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What Would You Do If Someone Hacked into Your Head? Review of Nathan J.D.L. Rowark’s “Infatuation: The Story of the Snow Queen”

By Crossstitchyourheart @TMNienaber
What would you do if someone hacked into your head? Review of Nathan J.D.L. Rowark’s “Infatuation: The Story of the Snow Queen”*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*


Kay and Grace are brother and sister growing up in an advanced society controlled by the “Deacon”, religious zealot gone dictator.  Their society has turned into one both primitive and advanced.  While almost everyone is given implants at birth to allow them 24/7 access to “the feeds” (an advanced version of the internet you connect do directly through the brain) society is also held to the strict moral code of an obsessive and overly zealous Christian government.  Of course, when your brain is your computer your life is open to invasion by hackers and advanced technology can always be manipulated.  As hackers infiltrate the latest Christian-inspired app society begins to crumble and what you see may not be what’s really in front of you.

Adding another layer to this already complex plot, Kay meets the Snow Queen a genetically engineered woman of ice who Kay is drawn to for reasons beyond just simple

What would you do if someone hacked into your head? Review of Nathan J.D.L. Rowark’s “Infatuation: The Story of the Snow Queen”
attraction, proclaiming their destiny as soul mates after one brief meeting in the streets.  The Snow Queen lures Kay into her world, killing his body and transferring his soul into the shell of another (oh, did I forget to mention these fabulous implants are also tied to the human soul, making it possible to bring the dead back to life?).  As Kay goes out to fulfill his destiny with the Snow Queen his sister, Grace, leaves her family to try and find him.   As the three embark on very different journeys you are thrown into the world of the Snow Queen, Eternity’s, mother’s world, the world of a technology controlled society, and the spark that lit the zealot’s fire that started it all.  Not to mention the time shifting machine that keeps the world in check.

Sound like a lot?  It is. Rowark has a lot of threads to keep track of here and, unfortunately, doesn’t manage to do so in a way that keeps his reader from being hopelessly lost.  Rowark has created a fantastic society, the way he integrates technology and religious zealots could be reminiscent of Orwell or Atwood, but just throwing these two components together isn’t enough.  We need to see how the society has progressed, what got us to the place we are now, or at least enough background to pick up where we are.  Between the displaced, the body farms, the resurrected dead, and the time shifts it’s hard to tell which of the characters is alive at any given chapter, let alone when/where they are and which layer of the story they’re adding to. The relationship between Eternity and Kay was a difficult to follow as well.  It’s hard to tell whether Rowark’s Snow Queen is supposed to be a temptress, luring Kay away from the safety of his life, or the woman of his dreams.  The book’s ending attempts to tie things together but ends up creating more plot threads than there were before and very few things are ever really resolved.

Rowark is a good writer, that’s plain to see in this book, he has talent.  It isn’t his writing that bogs this book down.  He’s just created a world that he knows too well but the reader doesn’t know at all.  The world he’s created here sounds like the kind of place I’d love to get lost in, but he moves from point to point so quickly you don’t get time to look around, explore the scenery, see the sights, smell the smells. I never got a chance to hate “The Deacon” ,love the Snow Queen savior, or feel for hero Kay.  It was all over too fast.

I’d like to see Rowark take us back to this world with a little more development.  Instead of introducing us to an array of eclectic characters who could all have their own books, focus on one and let us dive into the mystery.  If you’re a fan of techno-fantasy-scifi you might enjoy seeing what Rowark has put together.  It’s a fast paced plot but moves just a little too quickly for its own good.

The story is based on Hans Christian Anderson’s tale “The Snow Queen” so here’s a link if you’re interested in what the fable is about.  Or just listen/watch the video below.

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