Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Review: Ice by L.J. LaBarthe

Ice Title: Ice by L.J. LaBarthe
Genre: M/M Romance, Paranormal, Science Fiction
Published February 5th 2014 by Less Than Three Press LLC
Length: 117 pages

Rating: 2 Stars
Review Copy Provided by Publisher

Blurb:

Koby is a graduate student specializing in the cohabitation of dead and living cells in a single body, a course of study that requires he spend two years working in the labs at the parium mines in Antarctica, where he will assist in experiments conducted on the vampire prisoners kept there.

Expecting little more than a tedious assignment, despite the dangers of the environment and the dangerous vampires sentenced to the mines for life, Koby instead discovers a dome of horrors, where the persons in charge cannot be trusted and the greatest victims are the prisoners—and the most incongruous place to discover a new love. If he cannot solve the problems destroying the dome from the inside, the vampires won't be the only ones to die.

Purchase Link: http://www.lessthanthreepress.com/books/index.php?main_page=product_bookx_info&cPath=95&products_id=562
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Review: 

Koby works as a scientist in Antarctica and the job leads him to help the imprisoned vampires escape from the mines. The vampires are forced to dig out a precious gas that repairs the ozone from damages but it poisonous to vampires. The Carrons are prejudice against gays, non-whites, and vampires, but they have the power and connections to run the mines and make money off of the imprisoned vampires. As Koby and his team work to free the vampires from the Carrons, he falls in love with Mircea, a vampire.

In general, the pace of the story is too fast. Everything happens in a matter of days. The research team in Antarctica automatically agree to Koby's plan to break out the vampires and use Mircea to gather incriminating evidence against the Carrons. It may be more realistic for the Carrons to give Koby and Sophie (the two newbies) a prep talk about not trusting anything the vampires say and build up the suspense. The romance between Mircea and Koby is also fast. They are instantly attracted at first sight (or at least Koby is) and then they can't stop thinking about each other. At least in the end, Koby and Mircea agree to take things slowly and start dating first.  

The most exciting part of the story is when Koby's plan is put into motion and things start to go wrong. The plot twists are unpredictable but the impact of them wasn't significant. The anticipation and suspense could have been greater. The novel would benefit in general if the main characters are more developed so I can be more emotionally invested in those characters. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the idea of criminal vampires being mistreated while working in the mines in Antarctica and some heroes come and save the day.

Overall, this is a adventurous story with a simple plot and characters. The science talk is kept to a minimum but enough to explain how vampires' bodies process blood and other details. The pacing is too fast but that helps me keep turning the pages to see what happens next. This is a quick read for me and fans of vampires and science fiction would like this story. 

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