Ice by Jessica Wren
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
“Ice” has the potential to be a good story but it needs to be developed. More of an outline than a full fledged thriller, the characters should be fleshed out and the motivation for the crime could be firmer. There are a lot of characters in this book, too many for such a short story. Without truly getting to know the people in the town of Minterville, it’s difficult to care about them. There is certainly the potential for empathy; the young couple who had recently learned they were expecting a baby, the just engaged couple, and others whose names escape me.
It’s also disturbing to know the bad guys and the plot from the beginning of the story. There is little building of the tension that makes a thriller, thrilling. All this being said, the premise of the story is great. The crime itself is diabolical. It is in the confines of the recreation center that I began to feel some sympathy for the characters. Through their brief interactions and even shorter conversations I got some insight into their lives.
The chief protagonist is never fully developed. The motivation for the assault is weak and once again there is potential for a deeper plot.
At the bottom of it all are the town of Minterville and the mystery of the Minter. This almost seems like a different story. Minterville itself is fascinating. A small community could be hiding a lot more than the telepathic ability shared by the residents. There are a lot of teen pregnancies and the suggestion of some inbreeding. Once more there is the potential for a darker tale.
I would love to see Jessica Wren take this story and expand it. I want to learn more about the characters. I want to hear their voices. Is there more to the relationship between Tom and the drug lord? Does Kendra know more than the other residents of Minterville? Why does the Minter exist?
As it stands now “Ice” makes a decent YA novella. It lacks enough excitement and tension for more mature readers. Hopefully Ms. Wren will revisit this tale and invest her characters with more personality, her back story with more meat, and a greater explanation of the mysteries of Minterville.
4 thoughts on ““Ice” by Jessica Wren”
Thanks for your review :). I’m actually planning a whole Minterville series to expand on some of the topics mentioned. There is sequel in the works called ‘Shivers’ that gives more insight into the relationship between Manuela and Tom.
I’m so glad to hear that. I had a feeling there was more to Tom and Manuela than was said. I’m dying to know about them as well as Kendra. I want to learn what happens to Stephanie. So much that I am curious about and I am sure others are as well! I love the Minter and I have a feeling there is more to that than we know. (Hoping!!) I must say the way the ladies were killed was particularly creative. I’ll be looking for the next book!