A Dream of Ice: Book 2 of the Earthend Saga
Written by Gillian Anderson and Jeff Rovin
Published in 2015 by Simon451
A Dream of Ice expands the universe of A Vision of Fire, exploring the aftermath of the destruction of Galderkhaan from both the ancient and modern perspectives. Caitlin struggles to cope with the trauma she witnessed and with the new reality in which she finds herself. Meanwhile the ghosts of two Galdkerkhaani souls lie in wait for the opportunity to undo everything Caitlin has done.
Pros and Cons
The second installment of any trilogy is inevitably the one that suffers. The narrative has no true beginning and no true ending. As much as I absolutely tore through A Vision of Fire, this one dragged for me. Mostly because the thing I cared about most in the first book—Caitlin’s devotion to her clients—was missing in this volume. Instead we have long passages devoted to the mysterious Mikel getting lost in ancient Antarctic ice caves. Once he finally reaches two Galderkhaani ghosts, they try to convince him to undo the destruction Caitlin wrought upon their civilization. This makes things interesting: if Galderkhaan never ends, every civilization as we know it will never exist. If Galderkhaan isn’t saved, millions of souls will be stuck in torturous limbo, neither alive nor dead, for all of eternity.
Despite its slower pace, I did like the further development of Caitlin’s character, and of her relationship with her son Jacob and friend/lover Ben. I’m hopeful that the trilogy will eventually be turned into a television show or miniseries, because I think this storyline is possibly more suited to a visual medium.
I’m also really looking forward to the third volume of the series, because (spoilers!) at the end of the novel Caitlin finds herself forcibly transported back to Galderkhaan by person or persons unknown.
The Final Verdict
Okay, so I didn’t enjoy this one as much as I was hoping I would. I feel guilty giving a somewhat negative review for a book written by Gillian Anderson. I’ve actually put off writing this review for ages for just that reason. What I finally realized, though, is that this books only suffers because we expect that any book will be either one or three volumes. If the Earthend Saga could’ve been only two parts, the excesses of this book wouldn’t have been necessary and we’d only have the genuinely good stuff. I do still recommend the book, with the caveat that some skimming may be necessary. Onto The Sound of Seas!