Date of Publication: November 5 2013
Source: Library ebook
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?
Cold Spell isn't my favourite of Jackson Pearce's stories. That spot is reserved for Fathomless, which was dark and disturbing. Still, Cold Spell does have its charm and I ended up reading it in one sitting.
Jackson Pearce is an underrated writer. She is capable of creating stunning atmosphere and even though it's August, I could just feel the cold Canadian winter when it's -40 with wind chill and breathing hurts. Cold Spell was the last of her fairy tale retellings, and I'm sad about that because the world is so fascinating. Cold Spell is a retelling of the Snow Queen, which embarrassingly, I don't know the original tale, so I can't comment on its faithfulness because my point of reference is Frozen.
What I like about Jackson Pearce's stories is that she is so good at creating characters and their lives that are different yet believable. I could easily relate to Ginny, who for a long time now has been in a relationship with Kai. When Mora, the Snow Queen of the story, steals him away, Ginny can't just let him go. Thus begins her quest to save him.
It was very typical storybook quest that Ginny ended up finding herself and growing as a character. Her relationship with Kai was full of love, but not without its flaws. Still, I love that there is a story in YA not about new love, but about maintaining the love. Ginny has her strengths and weaknesses. She desperately craves love, and she is a fighter.
Her relationships with the other characters were rather sudden, but charming. Ella and Lucas have to be the most adorable people in the history of ever, and frankly, they are believable to me too because I've met people sort of like that. I won't get to the next two characters of note because that would be a pretty big spoiler, but they had such a fascinating dynamic as well.
The reason I consider the characters "charming" rather than great is that Cold Spell lacks some development. Everything occurs so quickly and if you go along with it, the story is good. But the story needs more emotion and to really love the story, you need more. I think that's what was so appealing about Fathomless. It was long and angsty and it took its time. Cold Spell is not a long read, it's more entertaining so it's more readable in that sense. I just want a little more time with these characters because the build-up of their relationships is nice, but fairytalesque in its speed, which makes sense since this is a retelling. However, the strength of Pearce's stories have been that they can be read emotionally like contemporaries because they're that well written and developed. So, Cold Spell was lacking a little of that.
Overall though, Cold Spell was what I needed to break out of my reading slump. I really like Pearce's writing and the mythology in these companion type novels is amazing. I only regret that I couldn't find some sort of series review to read before I started Cold Spell so I could better remember Sisters Red, Sweetly, and the aforementioned Fathomless. I would rate the series as Fathomless, Sisters Red, Cold Spell, then Sweetly. They're all good books however, and you don't need to read then in order because they take place in the same world but are about different characters with only the loosest of relations.
Anyway, I liked Cold Spell. 3 stars!