Gathering Frost: A Book Review

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.”

Book: Gathering Frost (Once Upon a Curse #1)
Author: Katilyn Davis

Gathering Frost (Once Upon A Curse #1)

Blurb:

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.

My thoughts:

it’s a rare case when the cover actually reflects the rest of the book. Gathering Frost by Katilyn Davis is one of those few mythical things; the cover’s gorgeous. Really…but somehow it feels insubstantial and cliched.

Throughout the book, this theme seems to express itself over and over again…
That makes this book seem bad, somehow. But that’s not exactly what I meant.

There’s one reason I’m morbidly terrified of writing a full length novel. It only partially has something to do with the amount of time and dedication it would require. My ideas, my inspiration-so if you will- come in the form of images. Scenes like two people angrily arguing, triumphant scenes with someone performing, sad scenes in which someone’s crying or action-packed scenes where there’s a one on one fight. These scenes are the big scenes, the dramatic ones. They are the pivot points around which the events of the book and the characters revolve. This works great when it’s a short-story or a poem; I have to connect two or three scenes,max. But, Oh My God,  it’s a whole different story (no pun intended) when I’m trying to write out a full length novel. Instead of one scene, I have 20, 30, 50. I find myself writing these scenes first and then doing my best to connect them as logically as possible. Obviously as logical as possible isn’t always logical enough. So, my longer pieces sound choppy and are full of inconsistencies and logical fallacies. Individually, they’re beautiful (In my opinion, of course) but when I try to thread them together, they seem like a cheap and tacky soap.

So is there a point to all my rambling? Hold on for a second-I’m getting there. I think Katilyn Davis writes in a way similar to me. I don’t know if all writers write this way but it’s just more obvious in some works or even if Ms. Davis actually writes that way; It only feels this way to me.

Individually the scenes and the characters are beautiful and perfect (I love the way Ms. Davis uses her words so gorgeously and effectively) but together they just seem over-dramatic and cheap. Considering she’s kind of a Wattpad celebrity,  I can see how this style of writing developed but in a book published professionally it looks (and feels) very, very tacky.

I’m not about to accuse without giving examples. Our MC Jade, is a girl who’s been cut off from emotions her whole life (this is kind of sketchy, but I’ll come to this later). As such, I can imagine that feeling new emotions would be…overwheming. But I think Jade takes it a little too far; In about 3/4th the book, she’s either crying, dramatically running away from something or screaming angrily. I found this in turns pathetic and annoying because Jade is marketed as a ice-cold, calculating and skilled bitch. Way to lose the hype, people.

Staying on the topic of main characters, let’s talk love interest. Personally, I don’t get him. Sure he’s cute when he’s making fight club references and joking about the ending of sleeping beauty. But I just don’t get the attraction. He busted the self-sacrificing, self-pitying hero trope going past Harry Potter and even Bella Swan- and I don’t mean this in a good way. Perhaps it’s my character flaw that I can’t understand him, but I prefer to think of it as an elemental flaw in his.

I’m getting lazy now, but I promised to come back to the whole ‘having no feelings is sketchy again’. For someone who’s supposedly a mechanical robot who ‘puts the good-guys in the grave’, she shows a surprising amount of fear, desire, lust, curiosity and remorse.  Without these human qualities in our narrator, I would have left this book after a couple of chapters. I can’t help but quibble- it’s a huge, gaping plothole in front of me.

This makes it sound like the book was bad. It wasn’t. It wasn’t good either but the beautifully metaphoric writing and interesting background made it a decent read instead of a DNF. I think Katilyn Davis has a lot of potential (this is only the first time she’s published something that’s never been  posted on Wattpad or Smashwords before) so she’s practically a debut author. Now that sentence probably looked as pretentious and preachy as hell (Who am I to comment? I’m just a blogger who’s never written a full book in her life) but I don’t mean to be patronizing. Consider that sentence more hopeful than anything else: If Katilyn Davis can improve her writing, I have a pretty good chance too.

Overall Rating: 2/5

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