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[Review] Frost: Fantastic YA Paranormal With A Hint of Dystopian Looming

Series: The Frost Chronicles #1
Genre: Dystopian, Paranormal, Romance
Age: YA
Source:LibraryThing Member Giveaway
Rating: 4 Stars
Recommendable? Yes
Sadly, this book was stuck on my to-read shelf until I won a giveaway through LibraryThing's Member Giveaway Program,in order to give an honest review. This is one of those books. "Why didn't I read this sooner?!?"

There’s a lot in this compact book but it’s not light on plot or development or world building. It’s setting up for bigger and better things and I can’t wait to see where it goes. I loved the character progression and development. I’m really curious to find out more about this world and how our characters fare.Sure, I could see certain things happening from a mile away but I wasn't itching with irritation because the pace was great and I was enjoying the ride.

Pros Cons
pacing the dystopian/post apocalyptic feeling wasn't there (felt more medieval/paranormal though I’m hoping/thinking in the next books this won’t be an issue)
mystery could see some events coming ahead of time
tension tight focus on these events without depth into the bigger picture (yet..and this was done on purpose due to the naive and sheltered first person narrative but it can be a drawback for some)
the romance wasn't all consuming, cliff hanger (but not a major rage inducing one)
world building wish it was longer
character development unanswered questions that I better get the answers to in the next book
atmosphere (I felt frosty and heard the snow crunch)
beautifully written
loved the internally strong, and externally brave heroine with her varied support characters

Okay, so those last two aren't really cons. :)

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On Writing & the Quotes to Prove It:

I loved the writing and style. Seriously, it’s keep tight yet descriptive as needed.

This is the opening,
It was cold, the kind of cold that made bones feel brittle and hands ache. My breath streamed from my lips like smoke and my feet made wet, crunching sounds in the snow as I slipped through the forest.

Then there’s this on page 20 about fear,
Most of the time fear was just like a rat in my belly, gnawing and gnawing a hole in the same place day after day whenever I let it. But now the rat had turned into a lion, and it was tearing me apart from the inside out.

And I love the paragraph about the blue wing on page 75, that starts with “Why does it live in a place that could kill it?”

As for the Romance Aspect:

For those of us dismayed, queasy and downright bored at the prevalence and focus on YA romance in books not in the romance genre (sometimes to the detriment of other great elements of a book) I say this, don't worry. The romance is relevant but not dominating. Nothing is sacrificed to make it work and doesn’t obliterate everything in it’s wake. Lia has reasons other than just quickly growing love for the things she does.

Okay, the love is quick but NOT the insta-ramen-noodle love where she sacrifices everything because he’s sooooo hot and she drools over him like an idiot. It’s more of naturally occurring event when two people from different places are thrown into a dangerous situation. It's not all consuming and they don't make a huge stupid mistake over it. I would have been SO pissed if the ending was changed to accommodate a fairy tale romance ending.

Thankfully, that didn't happen. The romance was one of those things I knew was coming and am happy with the way it was handled. I mean finding a hot stranger and saving his life, when all you've know is your own small village is a situation where I could see falling in love with said stranger. Sure, it went to love quick but really there's no room for crushes and dating. It's official courting and marriage in their world, in their situation, in their fight for survival. It’s really all or nothing.

That One Thing:

I wouldn’t necessarily call this a flaw for me, since I loved the book as is. However, for those looking for dystopian/post apocalyptic/end of the world as we know it feeling or atmosphere, you aren’t going to find it here. As it is in this book, our main setting country is medieval, maybe colonial, like with looming threat of an industrialized country and the paranormal monsters fluttering in between.

We don't really get even a hint of fallen city/country/time or big disastrous past until the very, very end. And even then, it’s just a hint. It could go a different way. So I’m going with paranormal with a sci-fi twist for now.

However, as we delve more into this world and learn more how this world works and how it came to be I have a feeling this aspect is going to get stronger. I’m hoping it gets stronger. My guesses as to the continuing story arc from the ending certainly leads me down that direction but I can’t be sure until I read the next book, Thorns.

Great 4 stars
Recommend for: YA and Fantasy Lovers  
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Hello Again

Brooke Banks | 9:06 AM | Please comment!
It's been while because my life has been full of bullshit and I didn't have the spoons for reviewing. I'm sorry for suddenly dropping off like that but at the time, there wasn't anything else to do but go offline and get shit done.

My life is still pretty full and it's not all over yet but I'm feeling much better. Things are on the right track at least. Now I've got a great job I just started and my daughter is safely rocking 3rd grade. Plus, I've been reading like I used to (Gods, how much I missed it!) and am now itching to get my thoughts out there again.

I've got my to-read shelf and pages of notes to flush out into reviews as well as updating and fixing my previous posts for the new template. There's the review index I've got to keep updated and various odds and ends which will keep me busy while I get into the swing of review blogging again.

I don't have a set post schedule or anything. I'm keeping it light and fun, because the last thing I need is another chore. I'm extremely excited to reconnect with old friends and make new ones, especially since meatspace is sorely lacking in book nerds to geek out with me. :D
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