Girl in Ice by Erica Ferencik Book Review Read it later

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Jessica R Contributor

This post is all about Girl in Ice by Erica Ferencik Book Review.

While thrillers aren’t my “go-to” genre, when I find one with supernatural elements, I’ll almost always pick it up! And that’s exactly why I chose to read Girl in Ice.


Val Chesterfield studies languages. She especially loves to learn about dead languages. Her gift in deciphering them has led her to become a top professor on the subject. There’s just one problem: Val’s crippling anxiety keeps her from traveling to learn more. To top it off, her twin brother, who was obsessed with what climate change is doing to the planet, died in the Arctic from an apparent suicide.

 Val is shocked when her brother’s former research partner, Wyatt, reaches out to Val with something seemingly impossible: he found a young girl frozen in the Arctic, thawed her out, and she lived. She’s also speaking some sort of language that no one understands, and they need Val’s help to translate her words and learn who the girl is.

Val summons her courage (and packs a lot of medication) to venture to a remote Arctic island to meet the girl, and perhaps learn more about what actually happened to her own brother. Along the way, she’s joined by two other researchers–Nora and Raj–who will be studying collections in the ocean. Upon arrival, she meets 60-year-old researcher, Wyatt, and his seasoned mechanic and cook, Jean. And then, there’s the terrified girl speaking a language no one understands. And all of them are confined to a small, Arctic-resistant building as the days begin to grow shorter, colder, and more dangerous.

While in the Arctic, Val works with the young girl in an attempt to build trust and learn how she survived the ice. Although nearly impossible at first, Val comes to learn that the girl is much, much older than she seems and has a survival secret. The tension in the book ratchets up as Wyatt becomes more frenzied and reckless in his pursuit of discovering the secret to surviving the ice. And the longer time goes on, the sicker the girl becomes, and tension between the enclosed group escalates to a fever pitch.

Girl in Ice by Erica Ferencik Book Review

Genre: Romance Fantasy

When Val is summoned to the Arctic to help translate the unknown language of a girl discovered frozen in the ice, she finds much more than she bargained for.

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Contributor Jessica!

This book is a ride! I binge read it in two days and stayed up way too late at night to finish it. I had to know what was going to happen next. Is Wyatt insane? Did he do something to Val’s brother in pursuit of science? Why is Jean so creepy? What else is in the ice? What is going to happen to the little girl and what is she trying to communicate?

The character development in Girl in Ice is perfection. Val’s anxiety and dependence on substances to help her function is so real and shown through her small movements and well-articulated thought spirals. The little girl’s fear is palpable. Sweet, well-meaning Nora is a bright light on the page. And I was simultaneously mesmerized and terrified by both Wyatt and Jean and what they could be capable of.

The Arctic setting is also a character in and of itself. I love how Ferencik describes the vast endlessness of the Arctic planes and the depths of the unknown beneath the ice. While reading I could feel the pain of the intense cold and the stiffness of movement as bodies fought to stay alive in extreme cold.

I think, perhaps, the most amazing part of Girl in Ice is that the story, though fiction, felt plausible. Strange ice winds that freeze people because of climate change? Terrifyingly possible. Weird creatures, that might hold answers to medical anomalies? Sure. Old Arctic cultures we know nothing about frozen beneath the ice? Definitely.

But even with all the terrifying plausibility, this book is laced with hope and goodness. It contrasts both the worst of human nature and the very best of it.

Girl in Ice reminded me a bit of State of Wonder by Ann Patchett and Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer (two personal favorites). So if you like books where nature goes a little bit supernatural and creepy on you, then Girl in Ice is the book for you.

What books where nature goes rogue do you recommend?

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