Ice Massacre is a Young Adult novel where a small island is at war with an army of mermaids. In an attempt to save their people, the inhabitants of Eriana Kwai send twenty of their strongest warriors to fight these creatures on the open seas each year, known to them as the Ice Massacre. They do this knowing that it will most definitely be the last time they will see their fighters alive. The story is about the latest group of warriors for the Ice Massacre, a group of women instead of men. Amongst these ladies is our heroine, Meela, who doesn’t want to kill these creatures not only because of her squeamish tendencies around blood, but because she befriended a mermaid in her youth and saw the good that could be found amongst the enemy.
Ice Massacre was such a quick read, mostly due to its constant action sequences. The opening battle was what initially brought me in, and it didn’t stop from there. It kept drawing me in with its characters and problems, and I just couldn’t tear myself away because I wanted to know just how these people were going to survive. And lord, did a lot of things go down when half of the setting is a ship at sea.
The descriptions of the setting were scarce, outside of key terms like “Aleutian” and “Artic” scattered about to give the readers an idea of where exactly the characters were. Which, being as observant as I am, did not give much indication of where and when the setting was for this story. Not going to lie, I was imagining a tropical island setting until I was told it was actually a lot farther up north. I’m also used to traveling series to having maps to show the reader where the characters are going. This one did not, nor did it say what time period it was. I didn’t know if it was in a modern setting until there was a mention of a TV somewhere. I had to look up some information to fully get an understanding of where and when the characters are.
But the way the author described the mermaids were interesting because the author made them look scary at the start. From page one, she made them out to be the terrifying demons that the people of Eriana Kwai thought them to be. And then she brought out the more human aspects in the form of flashbacks of our main character’s past while still making them seem terrifying.
The characters are abundant and interesting to read about mostly due to their dynamics with each other. From the get-go, the tension is built up so that there is plenty of drama to get these girls constantly moving and getting on each other’s nerves. Of course, our main lead Meela was the most interesting, because of her dilemma between wanting to fight for her people and wanting to keep the mermaid from her past safe. But there were a few other girls that provided plenty of action and antics to keep me coming back.
Though, that does bring up the problem of having to develop multiple characters with so little time, even if they’re killed off at the end. By the time I got to the end, I barely remembered what made each character distinguishable aside from their name and their scarce characteristics. I can probably name and describe three of the girls well enough to discuss them in-depth.
Overall, it was an enjoyable read, and I want to read the next book immediately.