Shadow Frost by Coco Ma ✨ Spoiler Free Review

Title: Shadow Frost
Series: Unknown
Author: Coco Ma
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: October 1st, 2019
Pages: 400 (Hardcover)
Publishers: Blackstone Publishing
Rating:

Goodreads Synopsis

IN THE KINGDOM OF AXARIA, a darkness rises.

Some call it a monster, laying waste to the villagers and their homes. 
Some say it is an invulnerable demon summoned from the deepest abysses of the Immortal Realm. 
Many soldiers from the royal guard are sent out to hunt it down.

Not one has ever returned. 

When Asterin Faelenhart, Princess of Axaria and heir to the throne, discovers that she may hold the key to defeating the mysterious demon terrorizing her kingdom, she vows not to rest until the beast is slain. With the help of her friends and the powers she wields — though has yet to fully understand — Asterin sets out to complete a single task. The task that countless, trained soldiers have failed. 

To kill it. 

But as they hunt for the demon, they unearth a plot to assassinate the Princess herself instead. Asterin and her companions begin to wonder how much of their lives have been lies, especially when they realize that the center of the web of deceit might very well be themselves. With no one else to turn to, they are forced to decide just how much they are willing to sacrifice to protect the only world they have ever known. 

That is, of course… if the demon doesn’t get to them first.

From young author Coco Ma comes a dazzling new tale of adventure, power, and betrayal, weaving together a stunning world of magic with a killer cast in an explosive, unforgettable debut.

Okay, so I’m not going to follow my usual format. I don’t know why but I just haven’t been feeling the structured review writing lately. So let’s just jump in.

Firstly, I will talk about my 2 dislikes of this book and the reason I didn’t rate it 5 stars. Trust me, I loved this book but these 2 things were irritating.
Firstly we have the romance between Asterin & someone else that I won’t name because spoilers. This romance was a very typical, predictable romance and kinda insta lovey. When the second character first got introduced I guess there would be a romance straight away and I was not wrong. I however thought it could of been a good opportunity for a Hate to Love situation but they only showed dislike for eachother for about 3 seconds and then it was all over.. So the author missed that chance.

Now for the second reason I didn’t like this book, which is the character Orion. He rubbed me the wrong way from the very start of this book. His overly jealous personality really freaking irritated me. Then there was the romance he is apart of later in the book….

I can’t say more without spoilers but I want to explain, so if you don’t want to be spoiled for anything then don’t read the next section that is in italics.

So as I said his jealousness pissed me off. It was constant when Quinlan was around and felt very possessive in most situations. Which I did not like. If I was Asterin I would have kicked him to the curb well before this. In the beginning I assumed the jealousness was because he was in love with Asterin, which came across a few times as true but THEN… Bringing in Harry and all of that is completely abandoned. Talk about Insta love! He meets this dude and then instantly stops with the love sick crap towards Asterin and the jealousy shit towards Quinlan… I just don’t get it. Like at all. This character in my opinion just wasn’t written very well, his actions constantly contradicted each other and as I said he came across as possessive at times, which I’m not a fan of in any situation. Of course this may have been fixed for the release of the finished copy, as I did read an eARC but I was not a fan!

Well that’s the dislikes out of the road and now for everything I liked! Firstly, the Characters in general (excluding Orion) and the POV. At first the POV was a little disorientating. We jump between POVs with each chapter and occasionally within a chapter and in the beginning it was a tad hard to follow. The author does not include names at the start of the chapters but the character’s name is usually in the first sentence of the chapter, so it was relatively easy to figure out whose POV we were reading from. After getting used to the frequent changes I actually really enjoyed it! Throughout the book we follow the POV of nearly 10 characters or more which allows you an insight into not only what the main characters are doing but also the bad guys.. Each character felt like they had a unique voice within their POVs section, except for maybe the ones we only see one chapter of POV from. But I think overall it was done quite well and I enjoyed it.

The characters themselves we all very well developed and grew throughout the book which I really enjoyed! They were all written very well excluding Orion and even the ‘bad guys’ were written very well even if they aren’t nice people. Asterin suffered from the kinda typical trope of having more power than most so she has to go and defeat the villain but in this situation it did work and everything fell into place and made sense in the end. I really enjoyed Rose’s character as well! She was a badass and I really enjoyed reading from her POV. I also really liked Luna! She developed so well throughout the story and I 100% agree with her choices at the end of this book! Quinlan was also kinda typical… Extremely attractive, powerful and there to save the day of course… He was an enjoyable character but he definitely fit the mould of most YA male characters. Then we had Eadric who was probably the character that grew the most throughout the book. He was kinda the Dad figure of the group and I really enjoyed his personality and the way he developed.

