Review: Ice Cracker II by Lindsay Buroker

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Title: Ice Cracker II
Author: Lindsay Buroker
Genre: steampunk, fantasy, novella
Series: The Emperor's Edge series #1.5
Published: December 2010
Pages: 60
Rating: 3/5

This is my first foray into the world Lindsay Buroker has fashioned for The Emperor's Edge series, and it was just as fun as another novella by the same author that I thoroughly enjoyed, Flash Gold. I'm a big fan of the way the author writes, and the stories she creates are original and a mashup of almost all my favorite genres: fantasy, steampunk, a little mystery and some well-written, hinted at chemistry rather than a full-blown romance. I randomly picked this to start before The Emperor's Edge itself because it is a very short novella, only about 60 pages, but Buroker seems to work rather well within the confines of a short story. Her writing flows well and the dialogue and interaction between the characters, is witty and one of the best aspects of the novella ("I know this is dangerous, probably more for you than me-- my poster just says wanted, yours says kill on sight..").
But don't be mistaken, there is enough happening in those tooshort sixty pages to keep the plot moving briskly. Assassins, deceptions, conspiracies abound, making this an intricate and convoluted short story. As with the other novella I've read, the pages fly by with speed and I was sucked completely into the story.
There is not very much characterization or character depth in the story, for two reasons. One, the author is using recurring characters from other works of hers in which they have more detail and personality ascribed to them. Reason two: there's only so much punch you can pack in 60 pages. With all that the novella has going on, the amount of depth created for each of the two is perfect. Amaranthe is a fun, vivacious character. Above all, she was resourceful and self-sufficient. I always enjoy reading books with strong, believable, kickass female characters and Lindsay Buroker seems to write them often and reliably. She's also smart, without being obnoxious or having it be her fatal flaw.
Sicarius was silent and intriguing as the talented and deadly assassin who is trying to outrun his dark past; clearly, I'll be focusing on him in the future books in this series I read.
My only complaint is the same as it was for Flash Gold: I simply want more. This was shorter even than that, and was over far too quickly. I know there is The Emperor's Edge and its soon-to-be-released sequel (yaaaaay!!) Dark Currents, but it's such a shame to be pulled back out of such a well-crafted world so abruptly. Not to say the resolution was not well done, because it was, it just came too fast for my preferences. I guess I'll just have to read The Emperor's Edge, then Encrypted (it's a prequel, apparently set 20-25 years before The Emperor's Edge) and wait patiently for Dark Currents
 Also,  Ice Cracker II was FREE for Nook and only $.99 for the Kindle, so really, you have absolutely nothing to lose by giving them a chance. 
And definitely, definitely check out Lindsay's full-length work, The Emperor's Edge. The price was recently dropped from $2.99 to just $.99 in both formats in anticipation of the next novel in the series' release.

Other can't-afford-to-miss deals for ebooks:

Tominda Adkins' first novel, Vessel, Book One: The Advent is only $.99 for Nooks, as well as the Kindle. Here's the blurb:  
They're divine. They're almighty. They're about six thousand years late.
They're the Vessel, five living gods born to smite an ancient anomaly of death. That's what beloved pop legend Jesse Cannon is saying anyway--after claiming to be a Vessel himself. It's enough to make his long-suffering assistant Jordan hand in her two week's notice. She might not survive one week, however, because Jesse's divine vision is no myth. Something is stalking them both, and it's not a crazed fan . . .
Book I brings the fledgling deities together (on a tricked-out tour bus, of course) for the ride of their immortal lives. There's Ghi, a sweet amnesiac who may or may not be a terrorist--or a devout lover of soap operas. Jackson, a smart-mouthed, firefighting mama's boy. Corin, a filthy rich philanthropist who cannot function without his smartphone. And Khan, a legally blind convict with a penchant for arson, nicotine, and prostitutes. Each remarkable in his own right, each born of questionably immaculate conception, and each, as far as Jordan is concerned, utterly unprepared to deliver anyone from evil. Unearthing the Vessels' calling will take them from the banks of a forgotten Nile tributary to a Toronto truck stop, from the set of Oprah to the gates of Hell and back. Along the way, they must survive not only one another, but flesh-eating tentacles, water gun assasins, prehistoric priestesses, undead groupies, powerful hangovers, cut-off jeans, and one very fed up celebrity assistant. Gird your loins: this armageddon is just getting started.
I don't know about you, but that sounds worth checking out to me!

