Finished OPEN ICE by Pat Hughes and must say it is top drawer. Nick Tag is a complete character, complex and multi-faceted. He is not an easy character to like in many cases, but that makes him all the more real to the reader, I think. Nick is a supremely talented hockey player who has taken too many hits. When he suffers yet another serious concussion, his neurologist tells him he must hang up his skates or risk permanent brain damage. Nick is not one to quit easily and there is quite the tug of war as he tries to get parents and doctors to allow him to play. When he cannot play, he goes into a tailspin. It seems as if the world is conspiring against him. His girlfriend dumps him; his parents argue non-stop; even his best friend seems to be bailing. Nick is a huge piece of self-pity and his anger makes him someone no one loves to be around for long. Hughes does a splendid job of not only making Nick real, the problems Nick encounters are not easily solved even at the end of this fine book. Even though hockey is not a big sport down this way, I think this book will find an appreciative audience.