Cover Image: Shadow Frost

Shadow Frost

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Member Reviews

Shadow Frost features a truly amazing cast of characters, world, and story all  in a perfectly wrapped action packed adventure. I seriously fell in love with all of the different characters in this book and all their interactions and relationships from the beginning. The book is fast paced and action packed, with funny moments and developing relationships rounding out the space between the various adventures and quests the characters face.  The writing style was super fluid and easy to read and made the book hard to put down. Coco Ma does an excellent job exploring the different facets of being a strong independent woman  through the various female protagonists in the book, and I really appreciated the focus on female empowerment and friendships that were featured heavily. My only critiques would be that the book did seem to contain a lot of action for a single novel, and some of the plot points did not seem as believable as others (particularly with Luna) but I have a feeling that both of these things are required to set up what I'm hoping will be an intricate and amazing new YA fantasy series.  I can't wait to see what happens next for these characters, and I would strongly recommend this book for fans of epic fantasies, magic, badass ladies, witty dialogue, surprising plot twists, and wild adventures.
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All I can say is WOW! This is one of the best books I've read in a while. Filled with amazing friendships and vivid imagery, Coco Ma is an author to take note of. I will definitely be preordering this!
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Thank you to Blackstone Publishing and NetGalley for a digital ARC of this wonderful book by Coco Ma, in exchange for an honest review. 

I absolutely loved this story, the characters were likeable and developed well throughout, the storyline had a lot of unexpected twists and turns and I can envision how the plot is likely to develop into a second book, or even a series, I felt that this might come under the heading of ‘fairytale’ retelling, although I won’t say which one (spoilers!) it included elements of fantasy, magic, adventure, and romance. I think it fits the target audience (YA and up) really well. I have already put it on my ‘to buy’ list and will keep up with the author’s new writings as they are published. I have been recommending this to anyone who will listen to me!
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For a 20 year old(is she 20?) writing her first novel, this was fantastic! there were definite issues I had but I feel like that will only improve with experience and I cannot wait to see what Coco Ma comes up with next :)
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I'm so glad I got the chance to read this book. 
I was hooked from the first page. I really like Asterin's character and she quickly became a favorite from the get go. I loved how fierce she is! I also really enjoyed her interactions with Orion. 
I thoroughly enjoy the banter between  Asterin and the other characters later introduced as well. I found myself thoroughly delightedly at pretty much most of the parts! I just couldn't put this book down and the ending left me stunned! This was an amazing read! I definitely recommend it to everyone!!
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First of all, I’m a fan of strong female characters and this book is strong in that aspect. The main character, Asterin is a great example of that. She’s not your typical princess: she’s feisty and, as a certain someone likes to point out, she can be a bit of a brat. She has the skills to back up her attitude, though. A skilled fighter, she is also quite capable in this world’s version of magic. She’s also not content to let other people fight battles she knows she’s suited for, and goes off in search of the demon who’s leaving death in its wake.

There’s a small cast of characters that goes along with her, each an addition to the team in their own way. I think my favorite was Orion, Asterin’s bodyguard and friend. He taught her to fight, among other things, didn’t underestimate her, and was just a fun character all around.

The book is much less straightforward than the reader is originally led to believe, something I really enjoyed. I like stories that have intrigue and surprises, and this book delivers. Plus, there’s the journey taken, and I love books where the heroes see much of the fantasy world.

One small bone to pick is that the relationship between Asterin and Quinlan was annoying. Not enough to ruin the book by any stretch of the imagination, but it just kind of irked me. Also, every time I read “affinity stone”, I immediately thought “infinity stone” of the Marvel Universe (oops; I guess those movies really got inside my head), but that last is an issue I had, mentioned only because I had to laugh at myself a little.

It turns out Coco Ma was just fifteen when she finished writing this book: you go, girl! This is a wonderful debut, and she definitely is a fresh new voice in the YA fantasy genre.
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Oh my word. I’ve read a lot of books recently but this ones definitely in my top three. It’s just magical and i definitely see it going places. It was very eye opening and I got hooked from the start. Plus, look at that cover!!!
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I just finished reading an ARC of Shadow Frost by Coco Ma, which is set to release October 2019. This is a YA Fantasy which is the debut novel for Coco Ma. I got my copy of this ARC from NetGalley and boy I am so incredibly glad I did! 

Description
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 friends begin to wonder how much of their lives has 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.

