Book Reviews of The Ice Queen

The Ice Queen
The Ice Queen
Author: Alice Hoffman
ISBN-13: 9780316154383
ISBN-10: 0316154385
Publication Date: 1/3/2006
Pages: 240
Rating:
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 260

3.4 stars, based on 260 ratings
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

71 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Ice Queen on + 140 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 11
A very interesting book! I felt at times that I was reading a true story and at other times a fairy tale. I would definitely recommend it!
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 149 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
This book wasn't really my cup of tea. It was too abstract and didn't have enough action for my liking. However, I don't think that's a reflection on the book itself, it's simply not the genre I usually like to read from.

The author writes well; her words flow together nicely, and she's able to easily take something ordinary, such as a lightning storm or an orange orchard, or even a dead mole or a pile of flies, and turn it into something extraordinarily beautiful, or sad and repulsive. It was this vivid use of imagery in her words that kept me reading—that and the fact it's a fairly short book at only 211 pages—when I might otherwise have put it aside and went on to something else.

Why did I decide to read this book in the first place then you might wonder. Well, because I've heard this author's name quite a bit and wanted to try out one of her books for myself. I almost hate to give it a numeric rating here though since my rating will be mostly subjective based on how I personally liked the story in relation to the other books I've read. If I look at it objectively though, I'd have to give it kudos for the quality of writing, the wonderful use of imagery, and the fact that underneath it all, there was a poignant and touching story there.
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 373 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
As with every Alice Hoffman book, I enjoyed this one. I think primarily this intrigued me so much because of the subject matter and the research she put in that she ends up sharing with the readers. I learned so much about lightning strike survivors that I feel as if I'd read a non-fiction book about them.

The main character is maybe a bit difficult to warm up to (pardon the pun), but the elements of this story - and the writing - save the novel, and turn it into something touching and deep.
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 109 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
AWESOME,AWESOME,AWESOME!!!!!i couldn't put this book down and read it in 3 hours.
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 13 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
Story about a woman who gets struck by lightning and how it changes her life. It actually saves her life, in a way, by allowing her to open up to feeling things again.
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
This book was awesome awesome awesome!! You realy sympathize for the main character-sad when she's dad, angry when she's angry, lonely when she's lonely. I could read this book again and again!!
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 193 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
This was a very strange book.. but I couldn't put it down! It captured me that I just couldn't stop reading even though I kind of had that feeling I was missing something.
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
A lyrical, brief book. Hoffman takes the mystical and makes it probable.
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 108 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Classic Alice Hoffman. Great story with a little supernatural thrown in.
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 79 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Well written, quick read!
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 37 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Good book, good writing by Alice Hoffman, but it was a little slow and difficult to read. It's also not a really upbeat book, after reading it, I felt kinda depressed.
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Alice Hoffman is a great storyteller and I would recommend her books to everyone. This one was a good one. It's not the best book you are ever going to read, not by far, but it is an easy read for a rainy day.
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 1255 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I found this book to be slow and at times hard to continue reading. I think the reason for this was the lack of depth in the characters, the disjointed writing style that didn't seem to have a flow to it and the pace was very sluggish.
Not my normal style of book so that could also add to my review. I understood the reason why she was writing as she was-that is the way the main character thinks and acts but was still very choppy to read. Great research into the subject she was writing about.
reviewed The Ice Queen on
Helpful Score: 1
very quick read, a pretty good book.
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Its darkly sweet, and funny. I enjoyed this one a lot.
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 26 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A woman who carries her childhood sorrorws as an icy shield against adult emotions -- literally has to have her defenses melted to learn to love again.

