Friday, September 11, 2015

ARC Review: Ice Like Fire by Sara Raasch

Ice Like Fire #2

Ice Like Fire (Snow Like Ashes, #2)
Sara Raasch
(Snow Like Ashes #2)
 Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Published: October 13th, 2015

Game of Thrones meets Graceling in this thrilling fantasy filled with shocking twists and heart-pounding action, the highly anticipated sequel to Snow Like Ashes. This action-packed series is perfect for fans of An Ember in the Ashes and A Court of Thorns and Roses.

It's been three months since the Winterians were freed and Spring's king, Angra, disappeared—thanks largely to the help of Cordell.

Meira just wants her people to be safe. When Cordellan debt forces the Winterians to dig their mines for payment, they unearth something powerful and possibly dangerous: Primoria's lost chasm of magic. Theron sees this find as an opportunity—with this much magic, the world can finally stand against threats like Angra. But Meira fears the danger the chasm poses—the last time the world had access to so much magic, it spawned the Decay. So when the king of Cordell orders the two on a mission across the kingdoms of Primoria to discover the chasm's secrets, Meira plans on using the trip to garner support to keep the chasm shut and Winter safe—even if it means clashing with Theron. But can she do so without endangering the people she loves?

Mather just wants to be free. The horrors inflicted on the Winterians hang fresh and raw in Jannuari—leaving Winter vulnerable to Cordell's growing oppression. When Meira leaves to search for allies, he decides to take Winter's security into his own hands. Can he rebuild his broken Kingdom and protect them from new threats?

As the web of power and deception is woven tighter, Theron fights for magic, Mather fights for freedom—and Meira starts to wonder if she should be fighting not just for Winter but for the world.


Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes, #1)  Ice Like Fire (Snow Like Ashes, #2)


ICE LIKE FIRE is a sequel I have been literally DYING to get my hands on since reading SNOW LIKE ASHES last year and absolutely adoring it to pieces. But unfortunately, for numerous reasons ICE LIKE FIRE did not live up to it's predecessor—no where close! And that was a HUGE let down for me because I expected so much more from this sequel then what I got!


This book just felt wrong from the very beginning. The voice and dynamics felt off from the thick, layered tone of the first book. The characters felt different, the world felt bland, and the plot was beyond boring. I didn't get the same vibe I did from SNOW LIKE ASHES. As soon as I started the first book I instantly felt connected to the characters and the world. But not with ICE LIKE FIRE. I felt disconnected and uncaring towards the characters and their trials and tribulations. And I was hating myself for it because I loved everything about the first book, and to feel this way about the sequel, it was disconcerting.


MEIRA! She was a terrible protagonist in this sequel. And again, it was unsettling because of how much I loved her in the first book. But in this sequel I instantly felt repelled and disconnected from her. And I tried and tried to reconnect, but it just wouldn't happen. Meira was a totally different character and was making stupid mistakes that the Meira I knew and loved wouldn't dare make. I'm guessing because in the first book she was just plain ol' flawed Meira, one of the few people fighting to free Winter from the evil reign of Angra. But in this book, she had to be the strong, unwavering, I don't need anyone broken queen, and that bugged the crap out of me! She was too good to ask for help, she wanted to solve everything herself and not let any of her friends help her. And that's where most of her problems came from. If she would of just opened up to her friends and other Winterians, half if not more of her problems could of been resolved. Or at the very least defused, and they could of come up with a better outcome then just Meira making her stupid decisions.

Meira's personality was all wrong too. She was always sad and depressed, and mainly stayed inside her head. I mean this girl was all gloom and doom. She never had a lick of fun, I can't even remember her genuinely laughing at all in this book. I mean don't get me wrong I love books with all the negativity and one track mind to complete whatever goal that's in that book. But come on, it has to have some fun, some attraction, or downtime where you just laugh or even smile. But nope, Meira was a terrible character in this sequel that I did not connect with or enjoy at all. And once you lose interest in the characters, the rest of the plot goes down the drain with it.


This book was just plain out boring!! And I hate to say that, but it was! I expected so much more from this world and characters, and with the cliffhanger ending in the last book, I was expecting to be Wowed! The plot was a long and tedious journey, with a lot of nothing important happening. It was just them traveling to different kingdoms, trying to connect the dots to something vital to their kingdoms survival, and to hopefully form allies in some of the neighboring kingdoms. The only real interesting part was the last 50 or so pages. Everything else could of seriously been cut out or at least skimmed through and it would of hardly made any difference.


