Sunday, August 14, 2011

City of Ice (part two of a trilogy), by Laurence Yep- Review

Stuck in Canada Post forever (seriously, this book took almost two months to get to me), City of Ice was one of those books I was dying to rip into.  I loved City of Fire and was dying to dig into more of the adventure.

Although filled with the same sweeping fantasy vistas, the same characters and the continuation of the same story, City of Ice wasn't as enjoyable to me as the first part City of Fire. My main gripe was  I didn't feel the same draw to his characters I did in book one.  Three of the 5 companions have discovered things that make them secretive and unsure in their group and it stilted the reading for me somewhat.  There was too much internal monologuing and it really hurt their outwards interactions, which was one of the main draws of the first book for me.

I also feel like some of the historical/fantasy blend I loved so much in the beginning was continuing to be fairly complex and a bit confusing.  Although I love that Yep has enough respect for his readers to keep it intelligent I'm wondering if it should be so complex that lengthy descriptions and explanations are still in order to follow the story.  By book two I feel like the ground work should be solidly built and its time to start to delve deeper into the adventures and the character development. Instead I spent too much time trying to understand new cultures and places.  If as an adult reader this bored me then I suspect it would be dull for younger reader.
My other really big issue with the story was continuity.  If in the middle of an action scene someone is being stuffed in a bag, and then suddenly they are untouched on the floor and the bag is doing something else, somewhere else, you have a problem.  I had to read several sentences a couple times over, due to continuity mistakes like these, and they were really frustrating.  Talk about killing the drama.  If it had happened only once I would consider it just a typo, but there were several action scenes that had this issue, just in the first half of the story.

An intriguing trilogy with some really great aspects too that I really really want to like, but I've stalemated on part two and am not sure I would pick up part three.

City of Ice (part two of a trilogy), by Laurence Yep
Published by TOR, June 2011
My copy kindly sent to me by the folks at TOR
City of Ice (City Trilogy)

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