Title: Gathering Frost
Author: Kaitlyn Davis
Series: (Once Upon a Curse #1)
Pub. Date: February 17th, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, YA, Dystopia, Fairy Tale Retelling
Source: YA Bound Book Tours
**A USA Today Must-Read Romance!**
Will the prince’s kiss be enough to revive her frozen heart? Don’t miss GATHERING FROST, a dystopian romance from bestselling author Kaitlyn Davis that reimagines the classic fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty.
“I wish I could say I was the hero of the story. A resister. A rebel. Someone who lived to bring an end to the queen who stole my childhood–my mother, my life, my very world. But I’m not. I’m not the good guy. I’m the one who puts the good guys in their graves.”
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. Under his 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.
Gathering Frost is an engaging, quick read that will leave you admiring the author’s writing.
Jade is cold-hearted, stuck under the Queen’s thrall, and she can’t feel anything other than fear and dread (how else would they stay loyal to the Queen?). She has a distinct voice, disconnected and yet not quite completely lost. The writing gives off this mood, where Jade feels nothing, but knows she should and knows she used to. She doesn’t have room for love, but she admires. She doesn’t hate, but she can’t stand the Queen. She doesn’t get angry, and her cool, calm composer makes her a better fighter. The way it’s all written really gives you the feeling that she has nothing, but knows she used to have everything. It made this book hard to put down, the pages just kept turning and I couldn’t protest because I didn’t want to.
That didn’t change even though I eventually realized that this book is fast paced, because hardly anything happens until the end. It began with a peak at Jade’s life, the Queen, the other’s under her thrall, their missions and what is expected of them. And then she meets a boy who saved her even though he shouldn’t have, and things start changing. She sets out to find him, gets captured and brought back to their home base, and that’s where she’s kept in a room underground. The time passes as she plays games, reads books, and talks to two people, feeling more and more everyday. Fairly quickly, she feels again, and the kiss seals it. But then things are changing again, and the Queen must be stopped. That is where the real action begins, what the entirety of this book was truly leading up to. And it doesn’t disappoint. Magic and murder and betrayal fall into place as the Queen proves to be as evil and cold as she says, but Jade knows hope is everyone’s enemy, and even evil can’t fight it.
Which brings me to the action. I love the action! I especially love the giants, though that did end pretty fast. Every fight Jade participated in was full of knowledge, strategy, and strength. Action is a security blanket. Jade is a fighter and she always will be. Every single action scene proved that, and it made it more enjoyable. I especially like that she can admit her own defeat or mistakes in her mind. She’s a quick thinker on the battlefield, fast on her feet and sharp in mind, so even when she slips she usually finds a solution, even if it means injuring herself. She also tries her best not to let her emotions get in the way once she’s been freed, especially since she’s romantically involved.
The romance is sweet, and I enjoyed it, but I would’ve liked a little more development. Most of the time they spent together was spent playing games, and I would’ve liked to read about them getting to know each other instead of things like “we’ve been talking a lot about my time with the Queen, and he tells me about the rebels and how he grew up with them”. Other than that though, the romance was lovely. They freed each other, and you really end up loving them.
One last thing, though. Jade melted quickly. There wasn’t much fight. She was laughing and having her feelings hurt on the first day, and other than the few times she had a mood switch (back to the icy guard), she didn’t put up a fight. Not the I expected her too, but I figured she would take longer to melt. But because of the fast pace, you don’t get as much as you want, and you don’t get as connected either. Three characters. I got connected to three and one of them was more of a background character, who was only in a few scenes. It didn’t affect the story much, but I would’ve loved to see more trying attempts to make Jade feel again.
Overall, Gathering Frost is a fast, action-packed read full of redemption and love. It’s a tale about saving a sleeping city, and it keeps you hooked until the end.