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Title: Cold Spell
Author: Jackson Pearce
Year Published: 2013
My Cold Spell Pre-Reading
Synopsis: Kai 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?
Jackson Pearce, author of the acclaimed Sisters Red and Fathomless, has returned with a unique vision of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen,” one about power and redemption, failure and hope, and the true meaning of strength.
Review: This book was the first in the series that I actually had to go read the fairy tale before I read the book. I mean, everybody knows Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel & Gretel, and The Little Mermaid (even if they only know the Disney versions). The Snow Queen, though? I'd never even heard of it. And that's such a shame, because the original story is actually really good and more kids should know it.
That being said, this book was absolutely phenomenal. Jackson Pearce has done it again, and I think her conclusion to this series was by far the strongest book of the whole set. Like the others, it follows the original tale pretty closely, but still has a unique, modern, spin. Having read The Snow Queen immediately before reading Cold Spell, I definitely picked up on some parallels and references that I might otherwise have missed, and I think that made me enjoy it infinitely more.
Another thing that I really loved about Cold Spell was how interconnected it is with all of the other books in the series. Sure, you could read this as a standalone. The cross-over characters are given enough background so that you don't have to know who the Reynolds are or how important they are in the fight against the Fenris, and you don't have to know anything about the ocean girls and how they're related to the Fenris, or anything else in order for this book to make sense. But I loved seeing mentions of Rosie March and Lo's favorite ship in Fathomless and just all of the other subtle things. Seriously Jackson, well freaking done.
I also really liked that this book is told from 1.5 perspectives. We mostly see Ginny's side of things, and we're in her head and trying to save Kai right along with her, but we also get a few glimpses of what Mora is doing and why she does the things she does. Although she's the villain in Ginny's eyes, I really found myself enjoying the chapters about her and actually feeling kind of sorry for her. I do wish we had gotten to see a little bit more of her past and her human life, but I guess we can't really know what she doesn't really remember.
I could really go on about how much I loved every part of this book for a really long time, but I think you should just go read it yourself. But first, read Sisters Red, Sweetly, and Fathomless, and familiarize yourself with Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen." I know, that's a lot of reading just to read one book... but trust me. It will be worth it. Anyone who loves fairy tales and/or retellings of them should definitely check out this series while I go cry in the corner because it's actually over. 5/5!