If you have read and enjoyed Hoffman in the past -- you will find this one of her special books. If you have not read Hoffman before, but enjoy a reality with a touch of the magical/mystical -- then this will be fun for you.
reviewed The Ice Queen on
Helpful Score: 1
I found this book very engaging and powerful. My favorite by her so far...
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 84 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I was very intrigued while reading this book. It is about a woman who wishes to be struck by lightning and it happens. She is plagued with a heart that skips beats, hair that falls out, and is unable to see the color red. She moves to Florida to be closer to her brother. There are a lot of mysteries twisted throughout this book. I never noticed until I finished the book, but Ms. Hoffman never revealed the main character's name. It is a very good book, and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys a little mystery mixed in with their fiction. You will definitely not be disappointed.
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 29 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
The main character travels very complex emotional journey which begins with the death of her mother at age 8. It all begins to change with a lightening strike.
I found the book interesting, though it was bit slow to read, due to the emotional angst the main character experiences. Its very well-written and I think you will enjoy it. The ending is unusual and the writer uses some mystical elements in the story. Overall, an interesting read.
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 16 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I read this book for a book club I am in. It was an engaging story and had a bittersweet ending. I definitely recommend it.
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 58 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I love everything I have read by Alice Hoffman and this was no exception, it was wonderful! Lyrical and thought provoking, a very different story!
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 18 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Once I started reading I couldn't put this book down. It was reality and fairy tale all successfully mixed together. I enjoyed the journey with the main character as she began to understand her perceptions of herself in the world.
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 753 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A book that flowed like a stream consciousness - which unfortunately I wasn't a fan of. The story overall was intriguing, but because of the writing style, it wasn't my favorite.

The use of strong adverbs made me fall in love with her descriptions of the "effects" of lightning strike survivors. I adored the relationship between the brother and sister and how the early death of their mother affected the both of them in two totally different ways. But through these likes, I still had a hard time reading and enjoying this one.

I would only recommend this book to those who love things that are artsy. Imagery and visualization would be key when reading this book.
reviewed The Ice Queen on
Helpful Score: 1
Once, in a childish fit of temper, the eight-year-old heroine of Alice Hoffman's The Ice Queen angrily wished to never see her mother again. Suddenly the little girl and her brother Ned were orphaned, and she was convinced that simply by stomping her feet she had shattered her world. While Ned dealt with the grief of his mother's passing by becoming a meteorologist: applying reason and logic to bad weather; as his sister grows into adulthood, she finds herself emotionally frozen.

Now working as a librarian somewhere in a small town, she lives a generally quiet life without much excitement. One day, she mutters an idle wish and suddenly, while standing in her house, she is struck by lightning. However, instead of ending her life, this cataclysmic event provides just the impetus she needs to restart her life. Determined to study the case histories of several survivors of lightning strikes, Ned convinces his sister to join him in learning more about the mysteries of lightning.

For her, being struck by lightning has left her with an inability to recognize the color red; and she soon finds herself fascinated by the awesome power of lightning. Witnessing the withering of trees and landscape near a strike, hearing the various stories of the medical traumas and odd new abilities of victims, all the myths of renewal; she is utterly amazed. Although she is a recluse, she goes in search of one Lazarus Jones - a local farmer rumored to have beaten death after a lightning strike: to have seen the other side and come back.

Perhaps this stranger who has seen death face to face can teach her to live without fear. When she finds him, he is her polar opposite, a burning man whose breath can boil water and whose touch scorches. As an obsessive love affair begins between them, both are forced to hide their most dangerous secrets - secrets that turned one person to ice and the other to fire.

I must say, that while this book was very good, and I enjoyed the story very much; in my opinion it still was slightly strange. I honestly don't know that much about lightning - although I do follow all the warnings about what not to do during thunderstorms - but even if only a fraction of what is described by the characters can happen in reality - I would be curious to find out. It was incredible to me. I give The Ice Queen by Alice Hoffman an A! This was actually quite a fascinating book.
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 213 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I loved this book so much. I couldnt put it down. Alice Hoffman is such a beautiful writer.
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 92 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Alice Hoffman is one of my favorite writers. This books is very, very good :).
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 65 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Alice Hoffman is one of my favorite authors, and while I don't think this book is among her best, it has her trademark prose and magic and is far above most others.
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 64 more book reviews
Alice Hoffman at her best!
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 84 more book reviews
The last chapter of this book was nice, even though I didn't much like before it. It was very nice the way everything came together in a fuzzy warm happy ending. But I have to say mid-way through I decided Alice Hoffman writes as though she's not a native English speaker, lots of random phrasing and immediate contradictions, the kind of thing a listener forgives in a toddler or a foreigner. I had no pity or comprehension for the main character who blames herself as a child for causing her mother's death by wishing it in an angry fit, lives a life of self-isolation (as a stereotypical librarian of course), and then brings misery to herself once again when she sarcastically wishes she'd be struck by lightning. There's a scientist brother with a mathematician wife, a support group for fellow lightning struck victims, and an abandoned affair with a police officer who shares her obsession with death. She lets down a bunch of people including her supposed best friend Renny and boss librarian Frances, and some moles in her yard get eaten by her cat; and there's a lot of bust heaving supernaturalesque lightning survivor sex, intrigue involving fairy tales, some suspense, and then there was the very nice ending.
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 2 more book reviews
If your looking for a quick summer read...this is it!!!

