Monday, February 17, 2014

Review: Cold Spell

Cold Spell
Author: Jackson Pearce
Published: November 5, 2013
Hardcover, 323 pages
5 Gold Stars

(summary from Goodreads)

Kai and Ginny grew up together–best friends since they could toddle around their building’s rooftop rose garden. Now they’re seventeen, and their relationship has developed into something sweeter, complete with stolen kisses and plans to someday run away together.

But one night, Kai disappears with a mysterious stranger named Mora–a beautiful girl with a dark past and a heart of ice. Refusing to be cast aside, Ginny goes after them and is thrust into a world she never imagined, one filled with monsters and thieves and the idea that love is not enough.

If Ginny and Kai survive the journey, will she still be the girl he loved–and moreover, will she still be the girl who loved him?

Fairytale retellings have always interested me. I find myself automatically drawn to them and hoping for the best. Jackson Pearce is leading the pack with her series of four that interlock into something much bigger than just a fairytale. Unfortunately, I read them out of order and I'm wishing I could go back in time and have a do-over since the series would make so much more sense to me if I had. I knew they would all connect, but I had no idea how well they would connect together. Sisters Red started off the series with a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood and introduced us to a world where werewolves lurk in the woods and are attracted to girls in red. I don't have a review for this one, but it was fantastic. I wasn't interested in reading Sweetly, a retelling of Hansel and Gretel, so I skipped it and went straight to Fathomless, an interesting take on The Little Mermaid. It didn't blow me away as much as the first, but it connected the worlds together with mention of the werewolves again. I didn't realize how it connected so well to Sweetly as well since I hadn't read it (I've read it now, review to come) So when I picked up the final book in the series, Cold Spell, excited for a retelling of The Snow Queen, I couldn't fully appreciate everything Pearce has done with this series.

I fell more in love with the story of The Snow Queen after watching Frozen (because let's face it, that movie is amazing) and was excited to know Pearce had a retelling of it as well. Kai and Ginny have been friends forever and have only recently taken it further. A strange cold has taken over the town and when a mysterious girl named Mora shows up and suddenly Kai is gone, Ginny knows the woman has taken him and she'll do anything to get him back. Setting out on her own, she quickly makes some friends, some enemies, and slowly unlocks the mysteries surrounded his disappearance. I loved that this one connected so much to Sisters Red, as we meet some of the characters' family and learn more about fenris(werewolves) hunting. We finally get a connection to all the books like finding out about the ocean girls and how the fenris play into the whole thing.

The supporting characters were wonderful in this one. Ella and Luke took Ginny in as family and they were willing to help her with whatever she needed. Ginny has lived a pretty sheltered life, so it's a good thing she had people helping her because she couldn't do much on her own. Throughout the novel, we see Ginny realizes a lot about herself, she didn't really have a plan for her future as she was living through Kai most of the time. It's nice to see her character develop over the novel, coming into her own by the end, realizes she wants Kai, but doesn't need him. We also have the chance to view the story from Mora's viewpoint, given more insight to the background of the ocean girls from Fathomless, and how she in turn became the snow queen. It was a nice take on the fairytale, giving it an updated feel and much more mystery. Pearce has a way of taking something that is old and beloved and turning it into her own creation. She takes the fairytales and keeps them as a background to her own story. This is hard to do, since I've tried writing retellings and end up jut rehashing the story. She has made them all her own and this series connects and weaves together to form a much bigger story than any of the fairytales can be on their own. I recently read that she'll be writing a retelling of Alice in Wonderland, so I'm excited to see how she'll play that card.

“You know I’m in love with you, right, Ginny?” He’s looking at my knuckles, running his thumb across them. His eyes flicker to mine. It’s the first time he’s said it aloud, or at least, aloud and meant it like this. “I’ve always been in love with you.” 

1 comment:

  1. Oh my gosh, I didn't realize this was a Snow Queen retelling! I loved that fairy tale, and I've heard such good things about her other retellings as well. I only recently read my first book by this author, TSARINA under her pseudonym J. Nelle Pearce, but I really liked it, so I need to get ahold of these ones sometime. And she's writing an Alice book, too? Yay! Thanks for all the good news and the nudge to start these other books. :)

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden


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