Review: Shadow and Ice by Gena Showalter

Four Stars

The Queen of Paranormal Romance, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Gena Showalter, stuns with SHADOW AND ICE, the first title in her scorching new paranormal romance Gods of War Series. Check out the tour stop below and get your copy of SHADOW AND ICE today!

Knox of Iviland has spent his life competing in the All Wars, where vicious warriors with supernatural powers fight to the death to claim new realms. One winner takes everything—and all losers die. Enslaved as a child for his ability to control shadows, the most ruthless champion in history will stop at nothing to kill his king. But first he must win the battle for Earth. When a fearsome weapon imprisons every combatant in ice, centuries pass without progress…until she walks in.

Vale London craves a fun arctic getaway with her foster sister before settling down to open a bakery. Street-tough but vulnerable, she is unprepared to find ancient gods escaping a frozen cave—merciless beings who target her when she inadvertently enters their war.

Though Vale is now his enemy, Knox is consumed with lust and a fierce need to protect her. But only one combatant can prove victorious, and he will have to choose: live for freedom, or die for love.

When Gena Showalter announced she was writing an entirely new series about alien, Viking people in an eternal war for the earth, I already knew I was all in.

Shadow and Ice follows Vale London who gets lost with her foster sister in the Arctic Circle (don’t ask), and stumbles upon twenty-ish frozen immortal warriors. To their dismay, the warriors start to break free as the ice melts and Vale is taken by the fiercest and sexiest of them all, Knox of Iviland. Vale is drawn into the All War: A massive war with no time limit and few rules where there can only be one winner, and all the losers die.

If I have said it once, I’ve said it 1000 times, introducing a new paranormal world is really, really difficult for authors. Even authors as seasoned as Ms. Showalter. I did enjoy most of this book. Vale was such a great heroine. She was the perfect balance of fierce and vulnerable. She adapted to the craziness of war WAY better than I would have.

Knox was another great character. He had depth, true pain, and for a while I honestly didn’t know if he could be redeemed, which was super fun. His inner dialogue had me in stitches. I enjoyed the lack of insta-love. Knox and Vale both have real obstacles both within the war and emotionally that they needed to overcome to be together

Just to set the record straight, this book definitely does not end with a cliffhanger for the main couple. This is a romance novel, there is a happily ever after or at least a happily ever for now because, ya know, there is a war going on. This was the first book in a paranormal series so Ms. Showalter was setting the scene for an extensive, overarching story line, i.e., the All War. Are there more questions than answers at the end of the book? Yes. BUT I wasn’t dissatisfied with the ending at all.

Just putting it out there, this book is violent. If you don’t want gratuitous violence and battle scenes, this book is not for you. This is a book about war, and war with immortals means that limbs can fly and they’ll still be ok eventually and boy, does Ms. Showalter highlight that.

What I think most people will have difficulties with is the insane amount of characters. There are lots of combatants in the All War, and they all have innate powers AND special weapons. My advice, don’t try to categorize them too much while you’re reading. Just enjoy the story and trust that Ms. Showalter won’t let you get too lost. I found myself spending too much time trying to figure out who everyone was and what they did. There is a glossary in the back that you can read at the end, and it really clears things up.

The only part I really didn’t like in this story was all the details about characters who already died in the war or we only met briefly before they died. Unless they’re coming back in later books (which, with paranormal, you never know) I do not care about them.

Overall, I really did enjoy this story. Was it the best Gena Showalter book I’ve ever read? No. But I do think this is setting up to be an exciting series, and I love the fact that I have no idea where any of it is going to go. There is a lot up in the air, and I am excited to see what happens next!

**I received an ARC of this book in order to provide an honest review**

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