Review: Ice by L.J. LaBarthe

Koby is a graduate student specializing in the cohabitation of dead and living cells in a single body, a course of study that requires he spend two years working in the labs at the parium mines in Antarctica, where he will assist in experiments conducted on the vampire prisoners kept there.

Expecting little more than a tedious assignment, despite the dangers of the environment and the dangerous vampires sentenced to the mines for life, Koby instead discovers a dome of horrors, where the persons in charge cannot be trusted and the greatest victims are the prisoners—and the most incongruous place to discover a new love. If he cannot solve the problems destroying the dome from the inside, the vampires won't be the only ones to die.

When promising plots leave a LOT to be desired.

I have to pour for my homie...that plot I looked for has gone.

I wanted to love this book. It had the elements to be a solid read for me:

  • Setting in the future
  • Vampires in prison
  • Some vampire/geek action

*sigh* Look at that cover. I really dig it. I had a spot of cover lust. Wish I could say the same for this story.

This is my first time reading a book from this author. I'm unclear how this author works with story telling but for this story, there was a lot of word dumps and not enough plot. Would I classify it as romance? Barely. Would I classify it as Sci-Fi? Meh, not really.

The plot revolves around a doctor/scientist, Koby who is contracted to work for a lab based in Antarctica. He researches the cohabitation living and dead cells in a body which seems perfect for him since his new job also is a prison of sorts for criminal vampires. Vampires who have been deemed criminal but unworthy for immediate death have been sent to Antarctica for life. These criminal vampires have to mine for a gas needed to save the ozone layer only found in that part of the world. Seems interesting enough right? So I thought. Then the story progresses with mediocre dialogue between characters and weird information dropped in at odd times.

If I had to describe the tone of the story, it was dry and cold...maybe fitting for Antarctica? The plot sludges through and we finally get to meet the other main character, vampire Mircea Aron cel Rau, a Romanian supposed baddie who was actually a good guy underneath for the little he is portrayed in the story. After a stilted and rapid conversation between the main characters, the story trudges through more information dump about vampires rights and the mistreatment of vampires like they were slaves and not the kinky kind. I am talking slave slaves, shackled and given no civil rights slaves. That is where the story's main passion lay, not in the romance. Disappointing.

Koby and co-workers are disgusted by the ill treatment of the criminal vampires. The vampires have no rights. They are treated unfairly and Koby devises a way to free them. The vampire revolution happens so easily and quickly, I question why the vampires never thought of doing what they did in the first place. They obviously had the strength. *shrugs*

Oh and then the romance plot is remembered somewhere between 70-80% and two kisses are shared. Koby gushed like a teen with his first did not annoy but it did give me pause. Also, I'm not a fan of those heroes it seems-you know the type, the bad guy hero made palatable by making him a killer but only of those who were truly evil, not innocents *rolls eyes* Mircea left a lot to be desired. He was kind of dull.

The epilogue? It was too long and really the romance was unnecessary. There was no romance building. Koby sees Mircea, feels weird around him, has two kisses, has no contact in two years and then walks off into the sunset? Really? Granted the story ends HFN-ish but it was a lackluster feel to the ending. I cared more about the secondary characters and they were so-so to begin with.

If this story was just that of a futuristic paranormal story that sticks up for vampire rights, I think I would have enjoyed it more. It was an interesting set up when ignoring most of the awkward dialogue/reactions. Or if there was an actual romance between Koby and Mircea, I definitely would have enjoyed it more. Unfortunately, these two different stories are melded and left me at the corner of Meh Street and Blah Avenue.

I liked the premise. I liked the cover and the story setting but overall the story was dull.

P.S. There is no sex in this story, so smut lovers beware!

Not mad...just a little disappointed.

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