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Review: Black Ice by Susan Krinard

Review: Black Ice by Susan Krinard
Black Ice by Susan Krinard
Series: Midgard #2
Published by Tor Books
Published on: August 12, 2014
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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New York Times bestselling author Susan Krinard continues the thrilling urban fantasy series that began with Mist in Black Ice.

Centuries ago, all was lost in the Last Battle when the Norse gods and goddesses went to war. The elves, the giants, and the gods and goddesses themselves were all destroyed, leaving the Valkyrie known as Mist one of the only survivors.

Or so she thought.

The trickster god Loki has reappeared in San Francisco, and he has big plans for modern-day Earth. With few allies and fewer resources—but the eyes of the gods and goddesses of an old world upon her—it’s up to Mist to stop him before history repeats itself.

Fantasy ARCReview Apocalypse

BLACK ICE continues along the same Norse vein as Susan Krinard’s first MIDGARD installment while adding even more characters, mythology and plot threads to the mix. In this book readers get to tag along as Mist preps for the coming battle with Loki by recruiting soldiers, locating the missing Valkyrie & their Treasures, and honing her magical abilities. The influx of new information was once again overwhelming at times, and having a strong understanding of Ragnarok and its lore is definitely advisable for maximum enjoyment. This series is heavily rooted in Fantasy, and although it does take place in a modern city, I wouldn’t go so far as to call it Urban Fantasy.

The sequel to MIST starts off with three main goals: the heroine must find the Treasures, stay a step ahead of Loki, and reestablish contact with Freya & Ginnungagap. However, more and more plot threads were added as this novel progressed which made it difficult to keep up. I wish that the author would have slowed her roll a bit, and focused more on character development and on building back stories instead of continuing to add to an already overflowing world. Anna and Orn were the only two newcomers that received any kind of introduction which just seemed odd to me considering we still know nothing about Gabi, Ryan, Danny, Edvard, Rick, Tashiro, Vidarr, Vail, Bryn, Eir, Sigrun, Regin, Rota, Skuld—well, you get the idea. There are LOTS of secondary characters.

Book 2 is heavy on dialogue and light on action which slowed the pacing down dramatically. I found myself enjoying the villains more than the protagonists because at least they were more clearly defined. Loki’s rants and schemes never disappoint—he is a trickster god after all—and I have yet to meet a version of him that I haven’t liked. Dainn is another interesting case, I think that ultimately he is a bad guy turned good (or at least as good as a dark elf can be), but he walks a fine line, and his end game is still anyone’s guess. Not to mention the screwed-up View Spoiler » revelation that might just tip the scales in Loki’s favour.

Mist is the daughter of a frost giant and Freya, the Goddess of love & desire, and as a result she was born with a real hodgepodge of abilities. For the most part, the Valkyrie learns as she goes which made the magical rules of Krinard’s universe somewhat difficult to grasp; I expected this from the first installment, but was hoping for something a little more concrete from BLACK ICE. Mist did seem like she was more in control of her destiny in this novel which was a definite bonus. The budding relationship between her and Dainn didn’t play as much of a role in this book though which was also disappointing because I could have used a bit of fluff to help break-up the information overload.

BLACK ICE is bursting at the seams with gods, goddesses, and their minions; recommended for Norse mythology buffs.

Midgard Series:

My Review

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Owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. Avid book reader, snowboard bunny, video gamer and Supernatural fan. I love all things paranormal, werewolves especially. Oh, and I’m Canadian, eh!

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  1. Hmmmm, this one sounds like it might just be too overwhelming with too many secondary characters and it sounds like it’d definitely be a series that needs to be read all at once, binge reading style, because if you wait too long between books I’m sure it’s gonna get too confusing!
    Pili recently posted…Friday Reads: ARC Review of In A Handful of Dust by Mindy McGinnis!!

    • That’s a good point, however on the flip side, I’d probably find the mythology even more overwhelming if I read too many installments back-to-back.

  2. Well drat. It sounds like this suffered a bit with that whole second book syndrome we all loathe so much. Sorry this didn’t have a bit more action Carmel.
    Happy Friday!!
    kindlemom1 recently posted…Review: What If by Rebecca Donovan

    • Book 2’s are tricky that way, and had this installment delivered more in the action department I probably would have been able to overlook some of its other shortcomings.

  3. I’m still very fascinated by this series and love the idea behind the Norse mythology and of course can’t resist a book with Loki. Hmmm … I’m a bit sad though that the romance was kinda blah, but the world sounds great (if a bit over-flowing with too many non-developed characters) and has me very curious. Wonderful review Carmel – I’m keeping my eye on this series. Happy Friday and have a great weekend 🙂

    • I’m a little burnt out on Norse mythology at the moment; I LOVE Loki, but when you read too many stories that feature him it begins to wear thin. Happy Friday to you too!

