Series: Icelings #1
Published by Razorbill on December 13th 2016
Lorna’s adopted sister, Callie, is part of a mysterious group of non-lingual teens, Icelings, born on a remote Arctic island, who may not be entirely human. Now Callie wants to go home.
Seventeen-year-old Lorna loves her adoptive sister, Callie. But Callie can’t say “I love you” back. In fact, Callie can’t say anything at all.
Because Callie is an Iceling—one of hundreds of teens who were discovered sixteen years ago on a remote Arctic island, all of them lacking the ability to speak or understand any known human language.
Mysterious and panicked events lead to the two sisters embarking on a journey to the north, and now Lorna starts to see that there’s a lot more to Callie’s origin story than she’d been led to believe. Little does she know what’s in store, and that she’s about to uncover the terrifying secret about who—and what—Callie really is.
This was a quirky little book for sure! I didn’t know what to expect going in, because I don’t like to delve too deeply into synopses before I read. Was it a contemporary? A sci-fi? A dystopian? The answer was… yes. I think. It is the first book in a series, so not all the questions were answered but it definitely has elements of multiple genres.
And it’s weird. Not in a bad way, but it is weird. And wholly unique- I can assure you that you absolutely will not find this premise… well anywhere else ever. And that is a good thing! It made me want to keep reading, for sure. I found myself wanting to know all the things, and that is a good sign, of course. So let us start, as usual, with what I enjoyed!
What I Liked:
- The sibling relationships were so great. While Lorna and Callie are the main sister duo in the book, there are others that are lovely, too. Lorna’s love for Callie is beautiful, but it’s also realistic. Yes, Lorna gets irritated sometimes by the amount of her time that caring for Callie consumes, but at the end of the day, she’d do anything for her sister, and that is just so sweet.
- I love a road trip! Yes, there is a road trip in this book, and it makes me so happy. And, it’s an exciting road trip at that, since it isn’t exactly like they’re just on a casual drive.
- Lorna made me chuckle. I liked how she seemed so real, even during a series of very surreal events. Yes, she took things seriously, but she also had a witty inner dialogue that I enjoyed. A lot of the book is Lorna’s thoughts, so I think that is a big key here- I saw some reviews where the reader didn’t love her, and I think if you don’t like her voice, it would make the book difficult to enjoy. Luckily, I did, so that was a win!
- The action was great! I liked that while there were absolutely more low key times (I mean, they are riding in a car for a chunk of the book), there was suspense throughout. There was a good balance of fast paced events and some downtime. And, it was a super quick read, I finished in just a few hours.
- I really enjoyed Lorna’s friendships– with her best friend pre-road trip, the one she formed with Stan during, and the new friends she met along the way. Who doesn’t love a good friendship?
What I Didn’t So Much:
- Some of the things were a little… unbelievable. And I know there will be another book that will explain more, but some of the things that happened were just a bit too farfetched. But I will say, there is one thing that happens early on in the story that left me shaking my head, but it did end up making sense after the fact. So I have hope that some of the others will, too. But there were quite a few things that required some pretty significant suspension of disbelief.
- Parent-In-YA Syndrome. Lorna and Callie’s parents weren’t the only crap parents in this book. Some of them had just taken off and abandoned their kids completely, while others just mentally checked out. Minor spoiler alert- View Spoiler »There IS some redemption for some of them along the line, luckily. « Hide Spoiler
- Lorna’s “boyfriend” Dave (Lorna never would fully define what they were) really needed to not be in the story. I didn’t get any point to his existence, I had no feel of his personality whatsoever, and I kind of wanted him to go away. Like he was supposed to be a nice guy, and I suppose he was, but he was as exciting as watching paint dry, too. Maybe that is how he was supposed to be? Either way, go home, Dave.
- There were a few instances where I was able to pretty easily see some things coming. However, there were also some things that caught me off guard, so this isn’t a totally bad thing, just something to keep in mind.
Will I Read the Next Book? Yes. I definitely need to know what happens with Lorna, Callie, and all the Icelings!
Bottom Line: Fast paced, fun, and wholly unique, Iceling does require some belief suspension. But if you are able, it is an action-filled story that explores sibling relationships in a whole new way.