Ice Cracker II

Ice Cracker II (The Emperor's Edge #1.5) - Lindsay Buroker This is my first foray into the world Lindsay Buroker has fashioned for The Emperor's Edge. I'm a big fan of the way the author writes, and the stories she creates are original and a mashup of almost all my favorite genres: fantasy, steampunk, a little mystery and some well-written, hinted at chemistry rather than a full-blown romance. I randomly picked this to start before The Emperor's Edge because it is a very short novella, only about 60 pages, but Buroker seems to work rather well within the confines of a short story. Her writing flows well and the dialogue and interaction between the characters, is witty and one of the best aspects of the novella ("I know this is dangerous, probably more for you than me-- my poster just says wanted, yours says kill on sight..").But don't be mistaken, there is enough happening in those tooshort sixty pages to keep the plot moving briskly. Assassins, deceptions, conspiracies abound, making this an intricate and convoluted short story. As with the other novella I've read, the pages fly by with speed and I was sucked completely into the story.There is not very much characterization or character depth in the story, for two reasons. One, the author is using recurring characters from other works of hers in which they have more detail and personality ascribed to them. Reason two: there's only so much punch you can pack in 60 pages. With all that the novella has going on, the amount of depth created for each of the two is perfect. Amaranthe is a fun, vivacious character. Above all, she was resourceful and self-sufficient. I always enjoy reading books with strong, believable, kickass female characters and Lindsay Buroker seems to write them often and reliably. She's also smart, without being obnoxious or having it be her fatal flaw. Sicarius was silent and intriguing as the talented and deadly assassin who is trying to outrun his dark past; clearly, I'll be focusing on him in the future books in this series I read. My only complaint is the same as it was for Flash Gold: I simply want more. This was shorter even than that, and was over far too quickly. I know there is The Emperor's Edge and its soon-to-be-released sequel (yaaaaay!!) Dark Currents, but it's such a shame to be pulled back out of such a well-crafted world so abruptly. Not to say the resolution was not well done, because it was, it just came too fast for my preferences. I guess I'll just have to read The Emperor's Edge, then [b:Encrypted|10218438|Encrypted|Lindsay Buroker||15118057] (it's a prequel, apparently set 20-25 years before The Emperor's Edge) and wait patiently for Dark Currents.More of my reviews here: