Review: Cold Fire by Kate Elliott

Cold Fire is the second book in the Spritwalker series. It was published by Orbit books on September 26, 2011.

The Blurb

Only one thing is certain: when Hallows’ Night comes, the Wild Hunt will ride – and it feeds on mortal blood. 

Cat and her cousin Bee are caught in a maze of intrigue, treachery, and magic. Everyone seems to want something from them: the Cold Mages are trying to take them prisoner, and the warlord who wants to conquer all of Europa seems sure they have a special destiny to aid him whether they want to or not. Worse, hidden powers deep in the spirit world are rising, and they are the most dangerous of all. Cat must seek allies and figure out who she can trust in order to save the ones she loves. For if she doesn’t, everything will be lost. 

My Review

I really wanted to like this book. I wasn’t thrilled by the characters in Cold Magic, even though I found the premise of the world and magic system fascinating. Unfortunately, it wasn’t any better this time. Cat is still a silly, vain girl and I still can’t stand to read about her.

The characters, filtered through Cat’s point of view, have no clear goals. They go somewhere and then some stuff happens and then they’re shuffled off somewhere else, where the whole thing repeats. They never really sit down and talk it out and say, “I think we need to do this and in order to do that we need to go here.” They have no allies; they don’t know what is going on; there is no indication of where they could go to find out.

I have no idea what the purpose of this book is. I don’t know what the characters want, and watching them stroll around aimlessly kind of pisses me off.

As much as I wanted to love this, I found the characters irritating and the lack of “big picture” annoying. It’s completely plausible that, were I put in Cat’s situation, I would end up in the exact same place(s) that she seems to. Maybe that’s the problem. I like my heroines to be larger than life, and Cat is just… average.

If this book were written about someone – anyone – else, I’d be thrilled. But it’s not, and I’m not, and I don’t know what to do about it. I couldn’t even finish it, despite giving myself extra time. The only reason I’m going back on my “No Finish – No Review” policy is that it was a NetGalley read, and I promised to do a review.

The one great thing is the fabulous world building. I wish I could see more of it, but I don’t think I can stand the characters long enough to do so. Life is too short to force myself to read something that just doesn’t work for me. Will it work for you? I don’t know. This is just one girl’s opinion.

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