Frozen Fire

Frozen Fire

4.0 94
by Tim Bowler

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Dusty’s life has fallen apart. Her mother left after Dusty’s brother mysteriously disappeared, and her father is devastated. Then Dusty gets a seemingly random phone call: a boy’s voice saying, “I’m dying.” At first Dusty doesn’t care, but then the boy says things that only Dusty knows. Things that lead her to believe


Dusty’s life has fallen apart. Her mother left after Dusty’s brother mysteriously disappeared, and her father is devastated. Then Dusty gets a seemingly random phone call: a boy’s voice saying, “I’m dying.” At first Dusty doesn’t care, but then the boy says things that only Dusty knows. Things that lead her to believe he knows where her brother is. And after a few more calls, Dusty wants to find this boy, but he doesn’t want to be found. He claims he is too dangerous, and there are many people who agree. Can Dusty avoid getting hurt and still protect this mysterious boy who may not be of this world?

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Editorial Reviews

KLIATT - Paula Rohrlick
"I'm dying," says a boy's voice on the phone in the opening line of this spooky thriller. Dusty, age 15, doesn't know what to make of the call, especially when the boy says his name is Josh—the name of her brother, who vanished two years ago and is presumed dead. Or could Josh really be alive? Dusty is determined to find the caller, undeterred by mysterious threats, menacing men with guns, and more than a hint of the supernatural. The "frozen fire" of the title refers in part to the snow constantly falling on the British countryside where Dusty's quest takes place, and also reflects Dusty's obsession with her brother—she's frozen, unable to move forward—as well as the cold, creepy, tense tone of the story, despite its lyrical language. The suspense is nail biting in this psychological mystery, and fans of Bowler's other imaginative works, like River Boy and Storm Catchers, will be eager to read this new page-turner. Reviewer: Paula Rohrlick
VOYA - Dotsy Harland
On a snowy night in rural Britain, fifteen-year-old Dusty receives a telephone call from a strange boy who knows details about Dusty's life, including the name of her older brother, Josh, who has been missing for two years. Dusty is determined to find the boy and question him about Josh. In the meantime, rumors about a mysterious young rapist are flying around town, with a vigilante group seeking revenge. They believe that Dusty is hiding him, and they stalk her, trying to frighten her into giving him up. Dusty senses that the boy is otherworldly, is not convinced that he is a rapist, and wants to protect him at least long enough to find out what he knows about Josh. In the end, the boy's body is exposed to an angry mob, revealing the fact that he has no genitals. He then magically disappears after driving into a lake. When Josh's body is found under the submerged car, Dusty realizes that Josh committed the rape and then drowned himself. Bowler creates an unsettling mood in this novel, which opens with an excruciatingly tense situation but then moves rather slowly. Set against a lonely winter landscape, this weird story will be savored by both fantasy and suspense readers. The fact that Bowler never reveals the identity or motive of the mysterious boy is slightly disappointing, and it is somewhat difficult to connect with his characters, but he spins a good tale nonetheless. Reviewer: Dotsy Harland
School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up- "I'm sorry, little Dusty. Good-bye, little Dusty." These words, spoken by a stranger on a cell phone, are the same ones uttered by the British teen's brother before he disappeared. The boy on the phone claims he has overdosed and is dying. Dusty walks out into the snow to find him and enters into a supernatural puzzle beyond her imagination. She follows his snowy footprints to a place where they inexplicably vanish, but not long afterward, she learns he has not died. She soon finds herself pursued by vigilantes who are also looking for this boy. They claim he has abnormally snow-white skin and hair and is responsible for a number of reprehensible crimes. Dusty, convinced that he knows something about her brother, refuses to give him up to the mob before he reveals his secrets. Dusty is a bitter tomboy with many disagreeable characteristics, yet readers will find themselves rooting for her. The rest of the characters are flat. The mystery is creepy and compelling, and readers will want to know more. Unfortunately, that which is revealed is surface level, and the deeper mystery remains unsolved. Copious pages of dialogue thrust the story forward and will appeal to many readers; however, interpreting what has happened will take more effort than most teens will be willing to expend.-Heather M. Campbell, formerly at Philip S. Miller Library, Castle Rock, CO

