Reviews of Frost

In the monster-infested world of the Frost, Lia Weaver must keep her family safe and help a fugitive to safety while avoiding detection by the cruel soldiers from the south.

Reviews of Frost by Kate Avery Ellison

Christie Rich reviewed on May 17, 2012

Kate Avery Ellison captured my interest with Curse Girl. I loved her writing style, and that did not change this time around. Ellison is gifted with telling stories without littering them with fluff.

The world of the Frost is eerie and intriguing. I found Lia to be a great MC with realistic feelings and actions throughout the book. Ellison's other characters are written with a genuine feel as well. The villains were horrible and the heroes heroic. I have to say I was hoping for a different outcome in the end, but I am fine with what happened too.

I left this read with questions even though this story was wrapped up nicely. I look forward to reading more from this bright author. Although I didn't enjoy Frost as much as Curse Girl, I still loved it.
(reviewed 7 days after purchase)
Georgia reviewed on Feb. 21, 2013

Frost by Kate Avery Ellison is the first book in the Frost Chronicles series.

Set in a cold world, elusive monsters called "Watchers" exist. Hiding in the forest, they are rarely ever seen, hunt at night, are immune to weapons and are only held at bay by snow blossoms (sky blue flowers) that people keep around their thresholds and wear as necklaces for protection. However, they don't guarantee your safety.

The villagers of Iceliss (just known as "the village" to locals) have hard lives in the Frost. To survive in the frozen, forested landscape every man, woman and child needs to do their part. There are quotas to make sure of it. If you don't meet your quota, you don't get your rations for the week. There are a multitude of different tasks, such as hunting, farming, weaving, dyeing, gardening, etc. From your profession, your surname is derived.

Lia Weaver's job is to spin wool into yarn. She also manages a farm no other villager wanted, as it lies on the outskirts of village, with nothing but forest and Watchers beyond. She must also look after her twin brother, John (who is unable to walk) and free-spitired younger sister, Ivy, after their parents were killed by Watchers.

No one is entirely sure what happened to her parents. They were found without their snow blossom necklaces and were last seen entering the forest with members of the Brewer family. The Brewer family made it back, but Lia's parents didn't.

Now more than ever, her remaining family must follow the rules to survive. If the village believes her unfit, they will take her siblings away. Suddenly, Lia reaches a critical point when the terrifying Farthers come to her village. They come from the city of Aeralis, in the far South. They are known as a brutal race, who imprison and abuse any and all. They are also technologically advanced, especially compared to the little village in the Frost, where technology will get you killed (as it attracts the attention of the Watchers). Aeralis has airships, gas lamps and seems to be similar to cities that exist in the Steampunk world. A dark, frightening place- whose rumours are warning enough.

When a wounded boy turns up in the forest by their house, Ivy is adamant that they save him. He is obviously a Farther and helping him is strictly against the rules, but Lia gives in to Ivy's request. It soon becomes clear that the Farthers are searching for this strange boy, but why? Was it a mistake to help him?

As Lia tries to find answers, her world is turned upside down. Who are The Thorns? What is the Gate? Who can she trust? And how did her parents really die? In this harsh world, one mistake will lead to your death, whether by exposure, Watcher or human.

The plot is fast-moving and sets a great pace. The descriptive writing is done well and depicts the severe world the characters live in realistically. Reading the story, I could feel the icy wind against my face and the constant threat of danger surrounding them. At no point do you ever feel that the characters are safe. This is simply because a safe world does not exist for them. Even without the threat of monsters all around, or brutal soldiers attacking, the elements alone are enough to kill you if you aren't careful.

The characters themselves are realistically nothing special. What I mean is that not every person in the real world is the Chosen One or has ninja fighting skills. Some people you meet might not even be interesting. Some will stick out more than others and some you won't even notice. And that's exactly what the characters are like in this book. Normal, everyday people. Some you relate to and some you forget as soon as they're gone.

