By: Jackson PearceKai 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?
This series is brilliant. I love how each new book expands on the concepts found in each book. With each new story you see another step into the process of the fenris. As well as meeting new characters (main and supporting) who have real backstories.
I loved Ginny and Kai. Jackson Pearce kept up her pattern of writing realistic, well-developed lead female characters. Ginny definitely matches all those qualifications. I love that this book wasn't Ginny and Kai's love story, it was Ginny's self-discovery story. Not often do you read a book about a girl who falls out of dependent love. I also love that she didn't feel like she had to break up with him, she could love him and still become less dependent on their relationship. I also loved Kai for supporting her independence.
The supporting characters also really shined in this book. I loved Lucas and Ella. It was really cool seeing a Reynolds guy who wasn't the love interest. I thought their relationship was really well-written and I loved how they sort of adopted all the others who had lost their families (Ginny, Kai, Flannery, Callum). I wouldn't mind seeing all these characters interact for another whole book. This quote made me smile, quite a bit.
"Ella and I are a family. And we decided, now that we've tracked the Snow Queen, made breakfast, and essentially committed a murder together, that you're family, too. Family sticks together."
Flannery was awesome, as well. Her dynamic with Callum was really great, too. I love that he understood her desire to be unmarried even though they loved each other.
Mora: What an interesting character. I love that in this world, all the villains (except for the Fenris, of course) are always sort of ambiguous. I mean, all of them are given pasts and personalities, they are given reason. It's hard not to empathize with a character when you are in their head, so the reader had a special connection to Mora.
Action-packed as the books in this series always are, but with plenty of time for the building of relationships and the thoughtful, introspective moments. I love how this was sort of a road trip book, but with a definite twist.
Speaking of the fairy-tales, I've loved The Snow Queen story for a while now (since I read Winter's Child by Cameron Dokey, which is a vastly different take on the story, but still quite good). So I was really excited when I heard that the fourth book of this series was going to be based on that story. If you want read my review of Winter's Child, you can click here.
The World-Building (The Connections):
I cannot state enough how awesome this series is in terms of world-building. I love how the scope broadens with every book, yet some patterns are the same. There is at least one Reynolds in each book, there are always Fenris, there is always a twist to the fairy-tale. This makes you connect with each book from the start, even when the characters are unfamiliar.
"I feel as if someone has pulled out an organ. One of those that doesn't seem essential, to the layman---not my heart or my lungs, but rather my pancreas, or my spleen, or my gallbladder. Something that doesn't seem as if it should matter so much, until it's gone and your body can't figure out how to operate and your heart won't stop beating and just give up already."
"Huge difference," she says. "People who don't do anything annoy me. People who don't do anything yet excite me, because they can potentially do everything."
"Nothing happens because of 'just.'"
"So what happens if you don't get him back? You're a paper doll for the rest of your life?"
"I used to think so," I say. "Part of me still thinks so. I never pictured a version of my life without him."
"But I don't love him just because he loved me back, so I can't hate him just because he's stopped."