Frost by Kate Avery Ellison

Publication Date: April 18th, 2012
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Format: Paperback, 194 pages
RATING: 4 out of 5 pages
In the icy, monster-plagued world of the Frost, one wrong move and a person could end up dead—and Lia Weaver knows this better than anyone. After monsters kill her parents, she must keep the family farm running despite the freezing cold and threat of monster attacks or risk losing her siblings to reassignment by the village Elders. With dangers on all sides and failure just one wrong step away, she can’t afford to let her emotions lead her astray. So when her sister finds a fugitive bleeding to death in the forest—a young stranger named Gabe—Lia surprises herself and does the unthinkable.

She saves his life.

Giving shelter to the fugitive could get her in trouble. The Elders have always described the advanced society of people beyond the Frost, the “Farthers,” as ruthless and cruel. But Lia is startled to find that Gabe is empathetic and intelligent…and handsome. She might even be falling in love with him.

But time is running out. The monsters from the forest circle the farm at night. The village leader is starting to ask questions. Farther soldiers are searching for Gabe. Lia must locate a secret organization called the Thorns to help Gabe escape to safety, but every move she makes puts her in more danger.

Is compassion—and love—worth the risk?

Ms. Ellison’s Frost surprised me in a way that self-published books rarely do. With an interesting premise, spine-tingling ambiance, and a group of characters sure to hold you entranced, this slight novel left me wanting to harass her and demand she gives me the next one. STAT. 
The Gist: 

A dystopian tale of a community sequestered from the rest of the world. 
Monsters lurking in the forest. 
A repressive, military government outside of their wall. 
And a futuristic gate to what seems to be the path to freedom.
Lia Weaver, an orphan left in charge of her siblings is used to making difficult decisions for her family. But when she suddenly found herself harboring a Farther criminal, the choices she had to make was made even more difficult by her unusual attraction to the boy. Gabe’s appearance not only brought danger to her family but secrets that will destroy everything she’s ever known about the “safe” life of Frost. In the end, her choice will lead to inevitable heartbreak.
The Review: 

This short novel has a little bit of everything – all tied up in one seamless, well crafted work. But to some readers they may think it too sparse with too little of a background on how the world came to be. The author rarely offered any explanations, expecting the readers to use their imagination. In some novels, this may be something that I wouldn’t have been able to overcome, but in Frost, I hardly noticed it. There was something about Kate’s writing that made it seeem all too familiar – like I’ve been in its world before. That doesn’t mean, however, that Kate wrote something unoriginal.

The suspenseful ambiance did not diminish throughout the book. And when you throw in some charged romantic tension between characters, the rush to read faster, to find out what happens next, amplifies to a frantic anticipation.

The combination of an antiquated and the seemingly futuristic worlds didn’t feel too contrived. Though, I must say that the monsters in the woods seemed a little out of place for me. Kate was also a little vague as to the nature of these beasts; ergo, I wasn’t clear on why the aversion to snow blossoms. 
Verdict: I think the beauty of this book is the minimalist way with which Kate opted to tell this story.  If I have any misgivings about this book, it’s only that it is way too short, in my opinion.

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