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

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)
Bailee reviewed on Jan. 6, 2013

Frost by Kate Avery Ellison brings to life a beautiful world with a complex history, full of secrets, betrayal, and hope. She captures the world with vivid descriptions that bring this place to life in your mind. You can picture yourself walking with Lia and experiencing her fear, her stubbornness, and her loss as the story progresses.

Lia is a wonderful main character with her strength in hardships and loyalty to her family. I don't think that I would be as open to raising my flaky sister and brother who can't walk. This isn't to be mean but I think I am probably more selfish which makes Lia all the more admirable. Her selflessness is continually proved throughout the story as she gives up everything for her siblings. It makes me want to cry when she gives up her chance at love and happiness to make sure that her siblings will always be taken care of.

The Watchers were intimidating but not as scary as I expected. They have more history behind them and mystery seems to cling to their character so I wish I would've learned more about them then I did. Now, I am not into horror stories or anything but I think that the Watchers definitely could've been amped up more and their history should've been expanded on. History could've either made them more relatable or scary.

The Farthers are an interesting element to the story that kind of appears out of nowhere in the story. If there is any real bad guys in the story, it would definitely be this group of people. They have a lot of evil that is more than perceived like with the Watchers. It's really cool to shift between which one was a bad guy.

I love this book and it's an awesome read with a lot of great pieces to the story.
(reviewed 4 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)
Ashley Stoyanoff reviewed on Oct. 18, 2012

Frost was a quick and entertaining read with interesting creatures and magical elements. It’s clear that Ellison has a creative mind, and she really shows this with her writing.

The plot was definitely my favorite part of this book. Although simple, it was captivating. Especially the ending which has me burning with curiosity. There is still a lot to be resolved, and I need the answers. I will be continuing on to see how this story unfolds.

There were some places that I had difficulty with. While reading, I got the feeling that some important details were edited out. For example, the origin of the village. Knowing more probably would have helped me understand or accept why these people settled in a place that was surrounded by monstrous creatures. We know that they choose to settle and isolate themselves, but why? Hopefully, this will be explored more in the second book, because as it is now I’m still scratching my head on the why?

The characters and back stories were fairly well-developed, and even though I really didn’t care for the main character, Lia, I still found myself invested in her life. On the other hand, Gabe the love interest, I really liked. He had a bit more mystery to him, which of course made him more interesting. However, even though they were well developed they were both kind of predicable and lacking complexity.

Although I had a few negatives about this book, I still enjoyed it. If you are looking for a quick read with a heart-stopping ending, Frost by Kate Avery Ellison is worth picking up.
(reviewed 4 months after purchase)
Bex reviewed on Aug. 13, 2012

While Frost sadly didn’t manage to blow me away as I’d hoped, it was a very enjoyable read; introducing me to a world that caught my interest within seconds! It turned out to be nothing like I expected, but that’s definitely not a bad thing in this case, and I admit I’m definitely more than a little curious about the sequel.

As soon as I first saw on Frost, I knew I had to read it! Not only is the cover absolutely gorgeous, but it sounded like a great, unique read as well. After having read it, I’m definitely impressed by the unique storyline and its mystical feel, but at the same time something was missing for me to make it truly great. Perhaps it was the pacing that one moment felt a bit dragging, while a bit speeded the next, or just the fact that it took a bit too long before something really started to happen… I can’t really put my finger on it.

Overall though, Frost was really enjoyable and I became truly fascinated by the (kind of frightening) world they live in! The Watchers were more than a little creepy and I’m extremely intrigued to find out more about them and what their purpose is—something I definitely hope will be revealed as the series continue! The Farthers were also quite awful (at least the very nice soldiers), and even though we didn’t get to actually meet them for too long, it was more than enough…

Other than enjoying the fascinating world, I really came to care for the characters as well! Lia was one of those heroines with an inner strength that I love and truly admire; she sticks up for what’s right no matter what and together with her siblings, she really makes a warm and welcoming family I felt right at home in. I adored them both! Then we also have Gabe of course; the boy who stole my heart as well. *sigh* He was such a lovable boy. I truly hope we get to continue see them together! As for the rest of the characters we’re introduced to however, I’m still not sure who to trust and there’s still some things going on that are giving me weird vibes… I guess time will tell!

If you think Frost sounds interesting, I would definitely recommend giving it a try! Even if it didn’t blow me away as hoped, I really enjoyed it. It might not be a hardcore action book, but it had a mystical, as well as historical, feel to it that I loved and I can’t wait to discover more about this world’s many secrets.
(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)