i'll have some cold magic, please (+ giveaway)

Thursday, July 29, 2010 |

Everyone slips into reading funks every now and then, right? I know that when I’m disorganized, stressed at my real job, and feeling overwhelmed by it all, I’m not a great reader. But I still start looking around for that one book that will break my malaise. Cold Magic did the trick for me recently. And not to be precipitate, but it’s one of my favorite books of the year.

From one of the genre's finest writers comes a bold new epic fantasy in which science and magic are locked in a deadly struggle.

It is the dawn of a new age... The Industrial Revolution has begun, factories are springing up across the country, and new technologies are transforming in the cities. But the old ways do not die easy.

Cat and Bee are part of this revolution. Young women at college, learning of the science that will shape their future and ignorant of the magics that rule their families. But all of that will change when the Cold Mages come for Cat. New dangers lurk around every corner and hidden threats menace her every move. Who can she trust?

Going in to reading this book, I knew that it had a pretty cover and that Velvet at vvb32reads had featured it during steamPINK week. No more information than that. The question then became, “What IS it?” Short answer: really good. Long answer: it’s a fantasy-adventure mash-up, featuring alternate history, fantastical creatures, best friends, traitors, mysterious magic, “icepunk,” a smattering of romance (complete with a forced marriage!), and an epic chase and fight for survival.

Cat and her cousin Bee are living in a world on the edge of change: a perilous world filled with both magic and science. And while the girls are slowly learning the extent of the danger and how their histories will throw them into that world, they are also just girls, and their daily exploits seem to be enough. Until disaster strikes. They’re thrown into survival mode as everything around them shakes and changes and new knowledge reveals even more of who they are, where they come from, and what their lives mean on a larger scale. It’s enthralling reading, and Cat’s adventure is hell-for-leather excitement and hazard.

My initial reaction: seriously frustrated that the next book isn’t out yet. My later reaction: it’s a quality fantasy for any age, but it has high YA crossover appeal. And at its heart it’s a very human coming-of-age story, with all the accoutrements of saga, myth and history to make it palatable for the most discerning of sci-fi and fantasy devotees. It made me believe the story in a way that (recent YA fantasy release) Brightly Woven did not. It’s also set in a fully realized alternate world, with histories and details set ‘just so.’

The book’s strengths, otherwise known as my favorite bits: 1) Cat – confused, fierce, loyal, scared…any way you paint her, the girl is cool. 2) Bee – I’ve come to realize that I really like books with strong female friendships. I’m best friends with my sister, and I identify with similar relationships when I find them in my reading life. I believed the story more because of the dynamic that Cat and Bee have. It’s convincing. 3) Cold magic and cold mages – very mysterious and very strange. But I want to know more. A lot more. Like, NOW. Hopefully we get this sorted in the next couple of books. And hopefully those books will come soon. The book’s weaknesses: none to speak of. Well, in my opinion. *grin*

Cold Magic takes place in a spectacular world with enough mysteries, tension and trailing loose ends to guarantee a satisfying three-part tale. And with an intro like that, you might think that I’m saying it was a set-up book. Not at ALL. It left me with a grin (from the part of the story we got) and a boatload of anticipation (for the part that is yet to come). My prediction: the story will only get deeper and better from here.

Recommended for: fans of fantasy, and the YA addict looking to dip a toe in more traditional fantasy waters without sacrificing strong female characters and traditional hints of romance.

Cold Magic releases on September 9, 2010. If you’d like to win this gently-read ARC before then, I’m going to give it away. Check out the info below!


To enter:

Leave a comment on this post answering the question, "What do you think ‘icepunk’ means?”

Please include your email address or another method of contact. Giveaway is open internationally. Comments will close on August 12 at 11:59pm EST, and I will notify the randomly selected winners via email.

Good luck!

I picked up an ARC copy at ALA – HUGE THANKS to the Hachette people (Orbit, you rock!). I seriously hearted this book.


vvb32 reads said...

nice review! glad to liked it. if i ever go to a book expo, i'd definitely visit the orbit table!

brizmus said...

whoa, this book sounds amazing! And while I have NO idea what icepunk could be, I'm going to have to take a stab at it, because I would love to win this book.
Really sounds like my kinda steampunk.

