Review: The Ice Queen – Alice Hoffman

the ice queenFrom the bestselling author of Practical Magic, a miraculous, enthralling tale of a woman who is struck by lightning, and finds her frozen heart is suddenly burning.

Be careful what you wish for. A small town librarian lives a quiet life without much excitement. One day, she mutters an idle wish and, while standing in her house, is struck by lightning. But instead of ending her life, this cataclysmic event sparks it into a new beginning.

She goes in search of Lazarus Jones, a fellow survivor who was struck dead, then simply got up and walked away. Perhaps this stranger who has seen death face to face can teach her to live without fear. When she finds him, he is her opposite, a burning man whose breath can boil water and whose touch scorches. As an obsessive love affair begins between them, both are forced to hide their most dangerous secrets–what turned one to ice and the other to fire.

A magical story of passion, loss, and renewal, The Ice Queen is Alice Hoffman at her electrifying best.

Review: 3/5

My three star rating is not only for books that are okay/enjoyable, but also for those books that I just can’t decide how they make me feel. In this case, it’s the latter.

I enjoy Alice Hoffman’s inclusion of supernatural elements and a kind of magical realism into her writing – but this book left me feeling a little unsettled. Our MC is a fairly unlikeable – she’s self-centered, does the bare minimum to get by, and doesn’t treat people particularly well. But at the same time, these were also aspects of her nature that I could identify with.

While the concept was intriguing, I felt that the ending was a bit rushed, especially in terms of who she ends up with. There were also certain parts of the story that left me a tad uncomfortable – the main relationship in particular.

However, the book still managed to make me weep, and like I mentioned, I do enjoy Alice Hoffman’s style of writing, and combination of weird/wonderful. But I can’t quite pin down what I didn’t like, so this is a bit of a frustrating review to write. HA.


8 thoughts on “Review: The Ice Queen – Alice Hoffman

    1. Thank you! There were certainly elements that I liked, but overall I felt quite unsettled. But that can also be a mark of a good book – leaving you with an emotional reaction long after you’ve finished it. Thanks for the comment!


    1. Ha yes. There’s something about the author’s style that really intrigues me – this is the second book of hers that I’ve read. I just couldn’t figure out how I felt about it, haha. Maybe once I’ve had some time to reflect on it.


  1. Three stars for me are reserved for those kinds of reads, too. I understand the middle rating because on one hand, you didn’t like many elements, but it did make you emotional enough to move you to tears. Not sure I’ll read this, though. If I do, it’ll probably just to check out the author’s writing style.

    Faye at The Social Potato


    1. She’s written quite a lot of books -I’d suggest picking out one on Goodreads that appeals to you, just to get a sense of her writing. Three star ratings are definitely convenient for those books where you just can’t pin down how you feel!


  2. I’m not sure whether I’d be able to get on with the MC in this book, but I do like books which have an emotional impact on me, and the way you’ve described Hoffman’s writing, it sounds like one I shouldn’t miss out on! Fab review!


    1. Thank you! I’m trying to broaden my ~literary horizons~ and all that. I read Hoffman’s The Museum of Extraordinary Things last year, which had some similarities to The Night Circus, and which I really enjoyed.


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