Review: Rings of Ice

Rings of IceRings of Ice
by Piers Anthony

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Rings of Ice / 0-380-00036-9

I'm a moderate Piers Anthony fan, although goodness knows he has his flaws from time to time. I do enjoy his stand-alone science fiction, though, and "Rings of Ice" definitely delivers a punch.

Though it is a valid criticism of the book that several of the characters are somewhat shallow and one-dimensional, I think it is important to note that the individual characters here are not meant to be the main focus of the story. When the world begins to disastrously flood in a standard "science gone wrong" scenario, these dysfunctional and one-dimensional people must come together as a group in order to survive.

In this light, the characters' dysfunctional personalities enhance the story because a new view of "survival of the fittest" is presented here: our characters survive not because they are individually "fit", but because they are "fit" as a group. The strengths of the combined whole must outweigh the weaknesses of the individuals. Each main character has a potentially fatal weakness, and the group must work to overcome those weaknesses. This in of itself is a fascinating departure from standard fare survival fiction, where He-Men heroes and She-Ra heroines survive because they are just such ruggedly awesome people.

I definitely recommend this book for a rainy day read.

~ Ana Mardoll

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