This book is different from the rest.
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 14 more book reviews
This book was somewhat hard to read/hard to follow. I understand the gist of it, but...kinda weird.
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 12 more book reviews
Some times I had trouble following, but the big picture of this book was great. This might make a really cool movie.
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 63 more book reviews
Who knew "The Ice Queen" would be about someone struck by lightening?
Fabulous read about characters that make you wonder and laugh.
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 2 more book reviews
Meh.... what can I say. It was something to read. Not great, not horrible. I did find it interesting enough to pass it onto a friend.
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 10 more book reviews
I have read several of Alice Hoffman's books and am hooked. This one was no different. A great story of a woman who was struck by lightning and her connection with other people who encountered the same and how it changed her life in a positive way. I could not put this book down once I started. Would recommend this book to anyone.
reviewed The Ice Queen on
One of my favorite books of all time. poeticly written and beautiful. Grapsed my attention from start to finish. A very creative story.
reviewed The Ice Queen on
the more I read the better it became. very different book. liked it very much
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 89 more book reviews
I was looking forward to reading this because of other reader's reviews. I so did not like this book. I don't know why I even finished it. I kept expecting something to happen and it never did. Thankfully it was a quick read so I didn't waste too much of my time. This if the first Alice Hoffman I've read and I probably won't pick up another. Bleh!
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 897 more book reviews
Although my first book with this author turned me off I almost always try to give an author a second chance and this time I'm glad I did. In this book, a young woman believes that as a child she caused her mother's death because of her last conversation with her mother. Like children sometimes are, she was upset with her mother. So, growing up she had a morbid obsession with death. It took some strange life experiences, the love of two men, and the illness and death of her brother to recognize and accept the person she was and work to become the person she could be. I found this most inspiring.
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 7 more book reviews
interesting to read, unique story.
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 8 more book reviews
This book was ok, but not the best Alice Hoffman I've read. A little too much visualization and not enough plot. I found the main character hard to empathize with. Maybe that's the point (it is called "The Ice Queen" after all), but it doesn't make for a very good read. I much preferred "Practical Magic" and "Probable Future" because they have that element of magic, but you end up really caring about the characters.
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 15 more book reviews
Read the whole book on a Saturday. Reads quick and keeps you interested. I loved the story and now want to know more about the affects of lighting strike victims.
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 13 more book reviews
Nothing I would call a favorite. At times the language used is beautiful, but the characters are boring to me.
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 148 more book reviews
This book was strange to me. I read maybe 1/4 of it until I had to put it down. It pulled me in at first, but then it got a little weird on me. I had high hopes that it would be good, but the characters just seemed very strange and I realized that I didn't even care what happened to any of them so I quit reading. It was very disappointing.
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 636 more book reviews
This was a very fast read. It was certainly entertaining but for the majority of the book, I did not care for the main character. I thought she was rather childish, which was perhaps, the whole point, but it still did not make me like her. Her being a librarian was nice, and I certainly enjoyed this a lot more than _The Dewey Decimal System of Love_ (the last book that I read where the main character was a librarian). The fairy tale aspect was really the strongest part of the whole book... Some of the other themes, plot lines and characters were much weaker.
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 203 more book reviews
This was such a great story. Alice Hoffman is one of my all time favorite authors and she did not disappoint with this book!! The way she paints a picture with her stories always amazes me. I think this quote from the book pretty much sums up this particular story: "This is what I know, the one and only thing. The best way to die is while you are living,..."
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An excellent read, took me three days on the train to finish it off!
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 28 more book reviews
Slow start but the ending is beautiful.
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 21 more book reviews
woman struck by lightning finds herself remarkably changed. like all alice hoffman, unusual and slightly magical.
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 20 more book reviews
Great book! My first read of Alice Hoffman, and I couldn't put it down for a second!
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 36 more book reviews
I really ENJOYED this book. looking forward to reading more of Alice Hoffman.
reviewed The Ice Queen on
Wow - this was an incredible, intense book. I had a hard time putting it down. Just when you think you might know where the book is headed, the plot twists.
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 174 more book reviews
There's not that much difference between Anderson and Grimm after all -- magic.
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 6 more book reviews
wonderful quick read. I read it in one day off, laughed and cried. Just what a fiction novel should be.
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i loved this book!
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 42 more book reviews
The Ice Queen held my attention throughout, having a great storyline and well rounded characters. I didn't really care that deeply for the ending, but most endings bother me. Over all, 4 stars.
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 17 more book reviews
Really enjoyable, moving book. Highly recommend it.
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 6 more book reviews
fast read, good story...intriguing
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 21 more book reviews
A wonderful parable, a novel story.
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 46 more book reviews
Intersting story with a mystical flair. My first Alice Hoffman book and I loved it!
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 18 more book reviews
wonderful book
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 9 more book reviews
I enjoyed this book very much. I love the 'magical' elements she uses. I would give it 4/5.
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 69 more book reviews
Not my usual type of book but since Hoffman was the author, I really enjoyed it!
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 70 more book reviews
Alice Hoffman at her very finest! Loved Nancy Travis' voice and the words were magical as was the story....never wanted it to end. Bittersweet love and family issues. Want to keep this and listen to it over and over again!
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Quick read, good book
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 206 more book reviews
another interesting and quirky book by alice hoffman, fast read,entertaining
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 26 more book reviews
I very much enjoyed this book and thought it well written and a unique read. Some readers say they were bored with it but I don't understand how. I loved it!
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I loved this book!!!!
reviewed The Ice Queen on
I REALLY ENJOYED THIS BOOK,MANY INTERESTING PLOT TWISTS.LIKE HER WRITING WANT TO READ MORE OF HER BOOKS.
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 15 more book reviews
This was my first Alice Hoffman book and I loved it!

