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Following her discovery of a mystical link between herself and the long dead city of Galderkhaan, child psychologist, Caitlin O’Hara, develops a power which helps her heal her patients. But the link is not confined to her as her son starts to exhibit strange behaviour also connected to the city. The city is not as lost as Caitlin believes because at the same time, Mikel is in the process of rediscovering the city and discovering that it is not as dead as it should be…
A Dream of Ice (2016. 279 pages) is the second book in the Earthend Saga, written by Gillian Anderson, the actress from The X-Files, and Jeff Rovin, author of more than one hundred and thirty books. I’d take a stab in the dark and guess that Rovin carried most of the writing heavy work even though Anderson’s name is writ bright and large on the cover and a rather nice nap of her is included on the reverse, whereas Rovin's name is smaller, darker, easy to overlook and he does not warrant a photo.
The story is told from two perspectives. The first is Caitlin’s story, which spends most of its time taken with her concern over her son, Jacob, who also seems to have developed a link to some of those who perished in Galderkhaan. In truth, this part of the story tends to be slow and less interesting than Mikel's perspective; after all he literally drops into the buried city, allowing the authors to engage in a lot of world building whilst at the same time explaining to the reader the terminal fate which befell the city.
One of the problems is the distance between the two parts of the story. Caitlin’s part is very talky, she and Jacob barely move from a single location, whereas Mikel travels to the ice cap in the hope of finding the remains of Galderkhaan, the combination of quite a dynamic narrative with that of a sci-fi soap makes for uneasy bedfellows.
Also, I kinda felt that I had already visited much of this story. Let’s see, the city is lost because its inhabitants wished to, and to some extend succeeded in, ascending to a higher plane of existence, but are still obsessed with their city and more than happy to interfere with anyone who may find it. A lot of the world building felt more than a little ripped off from various aspects of Stargate.
Overall, the book felt out of balance with itself. It had a lot to accomplish and provides more information about Galderkhaan than the plot actually warrants, while at the same time applying the brakes every time we cut back to Caitlin. It's not as good as the first book, but then its job was to perform as the second act, setting up the finale in the next book. Not one to read on its own as it does not work well as a stand-alone story.