The next thing I loved was the world & magic system. Both of which are very fleshed out and detailed! I loved learning about this world and the magic system. It was so interesting even if the magic system was not the most unique I’ve seen it was still very solid. I just enjoyed how much it was thought out! There was reasons for everything and it wasn’t like some magic systems where you just have to accept that this is how it works and that there isn’t a why involved… The world was really interesting too and I would love to learn more about the other kingdoms in this world. Which hopefully we will get in book 2!

Lastly we have the plot itself to talk about because it was intense! There were only 1 or 2 places where I guessed a plot twist/plot point but even then I was so into this book that it didn’t annoy me, I just wanted to know the how! Besides those couple I guessed this book was unpredictable! There were so many twists and turns that just kept me hooked the entire time and I loved the rollercoaster ride this book took me on! I do however want to yell at the author a lit for that cliff hanger! How dare you!!

So, overall I really enjoyed this one! It had a couple flaws in my opinion but I enjoyed the ride it took me on. I loved most of the characters and I can’t want to see where they go next. Also that cliffhanger!! I need to know what happens next!!!!!!!! I can’t wait for book 2 but it’s going to be a bit of a wait I would say. There are no details released yet as Book 1 isn’t even released yet…

Thank you to NetGalley & Blackstone Publishing for providing me an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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Grace & Fury by Tracy Banghart – Spoiler Free Review

Review Header Image (2)

Title: Grace & Fury
Author: 
Tracy Banghart
Series Name: 
Grace & Fury
Genre: 
YA Fantasy
Publication Date: July 31st, 2018
Pages: 320 (Paperback)
Publishers: Hodder Children’s Books (Imprint of Hachette Australia)
Rating:
4 star

Blog titles (20)

Bold, brutal and beautiful, this is a must-read with the glitter and romance of The Selection and the thrilling action and intrigue of Red Queen.

In a world where women have no rights, sisters Serina and Nomi face two very different fates: one in the palace, the other on an island prison where women must fight to survive.

Serina has spent her whole life preparing to become a Grace – selected to stand by the heir to the throne as a shining example of the perfect woman.

But her headstrong and rebellious younger sister has a dangerous secret, and one wrong move could cost both sisters everything.

Can Serina fight? And will Nomi win?

9781444941951

Blog titles (29)

First I want to talk about the feminist situation. While I do agree that there are feminist ideals in this book, I don’t think that it was any more feminist than other books I have read that aren’t specifically labelled as feminist. I think because we are told from the start that this book is feminist I just noticed it more because I was looking for it. This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing but I just wanted to bring it up as this book is labelled as feminist every time I hear it talked about.

Now as for the actual writing, it was fine. I don’t have anything necessarily bad or good to say about it. The pacing was fine and it was a very quick and easy read but the writing also didn’t wow me in any way.

The world, however, is very well developed and vivid.

Blog titles (30)

Like I said in the writing section, the book was a quick mostly fast paced read. There were the odd slower bits but they weren’t enough to annoy me. There were plenty of twists and turns and for the most part, I didn’t see them coming. There was the odd time I had the feeling that something was off but couldn’t actually guess what it was until after it was revealed.

Blog titles (31)

I’ll only talk about the 2 MCs as I feel like talking about the others too much would mean being extremely vague or giving away spoilers even if it is just about the type of people they are.

Serina was my lesser favourite of the 2 sisters at the start but I did grow to enjoy her and liked her more in the end. While I didn’t necessarily agree with her all the time I mostly liked her as a character.

Nomi I enjoyed more in the start but liked less in the end because of her choices and the way she went about things. I guess she was just thinking of the bigger picture but then also risking a certain person she cares about alot?… That really didn’t make sense to me.

The romances were my least favourite part of the book. I won’t say names but I felt like one was slightly more realistic than the other. One felt like instalove, there was even one hint of marriage whereas the other had a little more building and wasn’t really love, more caring for each other and I don’t remember any proclamations of love from this couple. One of them was also slightly a love triangle as one of the girls has conflicting thoughts about who she should be attracted to. So my thoughts when said love triangle started developing were ‘please god no, I did not sign up for this crap!’.

Blog titles (32)

So while this wasn’t an absolute favourite, I did enjoy myself reading it and it was pretty easy and quick. There were things I liked and things I didn’t but hopefully book 2 will remedy some of those dislikes because I do find the world very interesting and developed and I do really want to see what happens next!

Trigger Warnings: Attempted sexual assault/rape.

Copy of Goodreads Synopsis

I was provided with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you very much to Hachette Australia for this opportunity.

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*There is an alternate cover for this book. I will insert it below. The Links with a * next to them are editions with the alternate cover*

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grace-and-fury

Copy of Blog titles

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments.

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