Unable to put into words what best describes Girl in Ice, the story is somewhat like Nell meets Alexandra Rover, two characters played brilliantly by Jodi Foster.
Sigrid is a young girl found perfectly preserved, frozen in a glacier. Wyatt is the scientist who cut her out and brought her back to life. Val is a linguist Wyatt contacts to help them understand what Sigrid is saying. Andy is Val’s brother, also a scientist who worked with Wyatt in the Arctic Circle until Andy was found frozen, curled up outside the door in the snow. Andy was also one of Wyatt’s students, who always looked up to and admired his professor and mentor.
When Val is contacted by Wyatt to help communicate with a girl he cut out of the ice, she is intrigued. However, she is also skeptical. Her father very forcefully asks her to put aside her fear and her anxiety and go help Wyatt. Val’s father tells her that Wyatt killed Andy, and she needs to find out what really happened.
Ferencik offers and intriguing thriller with Girl in Ice. Val must go way beyond her comfort zone to help this young girl no one understands. She speaks a language even Val has never heard, but Val nonetheless works tirelessly to understand what Sigrid is trying to say through verbal communication and in pictures.
The reader becomes very invested in Val’s overcoming her fears and breaking the code of Sigrid’s language. The one thing Val knows is that her ability to communicate with Sigrid is a matter of life or death. She must be able to understand what Sigrid is saying as well as how to communicate back to her in order to help her. Val learns the truth about Andy in a very unexpected way, while fighting not only for Sigrid’s life but also for her own. They are each other’s only chance to survive the danger they face from extreme weather conditions as well as unexpected and surprising sources.
The story ends in a way far where I expected. Although there is some predictability, the plot twists make up for it in the end. I finished the book in a state of disbelief. This is the way a book should capture its reader’s attention and imagination. Readers should be transported into the environments in which the characters find themselves. Girl in Ice does this well. This is the first book I have read by Erica Ferencik, but I am sure it will not be the last.