Review: Black Ice by Susan Krinard

Posted September 12, 2014 by Carmel in Carmel, Reviews, Urban Fantasy / 54 Comments

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.

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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:

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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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54 responses to “Review: Black Ice by Susan Krinard

    • 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.

  1. 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!

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

    • 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

    • 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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

    • 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?’

  7. 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

  8. 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!

    • 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.