The Ice Whisperers has an intriguing blurb, and a lovely cover (even if Goodreads fails to display it). So I was delighted to receive a review copy from the publishers via NetGalley.
The Ice Whisperers
by Helenka Stachera
A haunting magical adventure about two sisters born 40,000 years apart, perfect for fans of Frostheart and The Wild Way Home.
When Bela’s mother dies, she is summoned to deepest Siberia to stay with an uncle she’s never met. Exploring his strange scientific workshop, she uncovers a secret she was never meant to find – a doorway that opens an to icy land, frozen in time and full of legends come to life.
But this frozen land is in danger, and it’s up to Bela to find a way to save it. To succeed, she must join forces with the impossible: a long-lost sister she never knew she had, born 40,000 years before . . . [goodreads]
Well, I’ve never read Frostheart and The Wild Way Home, and I suspect I’ll avoid them if I see them. I still haven’t quite decided whether I enjoyed this book. Maybe the feeling of The Woman in White that followed me as I read the first part unsettled me. In a fairly predictable opening, Bela arrives at the uncle’s house to find everything far from rosy. The servants or assistants behave in a strange way towards her. But as a spunky girl heroine should, she overcomes her fears and starts exploring. By now we’ve learnt enough about her father’s disappearance to suspect what’s happening. Sure enough, Bela manages to get herself back in time to meet her half-sister. I don’t think that’s a spoiler as it’s in the blurb.
The story about how they turn from mutual dislike to sisterhood is reasonably believable, since they tackle many difficult tasks together, with some assistance from spirit world people and birds. It’s well-written, and the story should have peaks of excitement enough to keep a younger reader turning the pages. It didn’t do it for me, though, and whenever I put it down it took me ages to remember to pick it up again. And it was easy to do so–no difficulty remembering the plot, or who was who. Am I expecting too much?
I’ve given it a generous four stars on Goodreads, because I think it deserves more than three, for the world-building and characterisation alone. But there are plenty of four star books I’d prefer.Book Review | The Ice Whisperers by Helenka Stachera. 'well-written, and the story should have peaks of excitement enough to keep a younger reader turning the pages.' #IceWhisperers #NetGalley Click To Tweet