The ending leaves you with just enough curiosity to keep reading. For those who don't want to continue the series (for whatever reason), it's also just complete enough to be a stand-alone story. Personally, I enjoyed this book. It held my attention and kept me guessing. Normally, I can figure out what the plot-twists will be or what secrets will be revealed, but this book had a few that surprised me. The finale happened so quickly that I was left wanting to immediately start the next book. I've always been the type of person who has to finish a story once I've started it and I'll definitely be checking out the rest of the series. If you're a fan of young adult books, fantasy or just interested, why not try it too?

Disclaimer: I was sent this book by the author. This is not a sponsored review. All opinions are 100% my own.
(reviewed 48 days after purchase)
kerri allen reviewed on Jan. 26, 2013

An excellent written book. The imagery is very vivid and it definitely has a "The Village" feel to the story. I was really glad to pick up this book and I am definitely looking forward to a sequel
(reviewed 21 days after purchase)
Tabby reviewed on Jan. 6, 2013

Let me start off by stating that this is a beautifully written YA book. MCs are wounded, but resilient and strong in their own ways. The story is part teen "Game of Thrones" and part "Village," with a dash of dystopian society. I was pleasantly surprised by some of the supporting characters as well, especially the twin brother and Ann. The ending did feel a little abrupt; however, the author has convinced me to read the next one.

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(reviewed 5 days after purchase)
CM Leal reviewed on Dec. 14, 2012

I really liked this! It was short, but it got me curious throughout the whole book and there was never a dull moment with it. What I loved the most about this book was probably the descriptions of the Frost; I could really feel the chill in the air!

Ellison's writing is simple but beautiful and I just love how she describes the world of Frost. I also had no problems imagining the world and shuddered when I got to the description of the Farthers.

The love story, albeit a bit sudden, was sweet, and I admit that I found Gabe absolutely adorable.

I suppose one of my few complaints was that the book was too short, so secondary characters weren't developed as much as I'd hoped to. But this is a series, after all, so I hope to learn more about Lia's siblings and her friends in the upcoming books.

I would definitely buy the next book in this series; I heard that some questions I had about the worldbuilding would be answered in the second book, and I can't wait to read it! :)
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
Tiffany reviewed on Aug. 11, 2012

I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

This is the second book I have read by Kate Avery Ellison. I read and loved her retelling of Beauty and the Beast called The Curse Girl.

Frost was no different. Kate is excellent at world building and her writing is detailed and descriptive without being tedious. I loved her descriptions of the forests of the Frost and the village it surrounded. Every time Lia went into the Frost my heart was in my chest fearing she would encounter a watcher. Kate is great at keeping you in suspense from page one through to the end.

Her characters are realistic and stick with you after the story has ended. I fell in love with Lia. She is determined and loyal and puts her family ahead of herself.

Gabe is such a sweetie. I really hope we get to see more of him in book two.

The only minor critique that I have is that it was a little on the short side. While being descriptive, I felt it could of had a little more action.

All in all, a great read that I highly recommend if you like young adult fantasy. I am eagerly waiting for Thorns.
(reviewed 59 days after purchase)
Lisa- Bookworm Lisa reviewed on July 24, 2012

Lia has become the head of her family. Her parents were killed in a tragic accident. They fell victim to the "Watchers". The Watchers are monster like creatures that roam the forests of the Frost. The people of the Frost know a few basic rules. Do not be out after dark and keep the blossoms of the flowers that grow in the frost around them. The blossoms somehow repel the monsters.

Despite their knowledge, trouble comes to Lia, her crippled twin brother, and her younger sister. A stranger from the neighboring realm is found near their home. He is from a far technologically superior place. They may have technology, but are brutal in their treatment of others. He is hurt and on the run.

Lia's sister begs her to help him. Against her better judgement, she takes him in and heals him. The problem is that they are not allowed to have contact with the "Farthers". By helping him, she has placed her family in jeopardy. Who can she trust, and who will help them?

