(Once Upon A Curse #1)
By: Kaitlyn Davis
Release Date: 02/17/15
Summary from Goodreads:
Will his kiss be enough to revive her frozen heart?
Once Upon A Time meets La Femme Nikita in GATHERING FROST, a dystopian romance from bestselling author Kaitlyn Davis that reimagines the classic fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty.
Jade was only a little girl when the earthquake struck. Before her eyes, half of New York City disappeared, replaced by a village that seemed torn out of a storybook. Horses and carriages. Cobblestone streets. A towering castle. And, above all, a queen with the magical ability to strip emotions away.
Ten years later and Jade has forgotten what it is to feel, to care...even to love. Working as a member of the queen's guard, she spends most of her time on the city wall staring at the crumbling skyscrapers of old New York. But everything changes when the queen's runaway son, Prince Asher, returns. Jade is tasked with an unusual mission--to let the Prince capture her, to make him trust her, and then to betray his secrets to the crown. In return, she'll earn her freedom. But life outside the queen's realm is more than Jade bargained for. Under Asher's relentless taunts, her blood begins to boil. Under his piercing gaze, her heart begins to flutter. And the more her icy soul begins to thaw, the more Jade comes to question everything she's ever known--and, more importantly, whose side she's really on.
I received this book from YA Bound Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my rating of the book.
I have been on a fairy-tale kick lately, and Gathering Frost was the perfect book to curb my cravings.
It is supposed to be a retelling of Sleeping Beauty, but I think there are a few story lines mixed in.
Let's start at the beginning.
Two worlds collide and New York City is the first victim. Those who survive the initial earthquake are doomed to fall under the thrall of the new queen, including Jade, a girl who just learned how to ride a bike but now must face a world of magic and danger.
Flash forward ten years, and Jade has grown up. She has gotten used to the feeling of cold apathy that has taken a hold of her heart, and the hearts of the rest of the citizens of New York, ever since the queen took her throne.
As Jade struggles to remember what it is like to feel something, anything, she raises in the ranks of the queen's army. One day, she is tasked with the most important mission imaginable--retrieving the queen's lost son.
I loved the world-building of this novel. To me, it is one of the most important aspects of a retelling, and Davis nailed it. I loved the differences between the city we know and the one that was created in this novel. I could see the ruins of New York and the elegance of the castle that took residence in the center of a once alive city. The setting was vivid and captivating.
I also loved the characters. Even though Jade was cursed to feel no emotion, she fought against it to reveal her strong will and sarcasm. She was brave and sassy, which is the perfect formula for a great female lead character.
The secondary characters were deep, complex, and thoroughly lovable. Maddy balanced out Jade's harshness and added humor to the book. Asher was a breath of fresh air. Their struggles were real and they added a unique dimension to the plot.
The romance was sweet and slow-burning, but hot enough to melt even the hardest of hearts. It did not take over the book, but was given just the right amount of attention. Also, there were plenty of swoon-worthy moments that could make the Ice Queen herself smile.
The problem I had with the book was that it was labelled as a Sleeping Beauty retelling. Even though I can kind of see where that is coming from, this is more of a The Snow Queen retelling to me. (For those of you who do not know, The Snow Queen is the fairy-tale that Disney's Frozen is based on.)
Regardless of the label, I still loved the story.
I would recommend this to anyone who is a fan of Frozen, or just fairy-tale retellings in general, and fans of dystopian societies (this one reminded me a lot of Legend by Marie Lu).
If you are a die-hard fan of Sleeping Beauty, you should know that this is more of a retelling of The Snow Queen than Sleeping Beauty.
I give Gathering Frost by Kaitlyn Davis 5 out of 5 stars.
About the Author
I've always been a writer. I grew up duct taping my novels together, started writing complete manuscripts in high school and studied creative writing at Johns Hopkins University. Upon graduating, I decided it was finally time to actually give my dream career a chance. So, of course, I started writing a young adult paranormal romance series -- and no, I'm not jumping on the bandwagon. I've been a true paranormal supporter for my entire life! I blame my obsession almost completely on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, my all-time favorite television show. And, before you ask: Yes, I own every season... even the post WB ones! I especially challenge anyone to watch the first three seasons and not fall in love with Angel, securing a lifelong love of vampires! Other culprits of my paranormal obsession are some of my favorite authors: JK Rowling, Raymond Feist, Meg Cabot, Richelle Mead, Lynne Ewing and Tamora Pierce.
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