Amaretto Flame, a paranormal young-adult novel by author Sammie Spencer is only $2.99 currently.
Blurb: When Olivia's high-priestess banishes her to a human town for a summer, Olivia is terrified. With news coming in from Eagleton through Olivia's brothers, Olivia learns that the deadly Venator are actively attacking other covens.
As Olivia struggles to fit in with her new human friends, things become more tense in Eagleton. Her high-priestess seems to be willing to do anything to keep Olivia away at a time when she could help most.
When Olivia meets Jackson Vance, a hot musician with messy hair and an eye for the ladies, things become infinitely more confusing. When Olivia is attacked in the human town, she discovers there's a bit more to Jackson's story than she thought. Uncovering the secret means possibly destroying everything Olivia has ever fought for.

Glimmerglass, the first in Jenna Black's Faeriewalker series is only $2.99! The second in the series is out and priced at a decent $9.99, so the first is really a steal! Kindle link here.
It’s all she’s ever wanted to be, but it couldn’t be further from her grasp…
Dana Hathaway doesn’t know it yet, but she’s in big trouble.  When her alcoholic mom shows up at her voice recital drunk, again, Dana decides she’s had enough and runs away to find her mysterious father in Avalon: the only place on Earth where the regular, everyday world and the captivating, magical world of Faerie intersect. But from the moment Dana sets foot in Avalon, everything goes wrong, for it turns out she isn't just an ordinary teenage girl—she's a Faeriewalker, a rare individual who can travel between both worlds, and the only person who can bring magic into the human world and technology into Faerie.  
Soon, Dana finds herself tangled up in a cutthroat game of Fae politics. Someone's trying to kill her, and everyone seems to want something from her, from her newfound friends and family to Ethan, the hot Fae guy Dana figures she’ll never have a chance with… until she does.  Caught between two worlds, Dana isn’t sure where she’ll ever fit in and who can be trusted, not to mention if her world will ever be normal again

And if you read and liked that book, the author has a short novella out for free, set in the same universe/series as Glimmerglass. Remedial Magic is the title and it can be found here and here. There's a veery tiny synopsis out for it:
Delve deeper into the world of the fae with a Faeriewalker bonus story.
Having a prodigy for an older brother is not so fun…especially one who is magic wiz-kid. But Kimber has a plan to finally step out of his shadow.
I bought the first and downloaded the free novella because, well, it's pretty and half of them were free and I'm a magpie with serious impulse control problems.

C.C. Hunter (apparently a pseudoym), who pens the Shadow Falls series, also has a free novella out, set in the world of her full-length works. The name is Turned At Dark, (Kindle link here) and it's a paranormal/supernatural YA about a young girl named Della dealing with her cousin's death. Blurb:
Independent and strong-willed Della Tsang did not believe in ghosts, until she sees her dead cousin in a dark alley. She did not believe in vampires, until she turns into one. Should she follow her vampire cousin’s lead and walk away from everything she knows, or join Shadow Falls, a camp for special teens.
I've already downloaded this one to my lovely Nook, hoping to read it next week. The first in the series, Born at Midnight, was just released in March and is wasting away in my tbr pile. 

M.R. Mathias' The First Dragoneer is currently FREE for both the Nook and the Kindle. It's an introductory novella into Mathias' Dragoneer's Saga series. Blurb!: When two young men go on a hunt that they know will be the last hunt of their youth, they decide they want it to be an unforgettable outing. When they cross a ridge leaving the protection of their kingdom behind, they find a cavern that looks like it needs to be explored. In the cavern they find exactly what they were looking for. In this stoney hole lives something they will never forget!


  1. Many thanks for the review! Encrypted and Emperor's Edge are both over 100,000 words (400 odd pages), so I hope they're long enough for your tastes. *g*

    These other stories look interesting too. :) I see Mattias' work all over the place (he must be doing something right in the marketing department!) but haven't tried it yet.

  2. Fantastic recommendations -- all new-to-me, but you totally had me at "fantasy, steampunk, a little mystery and some well-written, hinted at chemistry" -- YUM!

  3. I really enjoy Lindsay Buroker's novels because they mix a lot of my favorite things. Ice Cracker II has hints of her version, but The Emperor's Edge was a great mix of all of them!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Copyright © 2015 Ageless Pages Reviews. All Rights Reserved.

Amelia Theme by The Lovely Design CO and These Paper Hearts.