Iceling – Sasha Stephenson

icelingLorna’s father is a scientist and was working in the Arctic when he discovered a boat drifting.  They board and discover babies. No crew.  Just babies.  Many died, but those that survived were placed with families that had a child near the same age as the Arctic babies called Icelings.  Lorna’s family adopted Callie.  Now, 17, Lorna has developed a closer relationship to Callie than their parents.  Callie does not speak and is prone to fits along with strange behavior.  Lorna is the one who takes her to the hospital after the worst episodes.  There, she meets Stan who is older brother and caretaker to Ted, another Iceling who also does not speak and is strangely aggressive.

One night, both Icelings independently make replicas of an island.  Stan and Lorna get Callie and Ted together and the bond is instant.  The two Icelings insist on a road trip North.  So Stan and Lorna get in the car and drive.  Along the way, they meet up with other Icelings on this mysterious journey to their home.  Some think the Icelings are designed to be a deadly weapon, others think they were just abandoned babies.

This reminds me a bit of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, when those getting the alien invite make the journey to view the spaceships.  Some things  do not add up – minutiae really.  Is it realistic for parents to leave a 17-year-old in charge of a special needs child for two weeks?  The long narratives and character musings slowed things down a bit but did yield better understanding of Lorna.  Interesting premise.

eGalley review                                          Publication date 12.13.16

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