Note: This ARC was provided by HarperImpulse via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Icebound is the first book in the Mortals & Myths series by new author Corinna Rogers and, as far as I can remember (hey, I've read A LOT of books in my lifetime so I've lost count and can't really recall every single one that I've had the pleasure of reading), the first urban fantasy M/M novel I've come across. Reading the synopsis, I immediately found myself curious as to how the story was going to play out. And you know what they say about curiosity... No, no. Not the one about the cat. Let's just say that curiosity is often a good thing because it leads you to discover new and wonderful things. And yes, you may quote me on that. ^.^
"No deals. No pacts, no treaties, no nothing that'll ever lock us in. Nothing we can't undo. Nothing that binds us to anyone other than each other."
Shane Conell and Drake Young have known each other since they were teenagers. They've loved and worked beside each other for so long but there are a few rules that they've come up with. Sometimes, though, we're forced to make choices that would mean sacrificing something you have for something far more important. And that's what happened when Shane broke one of their rules and agreed to give up his soul in order for Drake's life to be saved. That was nine years ago.
Shane is now the First Vassal to the Ice King but he hasn't been completely turned. He still has certain emotions, including the ones connected to Drake. When he hears of an opportunity for him to take back his soul from the Ice King, Shane knows immediately that this is something that he needs to do. In an ironic turn of events, it's Drake that stops him from accomplishing his task on the very first try but, after certain explanations are made, Shane and Drake decide to work together to go after the creature known as the Soul-Taker.
It's been far too long since Shane and Drake last worked together and Drake knows all too well that the Shane standing beside him is not the same Shane who once stood by him all those years ago. In Shane's desperation to get his soul back, he decides to ditch Drake but faces the wrath of the Ice King in a manner that was, well, rather difficult to read (but I still read through it all). The book ends with more questions that need answers but I wouldn't really call it a cliffhanger ending since that would have left me frustrated AND irritated, and well, I was neither. ^.^
This book had a lot of potential. The story was original and creative and the characters had background stories (hooray for flashbacks) that explained why they were the way they were in the present. What bothered me were the number of sex scenes. I'm all for M/M sex scenes but there were moments that I found myself wondering if all of the ones in the book were absolutely necessary. That scene in Chapter Nine was...painful...and if the purpose was to show that Shane felt nothing at all, it didn't really accomplish that since he obviously felt certain things while it was all happening. >.<
There were certain things that were left hanging, i.e. Shane's powers, the Fire Queen, the Soul-Taker, etc., but suffice it to say that my curiosity is once again piqued to the point that I will be awaiting the release of the second book just so I can feel thoroughly satisfied... Assuming, of course, that the second book will be about Shane and Drake, which it should be because, like I said, we need answers plus there story isn't over and done with yet. ^.^
Icebound showed promise and I wish that certain aspects of it had been further developed but for what it's worth, it was a good enough book that I read it in one sitting. It also made me want to read more about Shane and Drake and to learn what happens next for the two of them and whether Drake discovers what secrets Shane is keeping from him. Any book that makes me want to find out more about the characters and their story deserves four stars out of five. ♥
Release Date: 25 September 2014
Date read: 24 September 2014
Learn more about author Corinna Rogers here.