweiss

It’s been three months since the Winterians were freed and Spring’s king, Angra, disappeared—thanks largely to the help of Cordell.

Meira just wants her people to be safe. When Cordellan debt forces the Winterians to dig their mines for payment, they unearth something powerful and possibly dangerous: Primoria’s lost chasm of magic. Theron sees this find as an opportunity—with this much magic, the world can finally stand against threats like Angra. But Meira fears the danger the chasm poses—the last time the world had access to so much magic, it spawned the Decay. So when the king of Cordell orders the two on a mission across the kingdoms of Primoria to discover the chasm’s secrets, Meira plans to use the trip to garner support to keep the chasm shut and Winter safe—even if it means clashing with Theron. But can she do so without endangering the people she loves?

Mather just wants to be free. The horrors inflicted on the Winterians hang fresh and raw in Januari—leaving Winter vulnerable to Cordell’s growing oppression. When Meira leaves to search for allies, he decides to take Winter’s security into his own hands. Can he rebuild his broken kingdom and protect them from new threats?

As the web of power and deception weaves tighter, Theron fights for magic, Mather fights for freedom—and Meira starts to wonder if she should be fighting not just for Winter, but for the world.
Review by Nara

Oh man, I can't even get over how beautiful this cover is and how well it matches the cover of the first book. These covers are seriously just the greatest. They really give off the fantasy feel of the books, and the chakram isn't just for show; it's a weapon that the main character actually uses. So awesome.

Anyway, as you can see, I rated this book relatively highly, and I can definitely say I did enjoy reading it. At the same time, I almost feel ended up giving this book a 5 star rating (4 on Goodreads) because I felt a certain loyalty to the first book. As the first book was so damn good, I felt like this one was just a bit of a hurdle that needs to be jumped to get to an epic conclusion. I definitely can't say that this book was up to the standard of book one though. I really, really wanted this book to break free from the dreaded second book syndrome, but unfortunately, it wasn't anywhere near as good as Snow Like Ashes.

Mostly this was because not as much happened in terms of action or even character development. I mean, I'm totally okay with a slower fantasy, but usually that's in favour of showing you more about the characters. In this book, the characters kind of became...annoying? I don't know, just the decisions they made and the way they didn't communicate with each other- there was a lot to be frustrated about. The romance took a turn that I didn't like as much as well, and left the love triangle being a lot more open than I thought it would've been considering how decisive it seemed at the end of book one.

It was odd, even though the characters were annoying and the romance started degenerating, I still really enjoyed reading the book. While Meira's quests were a bit too easily solved, I did like to see her thinking her way out of certain situations. It was also great to see more of the world, in terms of visiting nations other than Winter and Cordell. While the concepts of the various nations seemed a bit simplistic, Raasch does a great job of building the atmosphere and is descriptive enough that you can easily picture the setting.

Well in any case, I'm not giving up on this series just yet. The first book showed me that it could truly be incredible, and I'm hoping the conclusion to the series is epic, especially considering that the ending of this one was pretty great.

Really liked it
Overall: 7/10
Plot: 3/5
Romance: 3/5
Writing: 4/5
World Building: 3.5/5
Characters: 4/5
Cover: 5/5