Monday, June 30, 2014

Icefall by Matthew J. Kirby...

Title- Icefall (Audio-book review).
Author- Matthew J. Kirby.
Publish date- 2011. 
Publisher- Scholastic Audio Books.

Review time...

(A Brief) Synopsis:
Solveig, Ossa and Harrold, siblings and the children of a powerful king, are sent to live in a remote, icy part of their father's kingdom when he goes to war, a way of being kept safe, but soon their place of safety becomes one of danger.

What I thought:
Had this been a book I was reading and not listening to whilst I completed other tasks I would not have finished it. As it was, I wasn't sure if I was going to, after the first disc ended and I felt disconnect from the story, the characters, the land.
But I persevered, and while Icefall didn't suddenly embrace me with it's poerty of verse or exhilarating plot, I did grow fond of the story and invested myself in the finding out what/who was behind the treachery experienced in this mountain retreat.

There is a certain amount of beauty in the speech and thoughts of the characters in Icefall, though especially this applies to Solveig*, the narrator/protagonist, who sees the unfairness of acts and the beauty of life, who tries to understand with an honestly, a simplicity, that makes it all seem quite easy. She is understandable and, being the second daughter of a king, she knows that she will never be important in the way her older and very beautiful sister, Ossa, is, or the way her younger brother Harrold, the future king, is. She has understood her position for a long time, yet cannot help but yearn for the knowledge that she is useful.
At times Solveig's thoughts and pronounces did come across as being whiney, but even as they did I understood where she spoke from, patricularly towards the end.

The plot I hoped would go a little faster, since I did feel a keenness to know what lay in wait for the characters, but though it kept a regular (and inching on slow) pace, the things filling the time, happenings and thoughts and tales, a journey of growth for more than one of the characters, they were important and often quite beautiful.

I do feel a bit of disjoint to this story, still, and feel like it definitely could have worked better for me, but I enjoyed, for the most part, my time with it.

Rating: This lies between Hmm and Ooh, very good.
Sometimes beautiful, sometimes laborious, touching and filled with truths that aren't always so easy to see, I enjoyed Icefall, just not always.

*Note that, since I heard the names and didn't read them, they no doubt are spelt wrong. Solveig is the only correct spelling, since I looked it up before writing this.


  1. I'm often a lot more forgiving with audiobooks than I am with print books because usually I'm listening to them when I'm driving or doing the dishes and you know, most things are more interesting that sitting in peak hour traffic and the like.

    But they can then also fall victim to a poor narrator or a pacing or voices that don't quite click with me. I automatically downgrade anything with an American accent because on tape I find them a lot more grating and isolating than I have ever found when speaking face to face with an American. But instantly jokes become less funny, sarcasm becomes trying too hard (especially ironic when listening to paranormal romance books because I don't find that when I'm reading them myself).

    As you know, reading Hunger Games for myself didn't work out well, but I did make it through the audiobooks. But my friend that LOVES the books thinks the audiobooks are terrible and that the pacing and emphasis on sentences is off.

    Audiobooks are funny.

    That is all. :)

    1. Oh, I listen to music when doing the dishes! The Eurovision CD's are really great to wash things to, I assure you.

      I think audiobooks can be really difficult to get right, but if they are right then it can often be memorable! It's often interesting to see how different an accent is to how you imagined it, and then finding a name pronounced completely different. That latter one can just be unsettling, though. (:

  2. Glad to hear there was a beauty in the writing, even though Solveig was a little whiny at times. Sounds like an interesting book, I'm glad you enjoyed it overall.

    1. Thanks, Jeann! It's a really interesting book and I feel more fond of it now, after a couple of months; it's the kind of book that stands alone well, but I could definitely go back for a sequel to see where these characters stand.


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