Hi, my name is Dragana, and I’m a book-o-holic. My goal in life is to read all the speculative fiction novels in the world. (or at least try) :)
You can also find me on: Bookworm Dreams Blog
Ice Red turned out to be one of the most original fairy tale retellings I have ever read. In fact, if I was not informed in advance that Ice Red was a retelling of Snow White, I am not sure if I would have made the connection. Of course, there would have been facepalming later when I find out and wonder how I did not notice, because when you start to draw the parallels it’s really obvious.
The trick is, Jael Wye did a total transition of fantastic element to technology and science fiction. Everything stayed the same and is completely different at the same time. Empire becomes huge trading company. Dead father becomes absent-minded scientist. Poisoned apple becomes round red data-cube made by Apple. Dwarves become ordinary people from Earth who are short when compared to humans who are living on Mars (they grow taller because of lesser gravitational pull). I won’t reveal more to avoid spoilers, but truly, the amount of detail Jael Wye covered and thought about is impressive. And it’s obvious she did a lot of research to be able to pull off such believable scientific world-building.
Although setting is on Mars (and in space) and culture is very advanced and different than our own, there are no huge boring info-dumps. Information is slipped to you unnoticed in small portion while you were absorbed in a story. I never felt uninformed.
Language is different than today but expressions are similar enough to be easily understood. And use of some chinese words reminded me of Firefly. Some slang words just bugged me like: bloke (guy), chit (girl) and drill (have sex). Sadly these are also the words that were used most often.
As much as the world was vivid and world-building masterfully done, the characters were lacking that mystical spark for me. The prince did not charm me, Bianca did not win me over with her innocence and strength, stepmother was just bleh and poor miners didn’t really steer my compassion. I knew what reactions I should feel, but they were simply not there.
Still, I will definitely read the sequel Ladder to the Red Star because I just can not resist to see which fairy tale will Jael Wye pick to futurize next. Since there were mentions of Aurora project and test subjects in deep cryogenic sleep, I am hoping for retelling of Sleeping Beauty.
Do not let naked couple on the cover fool you, Ice Red is not an erotica novel. It’s an original and imaginative futuristic retelling of Snow White with intricate world building. I could not connect to the characters but I am still looking forward to the next book in Once Upon a Red World series.
Recommended for fans of: adult fairy tale retellings, theme of Mars colonisation, mega corporation’s related schemes and intrigue, …
Disclaimer: I was given a free eBook by the author in exchange for a honest review.