So, icepunk. Maybe it's like steam punk, but it takes place way back when during the ice age. And perhaps there will be mammoth and things like that. . .

She said...

This sounds so awesome ! ! !

I would love to win it and as for icepunk. Hmm, there must be the harnessing of polar bears to make them into awesome transportation machines, but don't forget about the fabulous fashion! There would be parkas that are bedazzled to high heaven and fur hats with crazy doodads reminiscent of some Indiana Jones movie. I also think there would be a pretty interesting Russian influence to the whole genre instead of, say, a northern European or Icelandic influence.

ecaramil at gmail dot com

ylime1981 said...

Hmmmm, an icepunk. It sounds like something that would belong in a hockey game, but since it goes with this book, I'm going to guess that it is something that has to do with the industrialization of making ice. :)

Emily ebdye1(at)gmail

Nomes said...

glad you reviewed this b/c I dont think I would have picked it up but now for some reason I am very very pumped.

adding it to my to-read list and have I ever told you i love your reviews?

Vidisha said...

Icepunk....hmm dont know...something to do with Hockey i would say..



Sharli said...

Hmmm... well my guess is that it's like steampunk with steam powered devices but in places with extremely low temperatures.
:S Am I close?

entrelibros_blog at hotmail.com

Liz said...

Icepunk? Uhh I have NO idea but after reading your review, I would love win the book :)
But the only thing that makes sense to me is what Sharli say... I can't think of anything else!


nerdy_writer_girl said...

Great review! I might have to take a look at this book!
And by the way, you've won The Summer Blogger Award. Congrats!

Anonymous said...

This book sounds sooo good!
I think Icepunk has something to do with a vehicle?

twilightforever.edward at gmail dot com

Sullivan McPig said...

I think it's Steampunk set in the Antartics or another really cold place, like Siberia in winter. A bit like the really cool computergame Syberia


Alessandra said...

Icepunk. Uhm. No idea what it means. It could be steampunk set back in the ice age. Uhm, no, don't really think so.

My next guess would be ice so thick and strong you can walk/travel over. Yeah, that's more likely.


sRy_ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kulsuma said...

I think 'icepunk' must be something like steampunk. Hm, maybe it's the mix of genres that the book has.

I'd love to win this.


Alyce said...

I'm thinking icepunk has to be the opposite of steampunk in some way. So instead of steam engine type technology the technology is vastly different? Or maybe the characters are just cooler? :)

akreese (at) hotmail (dot) com

fredamans said...

If Steampunk is machinery I would think Icepunk would be water powered in some way. I have no real idea though, and am open to finding out!


Tales of Whimsy said...

Please count me in!


I'm guessing that in icepunk, it's a dystopian ice age.

mari said...

Sounds like an interesting story; not a genre that I usually read.

Icepunk...one of three things, I think:

1. the creepy neighbor across the street whose shades are down all year long and who never says hello, just frowns

2. is it some kind of noir-style story that takes place in the Ice Age?

3. Ashton Kutcher popping out of a freezer.

Have an excellent weekend.

Kemendraugh said...

When I hear icepunk, I see two things. The first involves snowy machinery, all gears and wires, and cogs, and people dressed up in goggles, brass, and furs. Ooh, and ice machines! LOTS of ice machines!
The second is a bunch of spikey haired, tattoed, pierced teens, standing around in the middle of winter, trying to look cool in their cut offs, tight shirts, and leather, while freezing their mohawks off.

kemendraugh at gmail dot com

Christa said...

Goggles, fur, snow, and warm tea. : ) I love the idea of icepunk! : ) Of course, I'm a fan of most "-punk" genres. They're so interesting!
Thanks for the giveaway.
ambience.of.rain {at} gmail.com

A'lina said...

Maybe Icepunk is like Steampunk except it's in Antartica or somthing. And I think there would be some ice machines that resemble polar bears and leopard seals, that would be "cool" lol.

linaramz at yahoo dot com

Unknown said...

I'm a bit of a pervert (ok, maybe a lot). Icepunk looks like a double entendre to me. Icepunk= I spunk

Sorry that we met at a bible study group, and now I'm leaving inappropriate remarks on your awesome blog.

throuthehaze said...

I have no idea what icepunk is...but I would guess maybe steampunk in an icy location?
throuthehaze at gmail dot com

Mystica said...

