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Thursday, January 21, 2016

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Chibi Views: [Don't] Touch Ice Like Fire

Touch Jennifer Snyder

Reaper #1

Publication Date: August 26, 2011
Publisher: Self Published
More Afterlife: Afterlife Academy, Soul Taken, Call Me Grim

Seventeen-year-old Rowan Harper knows her life is forever changed the moment her schizophrenic mother commits suicide. What Rowan doesn’t realize is how much her mother’s choice altered her own fate. It’s not until after meeting Jet, a sapphire-eyed dead boy, Rowan begins to learn of her new destiny as becoming her mother’s replacement for something she never knew existed.

Snyder takes Reapers into an interesting spin with Touch, but I feel a novella didn't go too well with me. The characters aren't really as fleshed out and developed as it would with a longer novella or even a full length novel. All I have is Rowan seeing crows following her lately, gets into a car crash and sees something the living can't see, aspires to find out what the nonliving thing the living can't see is, and finds out why she sees crows.

The plot feels primarily unoriginal – girl gets into an accident that triggers supernatural sight, girl falls in love with said person she sees and learns from, girl dies from attempted noble heroics (not original with the death either) in order to fix the "balance of the supernatural and real world" (as I so like to put it). The whole aspect of having Links, people who can see Reapers and will ultimately become Reapers when they die, is pretty much the only thing original.

Oh, and the fact Reapers aren't exactly scary looking but dress formally, which may or may not be true because the book is really, really short.

Basically, Touch feels a little too fast and would probably be a lot more enjoyable if it were longer, where everything would be more fully developed that the novella gives me.

3 Owls

Ice Like Fire Sara Raasch

Snow Like Ashes #2

Publication Date: October 13, 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
More Fantasy: Darkness Watching, Cage of Deceit, The Last Changeling
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.

I don't know what to say about this one. (Aside from the fact the author is just another evil writing spawn...)

Anyways. Let's get this up and out of the way: I enjoyed much much better than Ice Like Fire. In fact, it would have been great as a stand alone novel as well, aside from the fact it would be an open-ended ending that would probably just demand a series in the end.

Ice Like Fire is basically a reconstruction phrase for the Winterians, who are recovering from the harsh conditions of their work camps in Spring (or maybe another kingdom). Under Cordell's orders (and because Winter is in debt to the kingdom for their assistance in getting rid of Angra), the Winterians are mining and searching for the origins of the conduits, and the source of powerful magic. When they find the magic chasm, everyone has different viewpoints: Theron wants to open the chasm and unite the world, Meira wants to keep the chasm closed and answers, and Mather just wants the Winterians to be free.

And to hopefully accomplish all of that and gain allies, Meira and Theron set off on a journey to the other kingdoms, primarily Summer, Yakim, and Ventralli. If you ask me, nothing terribly action packed is going on in this sequel unless visiting kingdoms and seeing their traditions in action is considered "action."

But let's talk about this love triangle established from Snow Like Ashes and continuing with Ice Like Fire. Mather is compassionate and loyal and quotable, and Theron makes fantastic comments and has big dreams for the kingdoms. Both with good intentions and not exactly considered annoying thus far. I haven't actually made any progress with this love triangle – not when it comes to going with one side or another.

Ultimately, though, stay away from Ice Like Fire. The first book is more enjoyable, but the second book will leave readers wanting closure that won't actually happen until later on this year.

4.5 Owls

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Sophia is the owner and founder of Bookwyrming Thoughts, but also found on various parts of the internet. She's a 19-year-old communications major who has weird humor and doesn't fit the Asian stereotype (maybe a little). Books, chocolate, technology, and music are among some of her favorite things. For more of her work, visit her personal website.