“Maybe nothing could extinguish the yearning of human love; maybe it traveled on forever, through the darkness. Like the light from dead stars.”
Sarah and Angus’ identical twins, Lydia and Kirstie, are the apples of their eye, but when Lydia dies in a tragic accident the family dynamic shatters completely. Trying to piece their world back together they decide to move to a tiny Scottish island and things seem on track until Kirstie claims she is Lydia, and Kirstie was the one who died. In The Ice Twins by S.K. Tremayne Sarah is forced to come to terms with the past, her relationship with her surviving daughter, and what really happened on the day of the accident.
*Review may contain spoilers*
On Instagram, I follow someone who wanted to read creepy books involving children, and this was one of them. I don’t know if she did a review or not, but I was in the mood for a creepy child story as well. And who doesn’t like one about identical twins?
First off, there was so much potential and the premise caught my attention immediately. I’d never heard of a story like this before and was getting some serious Shinning vibes with the twins, a family moving to an isolated location, and not really knowing what’s real and what isn’t.
But as the book continued the characters, dialogue, and storyline hit a brick wall headfirst and never recovered.
S.K. Tremayne wants readers to understand Lydia and Kirstie are super, super, super identical and everything physical about them is the same and there’s no way for anyone to tell them apart.
In my dad’s family, there have been three sets of twins (all fraternal) with my dad being the eldest of the third set. At one point, I did some research on twins on my own time and discovered there is a way to identify them, especially when they’re babies.
Unlike eyes or hair color, belly buttons aren’t genetic. Basically, they’re scars that heal after the umbilical cord is cut, and unless the doctor tries real hard they are hardly ever cut the same way twice, allowing for twins to be identified.
But, Tremayne doesn’t seem to know that, assuring readers there is no possible way for Sarah and Angus to know which twin is which and they did all the tricks from nail polish to color coordinating, but with a little research that clearly isn’t the case. I was disappointed. After all, Tremayne is a journalist and he should know all about conducting thorough research, right?
Luckily, that’s the least of the problems.
I don’t want to end up ranting, but I don’t see how anyone could end up liking any of these characters. Honestly, if I had to choose, I’d pick the dog.
Sarah is simply a mess with no true personality and such a worrywart I wanted to shake her. Had she been diagnosed with anxiety at the beginning I could see it working (and helping that awful twist at the end), but she worries over every little detail and becomes obsessed with being right, coming to conclusions without using any common sense.
Angus was useless. The only thing he contributed to the story was the island they move to. He’s an alcoholic and extremely unreliable character (and the switch from first to third person doesn’t help him or the plot either.)
Overall, the entire marriage and their attitude toward one another is horrendous. There are so many double standards, unbelievable sexism, which Tremayne seems to support in a sly way, and such glaring unhealthy issues they could star in their own soap opera. It’s completely unbelievable that these two have been together for ten years, especially with all the affairs (and don’t even get me started about Angus’ because it’s bullshit.)
And because the story dedicates 90% of it’s time on the marriage and issues of Angus and Sarah the daughter is cast aside, and ultimately dismantling the creepiness tone altogether.
Then, if that isn’t enough, the dialogue starts choking the story dry after it becomes exceedingly clear Tremayne has no idea how people actually talk.
Dialogue can be tricky, but when explicit after explicit is used as filler and to make the characters “human” it shows a lack of skill. It also helps if the dialogue actually moves the story along, not hinder it by supplying nothingness time and time again.
Finally, the ending; obvious, and so anticlimactic I didn’t care about anyone or anything, but the dog even though the explanation for that mystery made me roll my eyes into the back of my head.
All I can say is that it was a letdown. It reminded me too much of Novel About My Wife and though this isn’t how I’d like to end this review if I say anything more I’ll end up ripping this book in half.