Howl of the Ice

Young Adult

FANTASY: When Falc notices someone out on the ice, he realizes he must save whoever is out there. He falls through the ice, however, and becomes unconscious. Falc eventually wakes up, but now he fears the ice. Falc’s father asks him to look in on Rikkar, his grandfather who has Alzheimer’s disease. Falc, despite his accident, enjoys visiting Rikkar, who tells fascinating adventure tales of his travels, including the stories of the ice-fishing shantytowns. When Rikkar asks Falc to drive onto the ice, it terrifies him. Luckily, Aiyanna, a classmate, agrees to drive Falc over the ice. When Aiyanna’s father goes missing, Falc promises to help find him. More and more people go missing without any explanation. The ice holds not only portals to unknown territories but terrifying beings and horrifying secrets, more than either Falc or Aiyanna can fathom.

This book by Christian Raymond is just a marvelous bit of superb storytelling! The plot is fully developed in spite of its short length, moving along quickly and quite smoothly, radiating a uniqueness all its own. In fact, the suspense generated by the minimalistic descriptions of the villains might be more terrifying than having a full description of them. At the story’s core is Falc’s poignant familial relationship with Rikkar, making Falc, the tormented antihero, is not only easy to sympathize with but easy relate to as well. The witty, at times humorous, heroine, Aiyanna, manages to bring some lovely comic relief, and the conglomeration of ragtag side characters wonderfully heightens the tale as well. What a beguiling fantastical novella filled with suspense and intrigue that will captivate readers!

Roslynn Ernst