Ummm... I had to think about this one real hard before I could come up with anything I really enjoyed. One thing I've always liked about this series was the world set-up. I LOVED this world and all the different kingdoms, some with different climates and atmospheres. And the magic was different and unique from some of the other fantasy's out there, and I liked that about this book. But it was the actual plot, pacing, and characters that ultimately ruined it for me!


Meira has fought for her kingdoms freedom and won, only to have her "Supposed" alley kingdom try to dictate it from the sidelines. She is now Queen to a kingdom she didn't even know she was queen of until recently. She is untrained, unprepared, and unequipped to face down her enemies alone. So Meira must quickly determined who is friend and who is foe, while traveling with Prince Theron of Cordell, and also her ex-fiancée to neighboring kingdoms to build allies. But also to find hidden secrets to her kingdoms redemption, and only hope of survival...

But Meira feels more distant to her old friend then ever, and even more untrusting towards his ulterior motives. But surly she can trust him, right? With a newly risen kingdom that's on the brink of war, weaken Winterians from their enslavement to the evil Spring king Angra, and enemies even closer then she anticipated. Meira must unravel the web that's been weaved years in the making, and stay one step ahead of those determined to bring her and her kingdom down once and for all. Or Winter may not be so lucky to rise again...

I had to think long and hard about what my rating should be for this sequel. While most of the book I pretty much hated it and really didn't care about it either way. But I can't overlook that the last 50 or so pages were fun and thrilling, and definitely had me craving book three! But I still can't forget that I didn't like most of the book. So regrettably I had to ultimately give one of my most anticipated books of 2015 a 2 star rating!

Overall, ICE LIKE FIRE was not the sequel I was hoping for, and let me down in more ways then one. I did think the cliffhanger ending was pretty great and was enough to make me want to read book three. But I have to admit, I probably wouldn't recommend this book. I mean if you read the first book and was really looking forward to this sequel, then yeah, give it a try. But if it's not a must read for this year and the series is not one of your favorites, then I would just skip it. Anyways Harper Collins is coming out with PLENTY of epic fantasy's this year and next, so you'll have your pick!

NOTE: I received a physical ARC from Harper Teen for reviewing purposes! All opinions expressed are my own and are not influenced in any way!


Sara RaaschSara Raasch has known she was destined for bookish things since the age of five, when her friends had a lemonade stand and she tagged along to sell her hand-drawn picture books too. Not much has changed since then -- her friends still cock concerned eyebrows when she attempts to draw things and her enthusiasm for the written word still drives her to extreme measures. Her debut YA fantasy, SNOW LIKE ASHES, is coming out Fall 2014 from Balzer + Bray. It does not feature her hand-drawn pictures. She is represented by Charlotte Sheedy Literary.


  1. Sigh...hearing so much about this book falling under middle book syndrome and the tears pretty much started with the first review! I loved Snow Like Ashes and have been looking forward to this one as well. Was bummed when I couldn't get an ARC, but told myself the wait will be worth it...but now? Now I'm scared. Though I will likely read it anyway because that's just how I am when it comes to series/trilogies I enjoy! Glad to hear the last handful of pages are good though! Very nice, honest review! I will go in prepared at least!

  2. Oh man, I don't know if I should read this series now! I love the covers, and I'm a sucker for awesome covers! But your review of the second book has put me off a bit. I'll probably just end up reading it at some point; maybe I'll wait till the whole series is done to see if the next book is any good.

  3. Good review. Too bad this book was a let down; the first one was good.

  4. Snow like Ashes and Ice like Fire are two books I want to read. I would like to form my own opinion on them. Thank you

  5. Snow like Ashes and Ice like Fire are two books I want to read. I would like to form my own opinion on them. Thank you

  6. Thank you for the review! I had read too the first book but it didn't give me the feels I wanted. Despited the good world building it was a litte off in the plot. I don't know if I should try and read this one...

  7. This isn't the first bad review i've seen of this book:/ it's putting me off wanting to read the series. I think i'll wait until the last book is out to decide if i'm going to read it.

  8. Thanks for the review. Don't know if I'm gonna read this or not. But I love the cover

  9. I am so sad about this. Snow Like Ashes was so good, and I know so many people had high hopes for Ice Like Fire. Very disappointing. At least the cover is beautiful....

  10. I agree with all the points you made. I requested and read an e-arc and couldn't even believe this was written by the same person. I don't even watch to touch the next one.


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