Kirkus Reviews
Shimmering suspense and atmosphere highlight Bowler's trademark mysteriousness. Dusty answers the phone late at night and hears a stranger announce, "I'm dying." He isn't (though he wants to be), and he knows intimate details about her that no one should know. Furthermore, he implies knowledge of Dusty's brother, who vanished two years ago. When she realizes he's calling from a nearby park, she tracks him through the snow until his footsteps disappear. People across the country have seen this boy, and vigilantes pursue him for alleged rape; he may be made of snow or fire, and he knows everyone's secrets. Dusty searches for the entrancing boy despite the townspeople's fury, her father's distress and her own instinctive feelings of peril. A dangerous, gleaming brightness (possibly the same metaphysical matter as the boy) threatens to transform Dusty into frigid fire. The enigmatic whirl of events ends with a blend of closure and persevering questions; readers who liked Firmament (2004) but found Apocalypse (2005) too cryptic will want to return to Bowler for this one. (Fantasy. YA)

Product Details

Gardners Books
Publication date:

Meet the Author

Tim Bowler lives in Devon, England.

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Frozen Fire 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 94 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Dusty's brother disappeared over a year ago without a trace. The family thinks that he is probably dead, and Dusty is still mourning his loss. Then she gets a phone call from a strange boy who says, "I'm dying." Dusty is ready to hang up on him when he says some things that make her think he knows something about her brother. It sounds like he may really be dying from an overdose, and then she loses voice contact with him.

How did he get her cell phone number? Who is he? She sets off into the winter night to try to find him since she is pretty sure that he is close, and in trouble. Then things get really frightening when a man, two boys, and some wicked-looking dogs join the search and then chase and corner Dusty, demanding to know where the boy is.

After the boy contacts Dusty again, she discovers that other people have also had contact with this mystery boy who seems to be part human, part spirit. He has an affinity with Dusty but insists that he won't let himself be found because he is too dangerous. There are many people who agree and who want to see this boy dead . . . and who will hurt anyone who stands in their way.

