I Guess I Like Aliens Now? (A Review of Ice Planet Barbarians)
September 7, 2023
Have you ever fantasized about crash landing on an ice planet inhabited by hunky blue aliens who want nothing more than to care for and love you like it is their sole reason for existing? Welcome to Not-Hoth, home to the Ice Planet Barbarians.
What is Ice Planet Barbarians About?
Ice Planet Barbarians is a series of romance novels written by Ruby Dixon. The first book in the series, Ice Planet Barbarians, was published in 2016. The series follows the story of a group of human women who are stranded on a planet inhabited by alien barbarians. The women must learn to survive on the cold and deadly planet, while dealing with the large blue alien men who are happy to have these young (fertile) women in their midst.
The mysterious planet is home to many strange creatures, but the strangest of all is the khui that lives in each of the alien men. A khui not only prevents the planet from killing you, but also promotes procreation. For lack of a better word, when your khui resonates with another being, it makes you incredibly horny and won’t rest until you and your mate get down to business. And when the aliens on the planet begin resonating with the stranded women, things begin to get very interesting.
The series follows the women as they settle into their new lives on the alien planet, coming to terms with their circumstances, and forming relationships with the alien men who welcome them with open arms. Each book focuses on a new couple with interconnected stories, mainly focused on the romantic relationship between the couple. It’s important to note that the series is not driven by a complex external plot. Pacing and tension is created by the romantic relationships and steamy scenes between the characters, so I would not recommend the series to someone looking for a thrilling sci-fi or fantasy novel.
Note: Check trigger warnings before reading. The kidnapped women experience traumatic events in the first couple of chapters, before meeting their partners.
Ice Planet Barbarians Series Review
This is one of those series that I have difficulty rating, because the writing style and plot structure is incredibly simple, and somewhat naive. Do I think this series is an example of good writing? No, I don’t. Are the descriptions and narrative unnecessarily repetitive, and is the plot thin and anticlimactic? Most of the time, yes. But did I have a good time reading the books? Absolutely, yes! Here are a couple of things I loved:
1. These books are the perfect palette cleanser.
This is a series that you have to be in the mood for. It’s a perfect palette cleanser, something fun and spicy to read between heavy contemporaries or high fantasy. The plot is incredibly simple and easy to follow along with, so you can get in and out without much effort on your part. And the books are relatively short compared to most typical full length novels, so you could finish an entire book on a quiet night in. This is exactly what I look for in a palette cleanser, because I don’t want to have to store a ton of world building facts or face deep emotions. I just want to be entertained, and these books are definitely entertaining.
2. Dixon captures the voice of the alien men as they process the women’s complex actions and emotions, and their innocence is adorable.
Dixon’s writing style is very unique in this series. We have two different races - humans and sa-khui - and her ability to completely change her writing style to fit the voice of each character in the story is honestly impressive. I enjoyed reading from the POV of the alien men, especially as they tried to understand the strange customs of the women, embracing everything about them without question, but with loads of curiosity. It creates so many funny moments, and a cozy writing style that feels authentic and utterly unpretentious.
3. I was surprised how hypothetically attracted I was to blue men with horns.
Never in my life did I think I would be a girl that liked alien smut, but Ruby Dixon changed my mind. I thought it would be too taboo for me, but the men in this series are genuinely so sweet that I couldn't help but love them. At the end of the day, we’re all aliens to someone, right? Horns be damned, I loved following the different couples. And I loved the added layer of learning new customs and experiencing an entirely different world!
Overall, I thought the first couple of books were entertaining and spicy. If you’re looking for alien smut with a rom-com feel, this is the series for you. And with over 20 books in the series (and two interconnected series in the same universe) you will have plenty of characters, comedy and spice to keep you entertained for at least a few weeks.
Can the Ice Planet Barbarians books be read as standalones?
I would recommend starting with the original book and series namesake, Ice Planet Barbarians, before jumping to the rest of the story. We get crucial background information in the first installment, setting the scene and introducing characters that take the main stage in the following books. Because there is not a heavy external plot carrying the series forward, you could pick and choose which books you want to read, maybe by reading the synopsis or looking to Goodreads for advice. Keep in mind, there may be small spoilers if you read ahead in the series, but for most people, it shouldn't ruin the experience. But I’m a series purist at heart, so I started at the beginning and read through in order of release date, which I’ll share below!
Ice Planet Barbarians Reading Order
Here are the full-length titles in the Ice Planet Barbarians series by Ruby Dixon. There may be additional novellas and short stories connected to the series, which you can find on Ruby Dixon’s website.
Ice Planet Barbarians
What are your thoughts on the series? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.