I don’t really know what to think of this book. I mean, I finished recently and have spend a few days mulling it over and I’m still not sure. It’s very clearly a freshman effort. There is no confusing this for anything other than someone’s first book, and it has it’s good points. It’s, at times, very well written and almost poetic. But it felt… I want to say unfinished. Like she didn’t quite finish the thought behind the book. I mean, it starts very abruptly and ends very abruptly, with little to no real idea of what the characters will do afterward.
It also kind of seems like she tried to put too many stories in there. You see there are only so many stories in the world, Boy Meets Girl, Epic Adventure, Growing Up, Good Against Evil, that kind of thing. And in general, a book is most successful when they only combine two of the main story types, like Good Against Evil with Boy Meets Girl, or Epic Adventure with Growing Up. Too many story types in one book and it very easily gets very confusing. This book seems to be trying to combine Epic Adventure, Growing Up, and Good Against Evil, all while juggling ten or so characters, with eleven or more backstories and the history of the entire world. Sadly, she does not have the skill to do it. Honestly, I’m not sure if the story had enough room in it for all of that. She would have been far better served to have a simple, lean story about a mother who goes to rescue her children from a madman without delving into the backstory of the whole entire world. Simple, done well, is always best. And I just have to nitpick that when a good portion of the story is the mother growing into herself and her power while on this quest, then we need to have a decisive path for her laid out after the book ends. I mean, the thought behind the book was clearly good (if unfinished) and the characters were fairly realized, the author knew what she wanted the book to be about and she wrote that, but she just didn’t execute it very well. And, I just need to point this out since it bothered the crap out of me when I read it, how she discovered her children were missing was stupid. She comes back from a month of work at the polar ice cap, her nanny is supposed to meet her with her twins and they’re not there. Sorykah panics, immediately thinking something horrible has gone wrong, but calms herself thinking maybe she told them the wrong date or they were delayed or something. But, she doesn’t want to go to an empty house (the nanny and twins were living somewhere else, or something. It’s a bit unclear), so she stays with a friend. While she’s with this friend she realizes that she had lost a good chunk of an extra day while traveling due to delays. She’s immediately relieved, happy as a clam, assumes they are at home waiting for her. The next morning, she hears news that the madman everyone is afraid of has kidnapped twin children, children matching her babies’ age and description. Now, this is where she loses me- she never goes home to check. She just panics and immediately heads off into the wilderness, without any kind of survival experience or training might I add (which works about as well as you would expect), to go save them from the madman that trained, fully armed people have failed to take down. I don’t know what to say that.
It’s all very strange, even before you include the rather strange details about singing ice and people who have animal parts for no apparent reason. The story of the madman tries really hard to make sense, but it never really meshed for me. Although I guess that kind of works, what with him being crazy and all. I don’t recommend this book, but if you want to read it, I won’t tell you not to. Hopefully Kirsten Imani Kasai will get her act together and make her next book better.