  4. I do love Loki. He’s such a cheerful arsehole in most of his incarnations. But Dainn sounds intriguing, too. And I liked Mist in the first book, though that was a three-star read for me.
    Mary recently posted…If you were a library book, I’d check you out!

    • Mist was a 4-star read for me because I tend to go easier on first installments, and Black Ice was a step back from that which is reflected by my rating. 🙁

  5. The first book is on audio and I like the narrator, but I think I’m going to wait and see if things get better before I commit to listening, a 3 star rating scars me (from, although I’ve seen so many cases where a so-so story can be made into a good listen with the right narrator.
    Thanks Carmel! Have a great weekend!
    Lupdilup recently posted…Rusty Nailed Audiobook by Alice Clayton (Review)

    • LMAO In that case, maybe I should be more careful with my 3-star reviews. That being said, this series is pretty dark which is more your style, and you’re 100% right about the narrator. Have a lovely weekend my dear!

  6. Hm. One of my main issues with the first one was that I felt lost at times with all the unfamiliar terminology, mythology and the large number of characters, so the fact that that only seems to increase in this second installment makes me a touch nervous. I might wait and see if book 3 is a bit stronger on the character development front, as that’s always what I love most about any book. Thanks for your thoughts on this one Carmel!

    • I hear ya, the author has yet to stop for breath as far as the world-building / characters / mythology / terminology are concerned which makes it hard to keep up. Book 3 will be telling.

  7. I don’t remember even hearing much about this series. I might have to look up the first book! I will say that mythology books are hit or miss for me. I don’t really get too excited for them anymore.
    Candace recently posted…Young Adult Review: Winterkill by Kate A. Boorman

    • This series didn’t really get much buzz, aaaand now you know why. LOL

  8. Ah yes lol the end… I was so shocked like WTF! It was a really strange idea and I didn’t see that coming but we’ll see how it continues but yeah weird. And it’s true you’re right about the plots and the problem with the development of everything but it was quite like that with the first one so I’m not that surprised. But I like to follow Mist, it’s interesting to meet everyone.

    • Finally! Someone else who can appreciate that WTF ending. LOL It seriously threw me through a loop.

  9. It’s been a while since I’ve read any of her books but the last books I read from her were the Touch of the Wolf Historical Werewolf series and they were really good.
    Mary Kirkland recently posted…Freebie Friday!

    • This is the only experience I have with this author’s writing, so maybe Krinard should stick to Historicals…

      • That very well could be. I’ve only read the Historical series so I don’t really know how her other books are. Some authors are like that though. Really good in one genre and not so in another.
        Mary Kirkland recently posted…Weekly Rat Facts: Accessories and Toys

  10. Stories about Loki became a bit tricky after Tom’s interpretation of his character so I always expect so much. This one even though interesting doesn’t seem like something I really need to read. But still I’m glad you enjoyed it. Great review, Carmel 🙂
    Tanja recently posted…Cover Reveal: Where the Staircase Ends by Stacy Stokes

    • This is true. Tom Hiddleston is indeed a hard act to follow!

  11. Man, sounds like a touch of second book syndrome

  12. i love Norse mythology for me it make more sense than the roman one for example^^ .
    i have the first book on its way to me so i’m really happy to se your review of book 2 that confort my want to read it^^
    miki recently posted…Witch Song ( tome1) par Amber Argyle

    • I haven’t read very many books that revolved around roman mythology, so I can’t really second that thought, but I’ve read one too many Loki novels as of late IMO. I’ve grown a bit jaded as a result.

      • i had latin at school so a lot of roman mythology^^;;
        Loki seems to be quite popular lately yes. i will have to check all your review to find teh book with him as a friend of mine really like him and is always happy to discover new books where he appears;)
        miki recently posted…Witch Song ( tome1) par Amber Argyle

  13. I have this one in the review pile and I can’t wait to get to it. I’m sad that there isn’t much Dainn in the relationship area. I really enjoyed the beginning of that in the first book. Still looking forward to the villains. 🙂
    Melissa (Books and Things) recently posted…AimeeKay’s Readers for Rett Event

    • I expected there to be way more on the Dainn front which was partially the reason why I was disappointed with this installment. Here’s hoping that you like it more than I!

  14. Book 1 was so not for me, I doubt this one would sway me
    blodeuedd recently posted…The Winter Long – Seanan McGuire

    • It you struggled with Mist, then yeah, I’d steer clear of this one if I were you.

