Amanda’s mother had super-strength, and the ability to create and manipulate ice, snow, and sleet—abilities she passed on to her daughter, but not her son. The organization that experimented on Amanda’s mom, and eventually murdered her, is out to capture and study Amanda too…or possibly kill her if she won’t comply. Every time the scientists’ henchmen find Amanda and her brother Scott, the siblings flee and have to start over again in a new town. Except this time, Amanda has a best friend and a potential boyfriend, and her brother has a girlfriend, so neither one wants to leave. They resolve to stay as long as they can, and fight for their new small-town life. But some of the people around them aren’t who they pretend to be, and Amanda’s hard-to-control emotion-driven powers are escalating with her raging hormones and stress level. If Amanda and Scott choose to stay and fight for their newfound happiness, can they really win?
There is death-by-freezing in this novel, and Amanda’s parents did die a brutal death, but the teenage voice of the story keeps it from reading like angst or tragedy. However, that same teenage tone gave me the feeling of all relationships (other than sibling) being transitory—like they were important and desired, but were just as easily ditched as adopted. That annoyed me. But maybe that’s just a personality preference. Or maybe that’s what you’re supposed to feel, because that’s how Amanda’s would-be boyfriend feels.
The premise of this story sets up the reader to be suspicious of all characters, so I felt just as unsure who to root for as the characters are uncertain who to trust. I kept waiting for everyone to not be who they said they were. It’s beautifully written suspense, but it made it very difficult for me to buy into the sweetness of Amanda’s budding romance, and the “coincidence” of that romance beginning just as everything began to hit the fan.
The powers were very well orchestrated, with emphasis on the emotions that trigger the powers, and what the powers actually feel like. As the reader, you discover the extent of those powers along with the characters, and can almost imagine the ice growing along your own arm. Impressive.
A surprising theme in this story is love between siblings. Most of the book consists of siblings banding together and taking care of one another. It’s endearing, but it can get irritating when you keep waiting for the romance to go somewhere and you end up with “I can’t”s and sibling care instead.
I wasn’t really reading this story for the sci-fi part, but it does lend credibility to the existence of freezing powers, and adds a sense of urgency to all the happenings in the story. Information about the powers and the organization at large is gradually revealed throughout, but it’s not until the big blowout at the end that the sciencey stuff was presented in a way that really mattered to me. The rest of the time were just teases based on flashbacks and fear.
The story is an interesting read, and the powers are well-handled. It’s a nice, comfortable story with a fluffy romance. But if you’re looking for a high-speed sci-fi chase with a kickass boyfriend, this isn’t it.
I personally needed to feel more depth and permanency. And I needed reassurance that Zack wasn’t a plant, and Jasmine wasn’t a conniving bitch. But my tastes in reading are a bit darker, and I don’t really buy into WAFF that doesn’t have internal relational problems built in. More lighthearted readers will probably buy in, and love this story. To them, I say, “More power to ya!” 😉
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