A post-apocalyptic YA tale with no shoehorned romances? Well, gee, sign me right up! One of my biggest issues with novels classified as YA is that a stupid romance (or awful love triangle) seems to be required, thus creating awful relationships between characters that make me eye roll so damn hard. There’s none of that crap in Icefall and lots of action scenes. Both huge reasons why I enjoyed it!
Like any good dystopian tale, this version of Earth seems doomed and an evil corporation, Cerberus, is in control of the big technologically advanced city of Rhone. Other humans live in the frozen wilds called Earthland, and there is also a faction of rebels called the Jackal Republic. Some humans are genetically created and trained for specific purposes, and people born the old fashioned way are called Sexborn. The genetically created humans also have their sex drives suppressed by a chemical released from a chip that everyone under Cerberus rule has implanted in them.
Why is Earth doomed and what exactly happened? I won’t say, but it was revealed nicely over the course of the novel. Alice in Wonderland may play a role too… At the start of each chapter, there are often documents and letters describing the world details and background. This was a great way to show me what was going on, not just tell me. It really felt like an open world video game, in that sense. Speaking of open world games, the overall story reminded me of Horizon: Zero Dawn, which was awesome!
The book is structured in an episode type way, jumping seamlessly between characters each chapter. Who we’re with is always clearly defined and that is needed with the many different angles. The main character, Odessa, is also always written in first person, while everyone else is written in 3rd person. This style led me to some “Oh, cool!” moments when characters started meeting up.
I personally really connected with Odessa and enjoyed meeting all the major characters in this story. There’s a scene where Odessa is observing people fall in love with each other, and she basically thinks “I don’t want any of that… what’s wrong with me? Oh well!” I have never wanted to high five a character more in my life.
Overall, I can tell the authors really care about this world and their characters. They’ve even done their research on the science stuff too. With lots of action and cool people, I definitely enjoyed my time reading this. The book ends in a pretty big cliffhanger, so I really hope the next entry in the series is in the works. I believe the authors have a trilogy planned so I’m excited to see where they go with it! My one concern is that they seemed to have planted tiny seeds that could mutate into one of those awful romances I hate. I do trust the authors… for now…
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