Ice Crypt, by Tiana Warner

Meela has just returned from the Massacre—the annual attempt to wipe out the mermaids threatening her people’s survival. After forming an unlikely connection with Lysi, a mermaid she was trained to kill, Meela is determined to stop the war between humans and merpeople for good. She knows of a legendary weapon that could bring peace if she uses it against King Adaro, ruler of the Pacific Ocean. But her people have plans for future Massacres and refuse to help her uncover it. While Meela works in secret to unearth the Host of Eriana, Lysi is held captive under Adaro’s tyranny. Sent to the battlefront, Lysi joins forces with a band of rebels that could either bring her freedom—or have her executed for treason. Separated by the vast Pacific Ocean, Meela and Lysi must find a way to defeat King Adaro and end the war that has been keeping them apart.

I liked Ice Massacre, so getting Ice Crypt was a no-brainer when I saw it on NetGalley. Like its predecessor, Ice Crypt is a fairy tale in the style of the Brothers Grimm.

The Good: The violence I noted in the first book, Ice Massacre, is noticeably absent from Ice Crypt. Also, I complained about Meela’s lack of agency in my review of Ice Massacre. It’s good to see Meela have an active role in this new story. I felt more comfortable with the characters, and I felt the frustration they all felt. Dani’s over-the-top villainy from the first book has been toned down in this second book. Just like Ice Massacre, Ice Crypt is a thrilling read. I stayed up late on my third night of reading so I could finish it early.

The Bad: Remember the missing violence I mentioned? That’s also a bad thing. Ice Crypt lacks a certain grittiness that was in Ice Massacre. Book one had an edge-of-your-seat non-stop action that kept pushing you and pushing you to read more. Book two has a slower pace, and with the alternating points of view, the action in the non-Meela POV kept getting interrupted. I found myself groaning each time one of those chapters ended because I would have to get through Meela’s story to get back to the action. I listed this in the ‘bad’ section, but I totally grok why the author did this, and as a writer, I can appreciate it.

The Beautiful: A far as storytelling goes, Ice Crypt is far superior to Ice Massacre. The chapters are just the right length, and the two separate storylines are woven together wonderfully. All the characters that we get to know are written well. I could easily see this book as an episodic television series. While the alternating POV is nothing new, it seems to stand out in this book, and it makes a great read.

The Final Word: I rated Ice Massacre four stars, and the only ting preventing Ice Crypt from five stars is that it didn’t break my brain. There were some solid twists which make for great reading, but I wasn’t wowed by Ice Crypt like I was in Ice Massacre. I still think Ice Crypt is a better book than Ice Massacre, but you really need to read them both. Four and a half stars is my rating for Ice Crypt, and I dread the wait for the third book.

Tiana Warner

My grandma tells me I sold her my first story, The Sachmoe, for $2. I’m not sure if this makes me a born entrepreneur or just plain saucy, but my point is that I’ve been a writer for longer than I can remember. I wrote poems and short stories throughout elementary school (most of them about ponies), and wrote my first full-length novel in high school. I now spend my evenings writing about killer mermaids. I went to the University of British Columbia to study psychology and came out of it with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. I’m now a technical content creator for a software company, which means when I’m not writing about kick-ass mermaids I’m writing about kick-ass technology. I currently live in Langley, BC, and am an avid supporter of animal welfare. I have a quarter horse named Bailey, a pony sidekick named Strawberry, and an extremely naughty cat named Paisley.

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About Mark Gardner

Mark Gardner lives in northern Arizona with his wife, three children and a pair of spoiled dogs. Mark holds a degrees in Computer Systems and Applications and Applied Human Behavior. View all posts by Mark Gardner

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