Carnegie Medal winner Tim Bowler is a genius at plotting and characterization, and this story stands alone as a paranormal mystery/thriller about a boy that may not be of this world and a girl who is driven to protect him at all costs. FROZEN FIRE kept me reading most of the night, with suspense that just kept building to an unexpected ending. The elusive boy and Dusty are characters that you won't soon forget, in a story that will keep you wondering.
kantasma More than 1 year ago
I picked up this book because of the eerie, awesome looking cover. As soon as I starting reading it, I was hooked. The first line of the book("I'm dying.", said the voice on the other side of the phone.) is what really caught my attention. This book is full of thrills and adventure, although the writing can drag on in some chapters. The plot has a bunch of twists in it and it always has you wondering "What's going to happen next?". It was always hard to put this book down. However, I think the ending could be a lot better. You never find out the boy's name, and you never find out who or what he/she was/is. It's almost like a cliffhanger. That, and I think this book could use a little more dialogue. Most of the writing is in the form of Dusty's thoughts and feelings. I give this book a solid four stars. It wasn't the most amazing book ever, but it was a very good read. Perfect for a rainy day. :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book!! I just got it because of the cover and it sounds interesting. I love love the story line! It kept me interested till the very end but then it just left me with unanswered questions
acsimps More than 1 year ago
This book was a page turner right from the beginning. The story is about Dusty and how she is dealing with the loss of her brother (he has been missing for two years). The boy who she is drawn to seems to hold the answers she is seeking but she can't seem to get them. Some might not like this book because it leaves a lot of things unanswered. While I agree that Patterson could have given the story a little more closure, I also think that the current ending lets the reader decide for themselves exactly what/who the boy is and why he came into Dusty's life. I have my own make yours.
girlygoth5794 More than 1 year ago
i love this book. it was kind of weird that they left so much out at the end but i guess that was ok.i loved how you had to try to put the pieces together to get the story. i mean you can never tell whats going to happen next.i told my cousin about it,and she read what it was about, and she wanted to read it really if anyone is just thinking of reading it....READ IT: ) p.s. what also got me was it would have been cool if they made a second one.
Lexy27 More than 1 year ago
This book captivated my attention just from the first line on the first page. The rest of the story was not as good as it was in the beginning of the story, but it was still pretty good. I didn't understand the concept of the mysterious boy in the first place. He basically becomes a big part of Dusty's life but doesn't really make such an impact on the outcome of the story. I didn't like the ending, because ( without giving anything away) something happening to a certain character, but the story was enjoyable to read and captures your attention the minute you start reading it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It doesnt sound to interesting but once I started reading it i had a hard time putting it down. It was one of those books that just pulled you in from pnage one and I really did enjoy it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Once I started reaing it, I couldn't put it down. It started to get a little wierd throughout the story, but the suspense and mystery of the story never lightens up. Which is always a good thing.
Miss-Clyde More than 1 year ago
I was intrigued by the first lines of this book. But from there, it was a writing roller coaster. At first, it was spectacular, and then it was just okay, and then it became brilliant again, and once again it shorted out. Despite the ups and downs, it still carries the air of mysterious wonderfully. However, there were quite a few grammar errors and awkward sentence structures. I just couldn't get into this book at most parts. Sometimes its so melodramatic and trite I can't read on. But I somehow managed, and it was somehow predictable at the end. I wouldn't say it's an absoultely horrible book, just one I wouldn't reccommend.
Wan More than 1 year ago
I must admit the cover drew me to this book but it was the first ten pages or so that made me buy it. Tim Bowler can build suspense like nobodies business but after a while, I realized this story wasn't going anywhere fast. I liked Dusty as a character but her relentless pursuit of her brother's mysterious disappearance became annoying at times and her "angelic" friend? Counterpart? Stalker? Well, that whole build up ended with a resounding thud. I wanted to like this book badly. I guess that's why I forced myself to read it to the very end. But alas, I was disappointed with the finale and was left just as aimless as the book's protagonist.
Catwomen More than 1 year ago
I am the kind of gal who doesn't like reading when I don't have to, but this book is a different story. We needed to pick a free read book at my school, so my mom and looked and she found this book. I also am the kind of person that can read half of a story and then just stop. But I couldn't stop with this book. I kept reading it all night long. I would recommend trhis book to all readers, but especially teens who don't like reading! Totally fasinating!!!!!!!!!
Rewrite5 More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book has left me speechless until the very end. [literally] This novel has such intense style and dialogue that's hardly descibed by the feelings of the speaker being spoken of or to or about. The scenes are completely exhilarating with anxiety and mystique, it's competely mad. Each chapter send chills down your spine, and the endings of each chapter make you want to keep reading. Though some parts, I have to admit, were quite too eccentric, some parts are quite dull - but after all, most good books have to have boring parts too. The edge of your seat feeling is fresh and never old though some parts were cliched. The ending was a big shock for me, never suspecting a dead person long before the story started to be the big link to all the chaos he's cast among the towns of Millhaven and Beckdale. If you like thrillers of psychological mayhem, do read especially.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Absolutely wonderful book, but does need a better ending. It leaves you on a cliffhanger. This read puts you into the scene of the crime. The words just jumped on off the pages. Tim Bowler knows how to keep you hanging on, and there wasn't anything better than having this to read while you are sick in bed, snowed in during the winter, or just a late night read.
LexisM More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorite books! I have to read it again!
astara More than 1 year ago
i love this book, it was scary n some parts but not to scary and the thrill of seeing what would happen next was out standing, do be dumb by this book!! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Nahomi More than 1 year ago
This book is spectacular it made impact when they found out THE BOY was innocent and how they found out. He was blamed of rape but how could he, it wasn't possible. But the start is the totally best the first words he says to her "I'm dying". The book catches your attention and ones you start reading it you don't want to but it down at all. It takes you to a world of adventure and confusion. Dusty herself has a hard live. Her brother disappeared then her mom goes and abandons her and her dad. Then she receives this weird of a boy in midnight alone in her house in New Years Eve. But in the end it turned out that the her brother wasn't alive like dusty totally wished for. This is one of the best books ever
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jesslyin More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book! I can't believe a lot of things that happened in the book, but one thing i do know is that if your a person who loves mysteries and intense stories, then, this is definitely a book for you. I love how the book started with a straight up comment/mystery that happens to be a weird phone call, from a strange unknown person...or thing. Anyway, i loved how the story kept me entertained throughout the whole book. I loved every part of it, except for maybe the ending. Even at the end of the book, the mysteries that were appearing throughout the book, still were unsolved and it sort of left me confused and wanting to know more on what happened. I highly recommend this book to teens, it's amazing!! (and i only gave it four stars because of the confusion towards the end of the book, other than that, it would have totally gotten five the book!!) :D
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a great book! It's a thriller and it will keep you on the edge of your seat. However,the ending was a major disappointment.