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ICEFALL by Gillian Philip


From the Rebel Angels series, volume 4

by Gillian Philip

Pub Date: March 24th, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-7653-3325-4
Publisher: Tor

The concluding part of the Rebel Angels series (Wolfsbane, 2014, etc.) which, following a fine opening book, has slipped further downhill with each successive entry.

In the Sithe realm, sadistic, soul-sucking witch-queen Kate NicNiven inches closer to her ultimate goal: control of the Veil that separates her land from the human world. What nobody knows yet is that she’s forfeited her own soul to an evil oracular child-mummy known as the Darkfall. Exiled on the human side, battered Sithe warrior Seth MacGregor knows, and we’re frequently reminded, that his soul is slowly bleeding away thanks to Kate’s machinations. Along with his son, Rory; Rory’s girlfriend/cousin, Hannah; Seth’s bound partner, the witch Finn; and others of his clann, Seth endures a number of provocations from Kate’s forces, all designed to tempt or coerce a confrontation. Which, as is obvious to everybody except, apparently, the characters themselves, is inevitable. However, Seth and company—each one of them a keeper of potentially earth-shattering personal or family secrets—spend the first 200 pages growling, bickering, denying, confessing or not telling people things they really need to know. Once again Philip ramps up the intensity of the narrative, but by this juncture, the plot’s lost just about all claim to intelligibility, what with the unrelenting tangle of passions, alliances and viciousness expressed through multiple narrators and viewpoints.

Teenage angst with bells and whistles—still, it’s the formula that series regulars know and relish.