By Kailin Gow
Available now from The Edge Books
Review copy through Traveling to Teens Tours
If punctuation errors and such bother you, you'll probably want to skip over BITTER FROST. I managed to tune most of them out, but BITTER FROST could have used another round of copyediting. As is, it made the book seem unprofessional.
Breena is a budding conservationalist who doesn't fit in at her high school despite being friends with the hottest guy around, Logan. He's clearly in love with her, but Breena is willfully ignorant. Going home from school one day, she spots a Pixie: Delano. She doesn't know how she knows his name, she just knows he's bad news. Pretty soon he's attacked and she's been taken to Feyland by Kian, the Winter Prince. Breena is his prisoner, his key to freeing his sister from the Summer Court dungeons.
BITTER FROST moves quickly. In some ways, that is good. There's quite a bit of action and the characters don't spend much time dithering and keeping secrets from each other. Yet the character development moves too fast at points. Breena seems to adapt to her new life and relationships with ridiculous speed. While fun, BITTER FROST lacks emotional depth. When one character dies, I don't really feel anything because the character has so few defining characteristics other than loyalty.
Not much focus is given to the mythology, but I do like the little that Kailin Gow explains in BITTER FROST. Particularly, I like the idea that human-fairy hybrids are stronger than either race, rather than weaker. It makes sense that there could be an advantage in having the skills of two races. It's a nice touch of originality in a story that follows a familiar narrative pattern.
BITTER FROST is also short, which might be why it moves at warp-speed. It feels like there's a longer, more measured book waiting to get out. The next book in the series, FOREVER FROST, comes out tomorrow. I'm interested in reading it to see whether the pacing and character development even out a little.
I enjoyed BITTER FROST, but it felt like the kind of stuff I read on the internet. Diverting and interesting, but ultimately not a final draft. Breena also comes close to being a Mary Sue, which anyone who reads internet fic knows is not a good thing.