Series note: Trapped is the second White World novel, and picks up the plot where Iced left off. I would not recommend reading these books out of order as they form a single story.
The tiny peak was barely visible, even to Thirteen’s eyes. But there was no mistaking the lopsided cone. Volcano Helado was on the eastern horizon. She should have called it out, shouted the sighting to Cord and Miyu. But the words stuck in her dry throat. Her lungs ached with the pent-up air she should have used to yell. Only a sharp pang in her chest forced her to release it. Although her eyes burned with the need to blink, all she could do was stare. The volcano luminesced a hot white, even against the glare of the ice. But finally her timing took over. She needed to scan port and starboard.
Visibility on the vast Pacifica Ice Sheet was good, though no longer infinite. As they neared the edge of the plateau, it fractured. Massive uplifted plates tilted at every angle. The trimaran skimmer sailed at a decent clip, though not nearly as fast as it was capable. They picked their path, riding up and down the colossal, sloping slabs. The trim of the mainsail and jib needed constant adjustment to keep the blades from skidding. They’d escaped the slaver fleet by ditching their starboard hull, so now the ship was unbalanced and hard to sail. They couldn’t reach top speed or even enough to hover. But even at this pace, they’d covered plenty of ice in only a few days.
Trapped takes up the story directly after the events of Iced, in which we were first introduced to the fugitives Thirteen, Cord, and Miyu. Despite their recent lucky escape, however, Thirteen is determined to head straight into the jaws of the predator in order to search out her sister — her only family, and as far as she knows, the only other person with her unusual, ice-adapted physiology. And Cord has promised to help her.
The sight of the volcano on the horizon is encouraging, but Thirteen’s optimism is premature, as there’s a wide crevasse between them and their target. With a damaged ship, getting to the other side will involve a lengthy detour or a high-risk manoeuvre across the vasse. Feeling the pressure of time, Thirteen argues for the quicker route, but even she can’t predict what lies, not beyond, but within the vasse itself.
I’ve loved the way Cord and Thirteen interact since they first met in the previous book, and they’re still working things out. Even more charmingly, Thirteen is learning to get on with Miyu, Cord’s daughter — a big thing for her since she doesn’t really have experience with handling children.
Meanwhile, in the palace, the crown prince is scheming and the king is growing suspicious. We see only hints of motives and methods, within the court, but it’s enough to show a different side of life, and to foreshadow the tension that’s bound to follow when Thirteen eventually reaches her goal.
This is a quick read that continues Thirteen’s story, as well as dropping hints about something more going on with Cord. It ends on a major cliffhanger, so I’m hoping we won’t have too long to wait for the next one.