There really is truth "becareful for what you wish for."

This book is about a librarian who keeps to herself. She likes being alone. Her mother died when she was a child and she feels responsible for that death. ("wish")

Then she gets struck by lightning ("wish"). From that point on, she searches out another lightning survivor, Lazarus Jones. (This guy is well known as he appeared to be dead for 40 minutes then simply woke up and rose and walked out of the morgue)

I dont want to give too much away.. This is a must read.
reviewed The Ice Queen on + 95 more book reviews
Starred Review. "Be careful what you wish for. I know that for a fact. Wishes... burn your tongue the moment they're spoken and you can never take them back." Thus begins Hoffman's (Practical Magic; Here on Earth) stellar 18th novel about healing and transformation. As an eight-year-old, the unnamed narrator makes a terrible wish that comes true; remorseful for the next 30 years, she shuts down emotionally to become a self-proclaimed ice queen. Unlike her brother, Ned, who relies on logic, math and science to make sense of the world, the loner librarian fears the chaotic randomness of existence and is obsessed by death. Then lightning strikes, literally. In a flash, she's jolted out of her rut, noticing for the first time all that she's been taking for grantedeven the color red, which after the strike she can no longer see: "How could I have been so stupid to ignore everything I'd had in my life? The color red alone was worth kingdoms." The novel turns sultry when the slowly melting ice queen seeks out reclusive Lazarus Jones, a fellow lightning survivor who came back to life after 40 minutes of death: "I wanted a man like that, one it was impossible to kill, who wouldn't flinch if you wished him dead." Blanketed in prose that has never been dreamier and gloriously vivid imagery, this life-affirming fable is ripe with Hoffman's trademark symbolism and magic, but with a steelier edge: "Every fairy tale had a bloody lining. Every one had teeth and claws." Both longtime fans and newcomers will relish it.