What would your life be like if you were unable to go out in the sun at all? This is what Jess has faced all her life; she is allergic to sunlight. When she goes out she has to be completely covered up including a hood that hides her face and goggles. She longs to be normal, to have a friend, for her mum to be less controlling and anxious. So when she squeezes through a gap in the park and finds herself in a world of ice and no sun she feels she has found her very own heaven – but has she?
This is Guy Jones’ debut novel, and it shows great promise. While the elements may be familiar, Jones handles his materials confidently and with an attractive freshness. The reader is intrigued by the world he creates for Jess and by the character of Owen, the ice boy who becomes her friend. Nor are these elements random. The life that Jess lives combined with her vivid storytelling imagination provides a link between the two realities, while the connection with Davey, a victim of an accident and in a coma, is another link that clear-eyed young readers will make if they want to. The narrative moves briskly with plenty of dialogue to hold the attention. The drama of the ice garden, both in its beauty and in its destruction, is gripping; the reader feels the chill – but also the excitement. Jess is an attractive protagonist who will easily make the friends she so longs for in the readers who join her story. ‘Magic – friendship – adventure’ proclaims the cover. It is right – this is a story you want to read to the final word.