Saturday, April 07, 2007

Review: Ice Blue by Anne Stuart

All right, so what to say about this book? Well I do have Black Ice and Cold Ice, but haven't read them yet ^^; I know, I know... I think it's Ms Stuart's heroes. They're very alpha, very male and very cold and the ending is always the same... but I won't spoiled it for you :P Anyway, I wasn't sure I was going to get this book, but two things pushed me two: 1) the Japanese theme and 2) Cindy :P Her excitement over getting the book was contagious; however, I have to admit, I didn't enjoy it as much as her.

Ice Blue by Anne Stuart: 3.5/5
published by Mira in April 2007
Museum curator, Summer Hawthorne, has in her possession a Japanese ceramic bowl of great value that was given to her by her Japanese nanny. Unfortunately for her, her eccentric and selfish mother has promised the bowl to The Shiro, a guru of a sect. In order to keep the bowl, Summer lend it to an exposition... however, this puts her life in dandger as The Shiro is ready to do anything to get the bowl.

Turns out the bowl is key for a ceremony that will bring the apocalypse to Earth. In order to stop war from happening, Takashi O'Brien, a half-Japanese/half-American and agent of the Committee, is sent after Summer. His mission is to get the bowl and eliminate her, because unknown to her, she has the coordinates to the temple containing a mass-destruction weapon. This should be an easy mission to Takashi... but nothing around Summer is easy.
Genre: romantic suspense
Series: Ice series, book #3

Review: Seriously, I think I was disappointed by the book. With all the praises about Ms Stuart and the Japanese theme, I got my expectations to high and this book simply didn't meet it. Perhaps, Ms Stuart's style just doesn't agree with me... and she wouldn't be the first author.

The Characters - Hmmm, both Summer and Takashi were complex characters... They're attractive, get a good development, have many issues, but in the end, I think the problem for me was that their issued didn't get resolved. Summer is the daughter from a first marriage of a famous actress. She had a traumatic event in the past, but it doesn't impact much the storyline­... and she's ultra-protective of her 16 years old sister, Jilly. Aside from that, her relationship with her mother or stepfather aren't so great. As for Takashi, he's a bastard and also half-American, which doesn't please his very traditional Japanese maternal grandfather. So he's been raised by his grand-uncle, a yakuza leader (i.e. mob). He's expected to quit the Committee soon and marry a woman his grandfather has chosen, and produce little Takashi to please and hope to gain his grandfather's approval. So both bring a lot of baggage with them. They're thrown together under some dire circumstances. They're attracted to each other, without wanting it. Have sex, travel to Japan, defeat a sect... get a happy ending of sort... but at the end, they still have lots of baggages and maybe even more. So what was the point? At least, are they happy together? Hard to tell. As for personality-wise, both are pretty okay. Summer can be a tiny bit annoying sometimes by her naivete, but that's about it. And I have to admit that I was a bit bothered by Takashi little talent, but what can I say?

The Story & Writing - Ms Stuart's writing style is okay... a bit rough, tough and hard tho. She's not shy about using swear words and is quite bold in her writing. She's not the flowery type at all, but that's okay. As for the story, well the story was okay... although the ending, very standard Ms Stuart ending. So far, I've read what, 5 books by Ms Stuart and it's all been the same ending. The only difference was what was said, if any words were uttured. One flaw about the storyline though, is that I can't believe that Summer didn't speak Japanese. No matter what you say, you would expect someone who had a Japanese nanny and who studied Asian arts, especially Japanese arts, to at least speak the language. I mean, how did you study then? With translated books?!? Don't think so. Summer knew simple words such as "Sorry" and "Hi" but seriously, who are you kidding? All the best and dedicated scholars know the language of their specialty... and that's almost a given. She didn't had to speak it well, but at least understand and be able to have simple conversation.

The Cover - I actually really like it. Very nice blue :P

Am I keeping this book? I don't know... going to depend how much I like the two previous books, given that I read them one day

Anything else? Nope.


  1. Hi Nath,

    Loved the new look for your blog-page. Also, all the best in your upcoming application for pharmacy.

    Been sooooo busy lately what with the moving, starting new job (tomorrow!) and reading up on occult-underground history. Drop me a note soon (you got my previous mail?)

    Finally, take care and take it easy, ok? I know that you've been really stressed out lately! :(

  2. Nath, I think sometimes it is more difficult to do a review of a book that other people liked that you are scratching your head saying "Ummm, I don't get it."

    Well, at least it always is for me. :)

  3. Awwwww!! I'm sorry you didn't like it as much as I did but then I'm a fangirl ;) If you decide to read the other two I would be very interested in what you think. I agree with you on AS endings but once I accepted that I wasn't going to get the gushing endings I love I began to accept it. Although like you say, I often wonder how her H/H would get along afterwards. In that regard I appreciated seeing Genny from the second book.

    Have you read any of her historicals?


  4. Hi Nath--love the new look! Very bright and cheerful. ;)

    I still have the second Ice book in my TBR. I will get to it eventually but I'm holding off on this one. I've not read any Stuart contemps, and I'm a little scared I won't like them...

  5. Hey Edmund! - I came up with the new look all by myself :P pretty proud :D And congrats for your new job!! Really happy for you... will answer your mail soon (I got it), it's just laziness and it's been a bit hectic. Actually, I don't know where my time goes!! Stress level has gone down a bit, but stil...

    Rosie - I know what you mean. But then, everyone's entitled to their own opinions, so nobody shouldn't be afraid to say differently. Also, we're a good crowd here, so if you didn't like the book while another liked it, the only thing you'll get is going to be like Cindy commented, "Oh, I'm sorry..." LOL and yeah, sometimes, I really don't get it though.

    Cindy - LOL, major fangirl indeed! It's an interesting point you're bringing up - how will H/H get together afterwards... but I guess Ms. Stuart never intends to let us know :P As for her historicals, I know I have a couple... but haven't read them yet.

    Jennie - thanks! Long time you haven't dropped by :D well Ms. Stuart is a bit different than most romance authors, as I said in my review, her style is a bit more tough and brutal ^^; but then, at least, you enjoyed her historicals... I'm not sure I will :P

  6. I just bought this yesterday and I'm really looking forward to reading it. Sorry you didn't like it but I (along with Cindy) am a huge AS fan so I'm guessing I'll like it more than you, but we'll see. Love the new look.

  7. I read the first, Black Ice, and it didn't really click with me- I was thinking of continuing on only because this third one intrigued me with it's asian hero (or even half-asian as I know see!)

    Hmmmm, perhaps I'll wait a bit more- there's so many others I need to read first!

  8. Renee- I believe if you enjoy the other two, you will this one too :D Esp. since you're such a big fan of Ms. Stuart :D

    Zeek - yeah, read some other books :D and I know, there's so little book with asian male heroes!!!