Someone is watching Caitlin O’Hara, and they are using her son to do it. In the second installment of The Earthend Saga, the child psychologist finds herself unwillingly equipped with the powers that she was forced to channel in order to save the life of her patient in the conclusion of A Vision of Fire. These powers allow Caitlin to heal even the most disturbed of her patients, but as any self-respecting science-fiction fan knows; power comes at a price.
Struggling to both reconcile and harness her newfound abilities, Caitlin’s world falls out from under her as her young son Jacob begins exhibiting the same terrifying symptoms as her patients from the previous novel. Determined to save him regardless of the person cost, Caitlin delves deeper into the mystery of the ancient civilization of Galderkhaan, without realizing that halfway across the world, agent Mikel Jasso is doing the exact same thing. Jasso has discovered a perfectly preserved city from the Galderkhaani era under the ice of the Antarctic, but the links between his research, his collection of stone artifacts, and the mystical happenings occurring across the globe have dangerous implications for them both.
A Dream of Ice improves leaps and bounds on its predecessor in almost every way. The narrative is crisp and sharp; the storytelling is genuinely intriguing, and the dialogue is realistic, engaging and often times humorous. The first novel was told primarily from Caitlin’s perspective and while she remains the protagonist in this second outing, the spotlight is shared with other well-observed new characters, which allows the story to evolve in such a way that every page feels breathtakingly fresh and exciting. The writers teased the idea of putting Caitlin’s likeable 10 year-old son in peril last time, and the game is stepped up here, which not only raises the bar of Caitlin’s investment but serves as strong emotional baiting, as anyone who has read the first novel will know, very few who find themselves afflicted with the visions from the other world emerge unscathed.
Anderson deploys all of the devices that morphed her into a cult icon to great effect, but the material is both original and captivating enough to prevent anyone from wondering where Mulder is. A thrilling ride that sets up high expectations for the upcoming The Sound of Seas due to be released later this year.
A DREAM OF ICE / AUTHORS: GILLIAN ANDERSON, JEFF ROVIN / PUBLISHER: SIMON & SCHUSTER UK / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW