Iceling by Sasha Stephenson


Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Science Fiction

Pages: 304

Expected publication: December 13th 2016 by Razorbill

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Summary: Sasha Stephenson’s intriguing debut is a combination road trip story and sci-fi adventure about the strange, strong bond between two sisters. Fans of Under the Never Sky and The Darkest Minds will devour ICELING, the first book in a new and utterly original sci-fi series.

Seventeen-year-old Lorna loves her adoptive sister, Callie. But Callie can’t say “I love you” back. In fact, Callie can’t say anything at all.

Because Callie is an Iceling–one of hundreds of teens who were discovered sixteen years ago on a remote Arctic island, all of them lacking the ability to speak or understand any known human language.

Mysterious and panicked events lead to the two sisters embarking on a journey to the north, and now Lorna starts to see that there’s a lot more to Callie’s origin story than she’d been led to believe. Little does she know what’s in store, and that she’s about to uncover the terrifying secret about who–and what–Callie really is.


Curiosity fueled this read entirely and even then I constantly felt as if I were about to drop this book.

Why do you ask? Well, the narrative is written in the view of Lorna who is a very flat and generally unlikeable seventeen-year-old who, when she speaks – speaks like a seventeen-year-old on like, a very, really, actually, tantric diary entry.

I became so lost in the story because of the rambling, the tangent way it was written that I also wound up skipping 2-3 pages at a time because it was necessary, only for the rambling session to end where it began. So, I never really missed a thing which makes the entire rambling rant superfluous.

Lorna is seventeen, her mother and father are scientists who travel to remote places where anomalies occur and sixteen years ago they stumbled on one in the arctic, what they witness is seared into their minds. Pods upon pods of infants, pale and fragile and so they take them home which they are then promptly called ARO. There are guidelines to those who adopt these orphans – above all else they must have a child no more than a year older than said ARO.

They are all speechless, each has varying degrees to their personality but they do not speak and some try to communicate with their eyes, but they’re fairly flat aside from their conniptions, as they call them. Episodes of violence or tantric behaviors for an extended period of time, that without medical intervention can continue on.

This all sounds really interesting and could have been, too, if the narrative was different. It was all over the place and so disconnected, I guess it didn’t help that Lorna had no personality either and I really found no explanation in the book as to why that may have been or why she had so many issues to begin with, outside of having Callie as her “Iceling” sister.

The idea was there, the execution was not…

List some favorite reads with Aliens in it in the comments below.



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