ARC Review ~ Ice Like Fire

Author: Sara Raasch
Series: Snow Like Ashes #2
Genre: YA Fantasy
Page Length: 496 Pages
Publication Date: October 13th, 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Source: eARC via Edelweiss (Thanks HarperCollins!)
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 to use 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 Januari—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 weaves 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.
My heart is very confused. Part of me is wildly impressed with the plot build up of the second book and the writing. The other part of me didn't enjoy this book at all. The romance and action were lacking. We were merely told things in the end instead of being able to theorize or guess or infer along the way. This book is more about the politics and the character development. Book 3 will definitely be epic though.

My biggest problem with this book was the pacing. I had to push myself to continue reading. It was unbelievably slow. I kept flipping through trying to see if the book would pick up anywhere. That happens at the 75% mark. It's tragic.

The plot is interesting yet totally cliché. Meira has to go on a treasure hunt of sorts to find the missing keys to the magic chasm door. It's monotonous and boring and each discovery brings little excitement and life to the story. I love the world-building of the novel though. Meira travels to various kingdoms and it was intriguing to learn of the culture and geography and way of life of the people. Sara did an amazing job with that aspect.

The characters irritated me all. the. time. Meira is learning how to be a monarch. I admire her fierce pride and devotion to Winter and that she tries so hard. Unfortunately she makes so many mistakes and makes naive decisions that have me cringing. Mather is so bitter and ungrateful. Theron's character takes a 180 degree turn, and I was horrified. It seems that this is always a plot device when there is a love triangle. Make one of the guys so mean in book 2 that we all root for the other guy. That is the easy way out, and I HATE IT. I loathe this plot device, and it really killed the book for me because it kept showing up again and again. The romance was horrid and barely there. I don't mind books that don't have it, but if nothing is happening in the book there should at least be some romance to keep us interested. Alas, there is none.

The climax of the book is so confusing. I felt like we were flooded with information as the author struggled to quickly share all these revelations and explanations. It was so far-fetched and not very believable. The clues and details weren't well planned or spread out at all. The ending was crazy and sets up the next book quite well.

This sequel was a crushing disappointment. I have hope that the final book will be better though.
Rachel is a teenaged unapologetic fangirl and perfectionist.

She loves reading for the escape it gives from reality and enjoys crying over books, swooning over characters, and laughing out loud over funny lines. She is a semi-recovering Netflix addict and a middle child of three.

You can find her on Twitter @yaperfectionist & Goodreads.


  1. Ugh, it sucks that the sequel was such a disappointment. I have been so excited for this one. I have seen some mixed reviews for this one. I will still read it because I really want to know what happens, but I will make sure my expectations aren't very high.

  2. I was soooo excited for this book after I read SLA, then the first review came in and pretty much said what every review has been saying. Ice Like Fire falls into middle book syndrome! And it saddens me. I even got the book two weeks early and yet, I couldn't find it in myself to drop everything and read it. I may decide to just wait to read it until I have the final book so I can binge the rest of the trilogy. Maybe having the epic 3 book ready will make book 2 more bearable! Still, nice review!

  3. Ahhh now I'm scared..... I absolutely loved the first book and I'm highly anticipating the sequel but now, I'm not so sure... I don't mind about it being focused on character development and world building/politics and not so much on the romance part but what it scares me is its slow-pace. Fantasy needs a combination of both slow and fast pace to work for me. Maybe I will get this book later, when the third one is about to get published so I can read both of them and not being too much disappointed if I eventually end up being disappointed?
    I will go into it with low expectations just to be sure but man, I'm sad to hear it wasn't as good as the first one for you

  4. I've seen so many mixed reviews for this one. I wasn't impressed with SLA so I feel absolutely NOTHING regarding this one. Second book installments usually have terrible pacing problems. It's a shame.

  5. I completely agree with this 100% Rachel. I felt that this wasn't even near as amazing as Snow Like Ashes was, which is a shame. Where as Snow is full of action and tension, this one just felt so...boring to me, you know? But I think the ending was great - I'm holding up hope that the 3rd book will be amazing. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! ♥ Sorry you were a bit disappointed by this too. :(

  6. Oh no! It sucks that you were disappointed :L I read this recently and while I enjoyed it, I definitely get what you're saying because for me it fell into middle-book syndrome. It seemed like everything revolved around the plot and while it was incredible and set the final book up to be epic, you need more in a fantasy for it to work. Nonetheless great review!

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  7. NOO. I just finished the first book, am going to delve into this one soon. Sigh, I've heard that the second book is a disappointment, but I never thought it would be this bad :( But I guess I do have to read it if I wanna go to the third book HEHE. The conclusion better be epic!

    Maryam @ Once Upon A Story

  8. Hi, Rachel! I'm glad to have read this review. I thought I was the only one who felt like the story did a 180 degree turn from SLA. Because SLA WAS AWESOME and I struggled through finishing ice like fire. :'( As you said, it is very tragic.

  9. Agreed. For me, it picked up just a *bit* sooner, but I definitely had to force myself through the beginning for sure. And the characters all made me mad too! Every single one them! How is that even possible!? Shouldn't someone be decent? NOPE. I do think that there is a good setup for the next book but... I am sad. This definitely wasn't great for me either :(
    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

  10. Ack it really does sound like this book was horribly disappointing, and I am sorry to hear that. I hope you will like the third book though because it sounds like everything was building up to that. But I really don't like the sound of so many cliches, a horrid romance and slow pacing. I am impressed you got all the way through!

  11. Yep. I'm so sad because I really hoped I'd enjoy this one much more than I did. I agree with everything you said in your review and it really breaks my heart.

  12. Oh no!!! This is NOT what I wanted to hear. Maybe I'll like it more? Sigh ...

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  13. Hi there! I just randomly stumbled across your blog :)
    It's such a shame that you didn't enjoy the second book as much as the first - I hate it when that happens. I've got Snow Like Ashes at the top of my TBR list and I'm looking forward to reading it, even if the second one might not be as good :) Lets hope the third is awesome!!! Great review.


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