Ice Song by Kirsten Imani Kasai
Random House Publishing
The world through which the sundered halves of Sorykah and Soryk travel is both familiar and surreal. Environmental degradation and genetic mutation run amok; humans have become distorted into animals, and animal bodies mask a wild humanity. But it is also a world of unexpected beauty and wonder, where kindness and love endure amidst the ruins.
Ice Song is a new and welcomed addition to the sci-fi/fantasy world, and for it to be Ms. Kasai’s debut novel, to say the least I’m impressed! I love the author's writing style and the imagery in Ice Song is fascinating. This novel grabbed my attention early into the first few pages. The descriptions are so vivid I felt as though I were watching a movie on big screen. I was captivated by the world that Kasai creates involving somatics (people born with animal genes/mutations) and the rare and highly sought after traders (their genetic makeup allows them to switch genders).
The characters and places in Ice Song are extraordinary. I was amazed at how unusual Kasai's characters are. Sorykah morphs into Soryk - her male counterpart under stress and neither halves has any recollection of the other’s experiences. The secondary characters are noteworthy, too. They add to the plotline quite well. The story revolves around Sorykah/Soryk’s journey to find her infant twins. There is a series of interactions with interesting people and new places. Their travels kept me turning the pages. It's nice to see who and what Sorykah/Soryk encounters next.
I look forward to reading more of Kirsten's work.
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Kirsten has graciously taken time out to answer some questions for me about her work.
What was the inspiration behind Sorykah/Soryk's story?
I wanted to write about a woman's odyssey, a profound journey of inner and outer change.Numerous action films focus on a father who goes after baddies to take revenge for wrongs against his family, while the mother just sits home, frets and waits. A socially-isolated single mother doesn't have that option. She has to take on whatever heroics are necessary and force herself past any limitations in order to succeed. Sorykah has doubts, fears and a lot of anxiety about the world, but she refuses to let those obstacles define her.
The characters and places in Ice Song are interesting, while reading your book I felt like I was watching a movie on big screen, how did you come up with such vivid descriptions?
Because I'm watching a movie in my head! It really does feel sometimes like I'm just taking dictation as the action unfolds. My ideas are a hodgepodge of landscapes, machinery, environments and creatures from the real world, and some inventions and other things that are just my own wishes/thoughts.
What fantasy writers have inspired/influenced your work?
Angela Carter, Octavia Butler and Tanith Lee
What's next for you, will we see more of Sorykah/Soryk?
Yes! There are two more books about Sorykah and her family. Tattoo is slated for publication by Del Rey in 2010, and I'm currently working on the third novel, Saudade. Sorykah's adventure in Tattoo picks up right where Ice Song ends, and we see more of Rava, the octopus woman, Queen Sidra, that bad boy, Chen, and meet some new and intriguing characters.
Is there any additional info that you would like to share with the readers?
Please visit me online at Kirsten Imani Kasai.com for deleted scenes, blog, events/readings, pics and more. You can also follow me on Twitter @kirstenikasai.
I run a blog called Fantastic Book Review which is basically my outlet for my book obsession for both YA and adult novels. I have a special love for all things fantasy, paranormal, and supernatural. I love spreading the word on great books all around the world by featuring information and reviews on previous, new and upcoming novels and authors.
Ice Song sounds like a truly different novel because of the fe/male main character. Thanks for this review and interview!
Generally I eschew fantasy but this one sounds worth a visit. Thanks for posting this interesting review and interview!
I'm intrigued, too, though I wish the male character could remember what it was like to be a woman!
Zetta: Hahahahahahahahaha! :D
Loved the interview, and love the sound of the book. I'll definitely keep an eye out for it!
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