author : tim bowler
pages : [hardcover] 328
memorable quote : There could never be innocence in a world without justice.
A paranormal thriller from Carnegie Medal winner Tim Bowler!
It starts with a phone call. “I’m dying,” a voice tells Dusty. Who is he and how has he gotten her cell number? Dusty wants no part of this strange boy . . . until he begins saying things that only someone who knows her intimately could say things that lead her to think he knows the whereabouts of her brother, who disappeared over a year ago. Suddenly drawn in, Dusty very much wants to save this boy. Trouble is, she cannot find him. Part human, part spirit, he won’t let himself be found. He is too dangerous, he says. There are mobs of people who agree and who want to see this boy dead . . . and who will hurt anyone who stands in their way.
A gripping, hair-raising mystery about a boy not of this world, and a girl determined to protect him.
I picked this book up on a whim because the cover was gorgeous and intriguing and the summary had me hooked. Just as it says, so the story begins, and Dusty starts speaking to a strange boy who seems to know too much about her and claims he thought of a random phone number and it happened to connect him to her. This boy is definitely the heart and most interesting part of the story. At times the writing and plot grew bland while I waited for more news of him to surface. Oftentimes instead of the answers and actions I was looking for, more questions would pop up in the book and leave me feeling unsatisfied.
I didn’t like the way that suspense was handled in this book. While I think that the pacing was typical for mysteries of this sort, there weren’t enough revelations that were full of insight or significant impact for me to justify stretching out the novel. Sometimes things felt so dull and detached from me that I didn’t feel much when Dusty was in danger. I was interested but more interested in the boy and wanted to flip forward to find out more about him.
The book ended the way I was afraid that it would because it left me almost entirely unsatisfied. Part of me could see from a higher level point of view how the ending was necessary and fit in with different elements of the story that had been set out much earlier in the tale. But I wanted more enjoyment as a reader. I wanted validation because I’d struggled through some sections of the book, waiting and hoping for answers, and I received none. I do think that I’ll pick up something else by Tim Bowler and will give him another try. I’ll remain disappointed in Frozen Fire.