  15. Well shoot. I have this one on my ereader from NetGalley and now I’m not so sure how I feel about it. The author is new to me and I’ll admit to selecting is more off of the cover than the blurb lol…hopefully it holds my attention so I can atleast finish

    • That badass chick with a sword is misleading in this instance because she barely uses it! I doubt it’ll be a DNF for you, but don’t expect to be wowed either.

  16. Norse mythology is usually a no-go for me (there are exceptions but they are few), so I don’t think this series is for me. If it rates a 4 star by the third book then maybe I’ll give Mist a read, but otherwise I’ll try to stay focused on my current “need to read” pile. Once I finish my current reads, Firelight by Kristen Callihan will be next on the docket! 🙂
    Danya recently posted…Tough Traveling: Tyrants

  17. Nice review; don’t think I’ve read any Norse books

    • Thanks! They aren’t too hard to find lately.

  18. Just wondering, from your review I wasn’t sure why wouldn’t you go as far as to call it urban fantasy – is it because of the heavier emphasis on Norse mythology and lore?
    Mogsy recently posted…Book Review: The Broken Eye by Brent Weeks

    • Yes, that and the author’s writing style in general; it’s very epic rather than urban.

  19. Hrm. I think this is a series I’d really have to be in a certain mood for. I don’t mind heavy dialogue now and again but can definitely make things go slower if not done just right.
    anna (herding cats & burning soup) recently posted…Blogger to Author (2)–making an interview/guest post shine

    • I agree, mood can have a lot to do with it, and in this case I just wasn’t into it at the time.

  20. I know Susan’s vampire books but had no idea about this series. Norse mythology huh? I’ll have to check these out soon! I don’t mind character driven books so I think I won’t have a big problem with the writing. Thanks for sharing!
    Lori recently posted…Cover Reveal: RICOCHET by Keri Lake + Giveaway

    • She writes vampires books too? I thought this was her first forage into paranormal; I obviously didn’t do my research…

  21. This was rec’d to me but the GR ratings turned me off but added coz I was intrigued and well, it’s set in San Francisco. LOL It’ll probably be a while before I get to it but the fact that it’s on audio helps. Great Review.
    angela carr recently posted…ARC Review: In His Sights by Jo Davis

    • I’ve been keeping an eye on the reviews too, so at least I know it wasn’t just me. It wasn’t a case of ‘did I read the same book as everyone else?’

  22. I haven’t heard of this series before or read a book centred on Norse mythology. I like my mythology books but this one just doesn’t seem to appeal to me for some reason. I like the fact that the villains are fleshed out though, but it sucks that the main characters are sacrificed for it. Wonderful review Carmel!

    P.S. The cover is awesome 😀
    Joy recently posted…The Sunday Wrap-Up (#9) – Alana gets to hug Orlando Bloom while Joy cries with jealousy!

    • Really?? I’m surprised. I’ve been reading SO many Norse mythology novels lately that I’m beginning to feel burnt out by that specific lore. I guess it’s just me. LOL

  23. Midgard is definitely a series I need to start, Carmel! I love Norse mythology so much. And it seems as if this is well written and stays true to the mythology while still being fiction.
    I have only read one book my Krinard so far, but it was so good I added all her other books to my TBR shelf 🙂
    I didn’t read your whole review, as I don’t want to be spoiled for the first book in the series, but it’s very good to know you enjoyed it so much 🙂
    Happy reading!
    Lexxie recently posted…#STS and Bought, Borrowed and Bagged

    • I liked it, but I didn’t love it. You might have more luck with this series having experienced Krinard’s writing before, and being an avid fan of Norse mythology certainly helps. Happy reading!

  24. I haven’t heard of this series before, but I’m kind of fascinated by the premise. I may wait til more of the series is out before I read it. Great review! Sorry the 2nd wasn’t as good as the 1st. Maybe the next one will redeem the series!
    Tricia recently posted…Four: A Divergent Collection (Divergent 0.1 – 0.4) by Veronica Roth

    • That pesky sequel syndrome—it’ll get you every time!

  25. I minored in Germanic Folklore, so you had me at “Midgard’!
    Maggie recently posted…Review: The Midnight Queen by Sylvia Izzo Hunter

  26. Well Carmel, I was really excited about this series because of the Norse mythology. But a ‘buff’ I am not. I still think I want to give this one a go but I’m leery of the info dump. Are you going to stick with the series?
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…**Blog Tour Review & Giveaway ~ Beyond the Orange Moon ~ Adrienne Frances**

    • Maybe read the Norse mythology Wiki page first. Naah, I’m done after this one. Two is my max for so-so series, if the author doesn’t succeed in hooking me by that point then it’s probably not going to happen at all.