Release-Day Review: Shadow and Ice by Gena Showalter (Gods of War #1)


Shadow and Ice by Gena Showalter (Gods of War #1) // VBC ReviewShadow and Ice (Gods of War #1)
Gena Showalter
Published: Oct. 23, 2018 (HQN)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review source: copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

Reviewed by: Amy

Rating (out of 5): 4 stars

While on an adventurous getaway in the artic Vale London and her foster sister, Nola, become separated from their guide. They end up stumbling upon a centuries-long battle known as the All War. When Vale inadvertently enters the War, she’ll end up fighting for more than her life, she’ll be fighting for the planet.

All Wars are fought by various realms when a new unclaimed land is discovered. When Terra (aka Earth) was discovered its resources make it extremely coveted. Knox of Iviland was born and bred to be a fighter. He’s won four All Wars in the past for his King, but Knox is tired of living as a slave, and his determination to win this particular All War is only masked by his plans to kill his King once he get back to Iviland in order to secure his true freedom.

When Vale lands in Knox’s crosshairs, he can’t bring himself to end her. In the end only one can win, and what starts out as an uneasy alliance between the pair, heats up into full-blown attraction neither of them will be able to resist.

There is a lot going on in Shadow and Ice, and from the way things progress, there’s so much more to come. To be honest the complicated start to the world-building is what brings this down a star for me. It took a bit before the story became consistent, not just with the mythology, but with the tone as well, volleying back and forth between tongue-in-cheek funny and too serious. Once things evened out a bit, and the story really found its legs, and I’m here for it 100%.

Gena Showalter has created this awesome almost perfect blend of the sci-fi and fantasy genres in Shadow and Ice as these warriors seemingly come from different realms, or as I saw it planets, and they tend to have some innate power, coupled with weapons or objects also imbued with powers. Think alien Vikings. It’s a very interesting premise and probably the thing I enjoyed most was learning about the different combatants and their powers. There are quite a few, however, and they tend to run together, but Showalter does a good job of highlighting certain warriors. I’m sure we’ll learn about more in upcoming books.

I liked the predicament in which Knox and Vale find themselves. Their attraction to one another tampered by the fact that, in the end, one of them will have to die. While Vale is pretty steadfast in her beliefs and is a survivor through and through, it’s Knox that undergoes the biggest transformation. He starts out as a hardened warrior who never makes alliances, or, if he does, quickly reneges. He has no family left, his one goal is just to win, and Vale comes along and throws all his beliefs out the window. I want to believe they can find a way to end the War with both of them still alive.

It seems, though, that this series will follow a separate couple in each book. The end is fitting for Knox and Vale, but it by no means signals the end of all their problems. I’ll be interested to see how Gena Showalter continues to solve the overall conflict while switching perspectives to different characters.

Sexual content: sex

One Response to “Release-Day Review: Shadow and Ice by Gena Showalter (Gods of War #1)”

  1. OOh nice! I’ve been wanting to try out Gena’s adult books after loving her YA ones. This series definitely sounds different and intriguing! Glad to see you enjoyed it for the most part!

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