When I came to the last page of the book, I was surprised. I wasn't ready for it to end. The ending made sense, but it wasn't how I wanted it to end. I think I need the second book asap!

I really liked the writing style. The book moves at a steady pace and is easy to follow. Kate Avery Ellison does a great job at explaining what is happening without taking away from the story.
(reviewed 54 days after purchase)
Mineliz Medina reviewed on July 7, 2012

I liked this book from the beginning. Also the sacrifice Lia has to make in order to care for her handicapped brother and little sister. She is a strong female character that had to learned to survive from an early age. It is good to see that not all women need a man. We can be strong too. There is lots of mystery surrounding Gabe which makes the story appealing and leaves you wanting more.

I just can't wait to see what else is in store for Lia, Gabe, Adam and Others.
(reviewed 24 days after purchase)
Melanie Bopp reviewed on July 6, 2012

So my only criticism of this book is that it was too short. I wanted more!

It starts with a sense of urgency, as Lia rushes to get to the village in time to turn in her family's quota, and that feeling lasts the entire novel. There are Watchers in the woods, creatures who will rip you to shreds, and they come out at night. Something is going on in the village, though Lia is to preoccupied by taking care of her family to pay much attention, until the Farthers come. The Farthers are people from another country, who expand their empire and use technology, the opposite of the village, where everyone contributes their share.

Lia was an interesting character, focused solely on her family and work, to the exclusion of everything else. She is one of those characters who puts everything behind a mask, hiding behind a tough persona. That isn't to say she isn't tough - she is - but she isn't as unfeeling and stoic as she portrays. Her brother and sister were fully fleshed characters, as well as Ann, Cole and Adam from the village, which was really great. Gabe, an injured Farther Lia and her family shelters and cares for, was pretty fascinating as well - it was easy to see why Lia is interested in him.

I really liked this book. I want more of this book. It has the dystopian feel to it without the hopelessness. I am seriously looking forward to reading the sequel.
(reviewed 23 days after purchase)
Ray Chelle reviewed on July 4, 2012

Rating Clarification: 3.5 Stars

Disclaimer: The fact that I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review has not affected my rating. This review expresses my honest opinions.

Frost is a book most people will enjoy, praise, and rate highly. As an action with light romance-type novel, I enjoyed it thoroughly. However, it’s as a dystopian novel and other essential factors of a story that I find is its downfall.

Let me start off with what I liked. I loved the relationship within Lia’s family They were always supportive of each other, sacrificing their time, effort, health, and safety to help each other. Of course, their “family” eventually expands to include more people, but what I find amazing is that they would open their circle and treat past enemies or complete strangers as one of their own. OF course, they have their own quibbles and faults, making their family both realistic and touching.

The concept of Watchers also pulled me in. My only complaint is that I wish their involvement could go beyond “Oh no, there’s a Watcher! Let’s run!”, especially in the beginning. I’m hoping their role could develop more in the sequel, Thorns, considering the revelation about their purpose in the end.

The plot was also quick paced with action. However, the romance, although sweet & my guilty pleasure, seemed too quickly developed and premature. I suppose Gabe was saved by Lia, who also made many sacrifices for her family, but I still found it a bit premature :/

Finally, I found that Frost wasn’t “truly” a dystopian novel. After freshman lit and understanding what dystopias serve for the general public to realize, I found that Frost fell short. There was almost no back story – Where did the Farthers come from? Why did the Watchers exist? Why is the world this way? Also, the brief mention of magic in the end didn’t seem realistic, especially since there was also no back story. Overall, I just didn’t see the message in Frost dystopian novels are supposed to present.

Overall, I found that Frost was a short and quick read. If you’re looking for an action, slightly romance-ish novel with dystopic elements, pick up Frost. However, if you’re one of those people like me who look for the “message” in dystopic novels, I suggest you try one of Paolo Bacigalupi’s novels if you haven’t.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)