Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
When Cassie was a little girl, her grandmother told her a fairy tale about her mother, who made a deal with the Polar Bear King and was swept away to the ends of the earth. Now that Cassie is older, she knows the story was a nice way of saying her mother had died. Cassie lives with her father at an Arctic research station, is determined to become a scientist, and has no time for make-believe. Then, on her eighteenth birthday, Cassie comes face-to-face with a polar bear who speaks to her. He tells her that her mother is alive, imprisoned at the ends of the earth. And he can bring her back -- if Cassie will agree to be his bride. That is the beginning of Cassie's own real-life fairy tale, one that sends her on an unbelievable journey across the brutal Arctic, through the Canadian boreal forest, and on the back of the North Wind to the land east of the sun and west of the moon. Before it is over, the world she knows will be swept away, and everything she holds dear will be taken from her -- until she discovers the true meaning of love and family in the magical realm of Ice.
What I thoughtI was pretty intrigued with the storyline for this. I actually enjoyed about the first half or so of the book, getting to learn the new world and a different kind of paranormal young adult novel (I haven't read the original story that this was suppose to be a retelling of). But, unfortunately, that feeling didn't last through the book.
About halfway I really struggled to keep reading. It felt too much tell and not enough show. The first half, to a point, felt good. When Cassie started her trek across the arctic is where I felt the story change to where I didn't like it so much anymore. It's almost as if the story hit a brick wall and continued the story crippled.
The ending seemed abrupt. If it had played out a bit more, if we got to see the resolve of the book, I think I could have rated it another star. There were a few questions I had at the end that I didn't get answers for.
Overall, it's not a terrible book, but I think it could have been so much more.
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