Saturday, January 29, 2011
Ice Study by Maria V. Snyder
by Maria V. Snyder
I don't have a picture to show you of Ice Study because it's not a published hardcopy book. But I can show you my favorite covers to the series (above). Aren't they beeyouteefull? So moody. Anywho, Ice Study is an ongoing companion story to the Study series (also known as the Yelena Zaltana series), serialized by Maria V. Snyder in her newsletters. It follows Yelena and Valek into the bitterly cold northern country as they seek to rescue Yelena's brother, Leif, and track down the Ice Moon, a dangerous artifact that is wanted by the group who hold Yelena's brother hostage.
Because this is an ongoing story that has yet to be completed, it's hard to really review, but I can talk a little about it with you. First, though, I have to say the Study series is one of my all-time favorites (along with nearly everyone in my bookclub -- in fact, I think it's probably unanimous), and if you haven't read it yet, I'd highly suggest you pick it up.
As for Ice Study, it's pretty much what you'd expect it to be if you've read the series. It's not crucial to the story by any means, but it is nice if you can't get enough of Yelena (and Valek. Ohhh, Valek.) But if you haven't read the series, it's just going to be confusing and probably not all that impressive. It's certainly supplementary, and not meant to be read on its own.
Though I think it does suffer from some of the things serializations like this often suffer from (like the sort of repetitiveness you get when something is serialized and the writer has to smooth out the beginnings and endings of each segment to make them stand along), I have to say that one thing Snyder is excellent for is sticking to her characters. Within the first paragraph, you know you are back in Yelena's head, and you can rely on that. Every time Valek slides out of the shadows or melts back into them, you can rely on him to act like and think like and be like Valek. She knows them inside and out, and so reading Ice Study, even if it's nowhere near the "gotta have it" level of the rest of the series, is sort of like coming home. It's not crucial to the story, but it expands Yelena's world and experiences just that little bit more, and that's nice.
And who's to say? The story's not finished yet; it very well could turn into a "gotta have it" story...
Read it for free here.