- Title: Frozen Fire
- Author: Tim Bowler
- Publisher: OUP
- ISBN: 9780192727152
It starts with a phone call. “I’m dying,” a voice tells Dusty. Who is he and how has he gotten her cell number? Dusty wants no part of this strange boy . . . until he begins saying things that only someone who knows her intimately could say things that lead her to think he knows the whereabouts of her brother, who disappeared over a year ago. Suddenly drawn in, Dusty very much wants to save this boy.
Trouble is, she cannot find him. Part human, part spirit, he won’t let himself be found. He is too dangerous, he says. There are mobs of people who agree and who want to see this boy dead . . . and who will hurt anyone who stands in their way.
A gripping, hair-raising mystery about a boy not of this world, and a girl determined to protect him.
“I’m dying,” said the voice. Dusty clutched the phone. She had no idea who this was. A boy about her own age, by the sound of him–fifteen, sixteen, maybe a bit older…
When Dusty takes that call, her life becomes intertwined with that of the boy. Suspecting the boy might be nearby, she rushes out into the cold snow filled night to try and find him. She doesn’t meet him, but she does come across the first of others that are after him, others that clearly want to do him harm.
Rumours about the boy soon start to race round the small town of Beckdale, about his appearance (pale complexion, eyes as white as snow and hair to match), his unnatural abilities (he can supposedly read minds, and seems to know much more about people he has never met, than he should be able to). He’s also accused of a series of attacks on girls across the country.
All rumour and no proof, but something about the boy is decidedly odd.
Dusty, has her own troubles, her brother disappeared without a trace a few years ago, and Dusty is still trying to deal with it, and tends to react with her fists, when she is taunted by classmates over something.
Then, the boy calls again, and seems to know something about her brothers disappearance. Are the boy’s calls a cry for help or is there something more sinister behind them? Is she in danger? Is she somehow becoming attracted to him. What exactly is he? As the boy draws her further into his web, the town and the vigilantes pouring in, begin to turn against her…
Frozen Fire is an utterly gripping psychological thriller that will keep you guessing right up to (and indeed after) the stunning climax. A climax that is both perfect and yet your feeling on finishing it can only be described as “Guh…” (That’s the sound of your emotions draining out of you by-the-way…) It’s an ending that leaves as many questions unanswered as it answers, and indeed, just how much is answered is up to you the reader. Bowler doesn’t try to make your mind up, he just tells his story and leaves the rest up to you. You will be thinking about this one for ages afterwards.
I love Bowler’s writing. When I went to listen to him talk in Scarborough a few months ago, he was asked what made him want to write YA books, and his answer was that he doesn’t he set out to. He just happens to write stories with young protagonists (because he finds characters in that age group the most interesting). I think that shows in his books, whilst the writing may appear simple, these are always intelligent books, with many layers of complexity to them.