The Ice Ghost continues the story of Lynx and Quiller and others in this post-apocalyptic ice world that was once Earth. Flitting between elements of science fiction and fantasy, I found myself interested as well as frustrated throughout the second installment of the Rewilding Reports series. Continue reading to get my meaning.
In the brutal Ice Age caused by the ancient Jemen war, many archaic human species, including Denisovans and Homo erectus, hover on the verge of extinction. There seems no way out, until the greatest Neandertal holy man, Trogon, has a vision. Legends say the truce that ended the old war left one hostage in the hands of the victorious rebels: the godlike Jemen leader known as the Old Woman of the Mountain. According to Trogon’s vision, only one person knows the location of that burial cave. Trogon must capture young Quiller and force her to lead him there…for the Old Woman may not be dead. She may only have been in stasis for a thousand summers, and when reawakened she will save them from oblivion.
But according to the Denisovans–Quiller’s people–Trogon is the most powerful witch alive. He’s up to something evil that will surely spell their destruction. He must be stopped before it’s too late.
Quiller’s best friend Lynx must brave towering glaciers, dire wolves, and prides of giant lions to save her and stop Trogon.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
Please keep in mind that there will be spoilers for book one throughout so do not read if you’ve not read the first book The Ice Lion.
The end of The Ice Lion eventual ly revealed that the people were hominid species that had been reintroduced to Earth in the aftermath of the Zyme. The Zyme was this type of algae that basically took over the Earth, causing humanity to eventually die out. I really liked that reveal. It was neat to see how through the point of view of these hominid species we are introduced to (what I assume is) modern technology.
I think I was frustrated because I’m not sure how attached I should be to true current scientific knowledge in this series. As I mentioned, The Ice Ghost switches between science fiction elements. There are the “Jemen”, who I’m guessing are “G-men” aka “government men.” The Jemen attempted to save humanity by reintroducing older hominids that would survive this new world. So a solid science base.
But where it veers from there is what throws me off. The characters discuss having visions, hearing voices of spirits, extraordinary life spans, etc. Unfortunately, the narrative POVs are not through said characters. So I’m not sure if this is sci-fi or if it is fantasy. Now I’m also getting into the issue of where the line between science fiction and fantasy can be drawn.
Characters & Plot
In terms of characters, they seem the same as they had at the end of the previous book. This says to me that there is not much character development that happened. While not always a bad thing it just was not a focus for this installment of the Rewilding Reports. The Ice Ghost introduced some new characters, who added to the overall plot in a great and compelling way.
The plot moved very quickly. This is probably another reason why I felt frustrated: there was no time to answer my many questions. The pacing really helped with wanting to continue reading as something was typically always happening. There is a sense of danger and urgency that really drove me to flip the page (or swipe in my case).
I was super excited to be able to read the second installment but found myself unsure of how I felt about it. Rather than answering questions, The Ice Ghost created even more. Granted there will be a third book. I HOPE that it will help me solidify my feelings on this series. While I was frustrated and unsure, the scales do fall in favor of The Ice Ghost. I feel compelled to read the final one to get my answers! Well done, O’Neal, well done.
Find The Ice Ghost on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, Bookshop.org & The Book Depository