Shadow and Ice (Gods of War, #1) by Gena Showalter
Series: Gods of War #1
Publication Date: October 23, 2018
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Urban Fantasy
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Knox of Iviland, the most ruthless warrior in All War history, has spent his life fighting others to the death, winning new realms for his king. Now the stakes are higher than ever. If he prevails in the battle for Earth, his slave bands will be removed. Victory is his sole focus…until he meets her.
On an arctic getaway with her foster sister, street tough but vulnerable Vale London is shocked to stumble upon a cave filled with ancient gods waging epic combat. When she is inadvertently drawn into their war, she is forced to team up with an unlikely ally—the sexy god who makes her burn with desire.
Though Vale is his enemy, Knox is consumed with lust and a fierce need to protect her. But only one combatant can triumph, and he will have to choose: live for freedom, or die for love.
An evil Council made up of leaders from several warring planets finds new lands and stages an All War, wherein one chosen warrior from their homeland competes to win the new land for his or her ruler. Knox of Iviland has won 4 All Wars to date. His ruler has promised if he wins 5 his slave bands will be removed and he’ll be free. Knox is skeptical that his ruler will truly go through with removing the bands – when he’s wearing them he can’t refuse a direct order from his King – but he has to try so he can exact revenge for the loss of his greatest love.
Vale and her sister are on an Arctic Adventure when they stumble up on a cave filled with life-like statues frozen in ice. Fascinated, they started exploring until the ice unexpectedly melted and the statues came to life.
Casee: I hate to say it because I love Gena Showalter, but I was not a huge fan of this book. I had an extraordinarily hard time getting into it. It only took me a day and a half to read it, but I had to force myself to continue it. It was just a disappointment because I love GS and because this is the start to a new series.
What did you two think?
Holly: Like you, I had a really hard time getting into it. It took me almost 3 days to read. The pacing during the first half of the book was really slow. I liked the premise a lot. The prologue really drew me in. But the next 15 or so chapters were bogged down with a lot of nothing.
Rowena: I was really bored with this one. For too long, I was waiting for something to happen and because I could not connect with any of the characters, even when things started to happen, I was kind of over it and just reading it to finish. I think because it took over half of the book to pick up, and it took me about three days to get to the part where things got interesting, I was a lost cause.
Casee: I really liked the premise too. I found it to be very interesting. Then I realized that it was very similar to Kresley Cole’s Immortal After Dark series where immortals are fighting to the death. After that, I skimmed until something interesting started happening.
What did you think of the characters?
Holly: Vale drove me crazy. Right from the beginning she made all the questionable decisions and acted in a way I didn’t understand. As the book went on I thought she got better, but in the beginning I really struggled with her. I liked Knox a lot more. He was ruthless and cold, but I understood why he had to be that way. I’m curious about some of the secondary characters, but the majority of the book was focused on Vale and Knox, so I’m not as interested as I could have been, if that makes sense.
Rowena: This is the first book that I read by Showalter and at first Knox’s cold attitude turned me off but as the book continued, my feelings toward him changed. I liked the growth we saw in his character and my heart for what his life had become. For all that he lost.
Like Holly, Vale was annoying to me too. Oy.
Casee: I really liked Vale at first. It was after that thing happened that she really became almost unbearable to me.
I agree with Rowena about Knox’s cold attitude. It was hard to deal with. In my mind I kept comparing it to her Lords of the Underworld series and it just fell short. One character that interested me was Erik the Viking.
I feel bad that it was your first time reading Gena Showalter. If it was mine, I doubt I would try another one of her books.
Holly: I think she was unbearable right from the start. Well, from the second she found the ice cave anyway.
I didn’t read the Lords of the Underworld series, so I can’t speak to how it compares, but his attitude was hard to take in the beginning. I warmed up to him, though.
I’m mildly curious about Erik, but he seems like a villain rather than a good guy. I wish we’d gotten more information about the other warriors. The bits and pieces weren’t enough to make me excited for the rest of the series.
Casee: Bottom line, the book was boring af. I really don’t intend to read the rest of the series as it comes out but you know me.
Holly: Thinking about the book the past couple days, I am kind of interested in seeing what happens in the next book. I want to know what’s going on between Vale’s sister and the two other guys, and I want to know what’s going to happen with the All War. But I might let one of you read it first.
I’m giving this a 3 out of 5.
Casee: I forgot about her sister. That is a book that I would read.
I am giving it a 3 out of 5.
Rowena: I’m curious about her sister and why she ended up with the one guy and not the original guy that took her. But aside from that story, I’m just not moved to read anything else. shrugs
For me, this was a 2.5 out of 5. I did enjoy the second half of the book more than the first half and I did sympathize with Knox and want him to find a way to be free but outside of that, I thought the romance was lacking, the world was too gloom and doom without being tough, I just felt that all of those warriors were silly. I do enjoy these kinds of books but this one just missed me with a lot of stuff.
Casee: 3 out of 5
Holly: 3 out of 5
Rowena: 2.5 out of 5