Cold as Ice (Whatever After #6) Review
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Unabridged Digital Audiobook
Runtime: 3 hours, 16 minutes
Read by Emily Eiden

In the first five books in the Whatever After series by author Sarah Mlynowski, the stories’ two young heroes have traveled to some of young readers’ favorite fairy tales to change the stories forever. But in the audio edition of the sixth book, Cold as Ice, they end up in a less familiar—and less beloved—traditional tale.

The story finds 10-year-old Abby feuding with Robin, one of her two best friends, who’s decided to start spending time with a new best friend. It doesn’t help, either, that Abby and her little brother, Jonah, have promised their parents that they’ll stop sneaking into their basement at night—which means no more trips through their magic mirror into fairy tale land. But when their dog, Prince, sneaks into the basement and travels through the mirror, Abby and Jonah have to chase after him—and they find themselves in the frigid world of the Snow Queen.

Fans of Disney’s Frozen will be surprised by Abby and Jonah’s adventure with the Snow Queen. After all, as Abby explains in the beginning, the original story is nothing like the Disney movie. It’s a strange and sometimes confusing story—and Elsa and Anna are nowhere to be found. And perhaps that’s part of what makes Cold as Ice a rather perplexing adventure. The fairy tale isn’t as popular as some of the others that Abby and Jonah have visited, so young readers (and even the older ones, too) may have a harder time settling into this story about talking reindeer and bands of robbers and snow zombies.

Not only is it an unfamiliar fairy tale, but the story is also rather jumbled. It’s so strange and jumbled, in fact, that it will make you understand why Disney went in a totally different direction with their version. The good characters are rather flat (and sometimes frozen), and the bad characters are underused—and their story isn’t especially interesting.

Fortunately, though, Abby gets a chance here to show her strength and loyalty—and though she still has plenty of moments of bossiness and stubbornness, some of her best qualities shine through in the end. And, of course, she learns some valuable lessons about friendship along the way.

If you love the Whatever After series because of its new take on some beloved stories, Cold as Ice won’t be one of your favorites. It still has some entertaining moments—and it will introduce readers to a story that they probably haven’t explored before—but it’s lacking that classic fairy-tale charm of other books in the series.

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