I havent a clue what icepunk means but I'd love to enter to win this book for my son who loves this genre of fantasy.


EVA SB said...

Icepunk to me would have to be alternative history with science or mechanical instruments or magic powered by cold energy. Less bustles and silks more mufflers and furs (vegan furs?). Lots of pale blues and white.


Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

I saw this and started to wonder if the book was out yet. I had to go look. :) This does sound like a great read. I have it on my list to get.

Icepunk... sounds like something with freezing and ice and cole fantasy things. Making stuff happen or not happen using cold, and ice. Kind of a steam punk idea with cold instead of hot.

Thank you for the chance to win the book.


Llehn said...

Ice punk is um, like steam punk but in some place cold?


Jasmine1485 said...

My first thought when I saw the word icepunk was that they were similar to pirates or bandits, but roaming the icy tundras of frozen regions. Admittedly, there wouldn't be a lot of people in those areas, but maybe they rob people in Alaska, Russia, or somewhere else that it gets very cold?

Kate1485 at hotmail.com

SarahEm said...

I'm thinking it's like steampunk but with ice instead of steam. So I guess the book features ice??? I really don't have a clue. :p


Peaceful Reader said...

I'll second JuJu's answer-
your review makes this a very desirable book.

mcmholt at gmail.com

Aleksandra said...

Great review! I have it on my wishlist!

About icepunk, the first thing I thought about was steampunk but set in the ice age or something like that ;)

Thanks for the giveaway!


donnas said...

Great review. I would guess the opposite of steampunk. Which since I havent figured that out exactly yet is about as close and I can guess.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Ruth (Book Focus) said...

Ohhh, I have no idea what icepunk means. Steampunk in winter? Narnia's White Witch dressed up all goth? Cold magic as in, cold-hearted magic? Maybe it's like steampunk with a bit of wintry magical fantasy mixed in. Whatever it is, this book sounds great, please enter me for it! :) When are you drawing the winner? Once I find out I don't win I want to go pre-order it. ;)

Email (for in case I do win - there's always the possibility!) kiwibooklover at gmail dot com

Thanks so much for the contest, book sounds excellent. :)

That icepunk thing is still bugging me... since steampunk refers to steam engines maybe icepunk could refer to... no, I'm out. But it sounds cool. :)

Ooh ooh I've got it! Icepunk is...my new favourite genre! Yes? ;)

Ruth (Book Focus) said...

Ignore question about when the winner's drawn, I decided to grow eyes and saw where it said August 12 very clearly. Sorry, my bad!

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

awesome review!! i saw this cover the other day and was definitely curious about it!! Icepunk....hmmm... i'm thinking steampunk but instead of gears and steampower, it's ice powered! I'm seeing a lot of cool blues and whites instead of the earthy browns we see in steampunk!

Thank you for the contest!!

inthehammockblog at gmail dot com

k_sunshine1977 said...

well, since steampunk is run on steam, i would think icepunk is run on ice, but it's probably not that simple....

k_sunshine1977 at yahoo dot com

Unknown said...

Uh, icepunk? A punk who lives in the North Pole?

Yeah, somehow I doubt it, but it's the best guess I've got. Anyway, the book sounds great!


Joanna said...

Wow I have no clue! Maybe something to do with a cool food. HAha yup that is my guess...


Laina said...

Maybe it's like steampunk only in a Canadian winter where you need WAY more clothing? :P


Pink Panther said...

Icepunk? Um.. Maybe some sort of punk fashion going on in Antarctica? Or some iceskating punk? Just a guess. :)

You can reach me at luvpinkpanther@gmail.com

Liviania said...

I think icepunk would be the genre of really rich punks, who are decked out in DIY diamonds and fur coats.

inbedwithbooks AT yahoo DOT com

Genevieve said...

I have no idea what icepunk may mean. Is it like steampunk? Just with ice instead of steam technology? More like ice technology!


Unknown said...

Hm, interesting question maybe steampunk taking place in some frozen land where you have sleighs and other machines which can glide on snow instead of zeppelin and blimps?

Thanks for the giveaway! :-)

stella.exlibris (at) gmail (dot) com

Alex said...

I would love to win this book. So..icepunk, of course it has something to do with ice, maybe a machine who makes ice.


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