Review: Our Lady of the Ice by Cassandra Rose Clarke

Review: Our Lady of the Ice by Cassandra Rose ClarkeOur Lady of the Ice by Cassandra Rose Clarke
Amazon|The Book Depository
Pages: 432
Published by Saga Press on October 27th 2015
Genres: Science Fiction

Hope City, Antarctica. The southernmost city in the world, with only a glass dome and a faltering infrastructure to protect its citizens from the freezing, ceaseless winds of the Antarctic wilderness. Within this bell jar four people–some human, some not–will shape the future of the city forever:
Eliana Gomez, a female PI looking for a way to the mainland.
Diego Amitrano, the right-hand man to the gangster who controls the city’s food come winter.
Marianella Luna, an aristocrat with a dangerous secret.
Sofia, an android who has begun to evolve.
But the city is evolving too, and in the heart of the perilous Antarctic winter, factions will clash, dreams will shatter, and that frozen metropolis just might boil over…


The best way to describe this book is Antarctic android noir. And if that doesn’t immediately grip you, I don’t know what will!

A fan of Clarke’s The Assassin’s Curse series, I was excited to step into the adult science-fiction/fantasy realm with her. Our Lady of the Ice tells the story of an alternate 20th century Antarctic colony built around nuclear power plants for the Argentine mainland. A domed city, abandoned amusement park, and the struggle for independence and equality make for an interesting plot.

The story focuses on Eliana, a PI who wishes to leave Hope City for the mainland, her boyfriend Diego, a gangster, leader of the androids, a former pleasure bot named Sofia, and a cyborg noblewoman Marianella. The secondary characters of gangster boss Cabrera, Sofia’s right hand android Luciano and independence leader (whose name I completely forget, a month after reading this book! yikes!)

The characters are wonderfully vibrant, from Eliana’s difficulty in resolving to stay or leave Hope City, Diego’s love for Eliana and his father-figure Cabrera, Marianella’s involvement in independence and acceptance in both worlds, and Sofia’s struggle to overcome her programming. Every character is torn by their duality to both worlds and it plays out well – although a bit slow.

The  place is slow and focuses more on the development and struggle of its characters rather than a fast paced action plot. The ending feels a bit incomplete, and maybe I was expecting more than I got, but I definitely walked away feeling like there could be a sequel.

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