What I loved....
The characters are amazing, as you see them grow and change and develop throughout the book. The Kingdom of Axaria is very well created and I was wishing I could go visit! It felt modern but ancient at the same time. I absolutely love that everyone has an ability for magic, but some more than others. Princess Asterin, the protagonist, is such a strong and feisty character. You just can't help but love her!! Her bodyguard Orion is funny and endearing with how he teases Asterin, yet you learn important facts about him as the story progresses. It was a little bit of a surprise, as I don't feel that what you discover about him was built up to, it felt just kind of thrown in like an afterthought. It worked though, so that was lucky. My absolute favorite character though is Quinlan, cousin to mystical Queen Rose of Eradore. He is proud and confident, yet has a sensitive side that he hides. His witty banter with Princess Asterin just put a huge goofy grin on my face and melted my heart. I couldn't get enough of the scenes between him and Asterin.
I really hope that this is turned into a series, especially with how the book ended. I would be astounded if it was left as a standalone. This is by far one of my favorite reads of 2019 so far!!! 5 star read!!!!  People..... get this book when it releases in October 2019. Seriously, you will not be disappointed!!

I'm going to go process all of the amazingness I just read, as I can tell I'm already in a book hangover from Shadow Frost. Happy Reading!! 🤓
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#shadowfrost #netgalley 

Summary: a mysterious beast of unknown origins has been terrorizing the people living near aswiyre forest and the queen allowed the princess asterin and her friends the task of killing it ... it is a world where the magic is amplified by the stones (stone for each element)

I love the concept but the beginning of the story was slow pace and the elements repetitive
in Chapter 12 i was a little bit confused because the story shifts from the point of view of another character and change like that during the whole book....  for me the story keep my attention and was better  from chapter 22 
I loved the book and the characters , i Will watch for next book of coco ! 

This was my first free netgalley copy!  :)
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"'It's not poisonous, is it?' 
Rose gave her a playful wink. 'I wouldn't dare.'
'She really would, you know,' Quinlan said. An uncomfortable silence ensued. Sheepishly, he added, 'It's not, though. Obviously.'
'That wasn't terribly reassuring,'"

I am IN LOVE with the friendships between all of the main characters of this group. it's adorable and I loved reading about their interactions. I would read this book just for these characters, they are that amazing.

Stubborn, strong, faithful Princess Asterin who loves her kingdom and is always striving to please her somewhat aloof mother, the Queen of Axaria. When it is discovered a demon is terrorizing the villages of her beloved kingdom, Asterin sets out with her friends to slay it. But they're journey leads them on a road of discovery far more sinister than they ever knew. And far more sinister than I ever predicted when I first picked up this book.

The magic system in Shadow Frost is truly unique, I don't believe I've read any other like it. It has a lot of potential for more to be revealed and I'm excited to read more about it in what will surely be an amazing series.

Considering the book had a few of those clichés' such as 'you're our only hope' and a few other typical ones that I will spare explaining for fear of spoilers, you'd think it would turn out to be predictable. I thought I knew everything within the first third of the book. I was happily proved wrong at almost every turn. The plot twists within this book had me doing double takes, constantly re-reading sentences with a shocked expression and an 'it can't be!'.

While I definitely enjoyed those plot twists within the book, there were a few aspects I had problems with. The main one being how often there were sudden life stories explaining a character's' entire past. This happened for multiple characters, and while the insight was nice I felt as if it could've been delivered better in pieces. They distracted from the plot until you forgot why they were having this flashback in the first place. They truly felt like separate stories that would've been better as a collection in a novella rather than forcibly integrated into the book as they were. 

The ending of this book left me in shambles. I almost cried. The metaphorical shit hit the metaphorical fan and one can only hope all will be righted. That being said the ending was calm enough that I'm not begging for the next book immediately, which is a relief cause I am impatient. Though I am looking forward to it as I really want to see all my babies again on their next adventure.

Thank you Blackstone Publishing and NetGalley for providing me with this e-arc to review.
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I’ve always stuck to one genre of books but my friend told me about this wonderful book. The characters are just amazing and I loved this story. I may just have to broaden my reading preferences.
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This book was received as an ARC from Blackstone Publishing in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.

I really loved the imagery this book displayed throughout. Really getting to know the characters and relating to their dilemmas and passion for saving their kingdom. It's like you have been transported to Axaria yourself along for the ride as Asterin and her friends battle the demon and save Axaria once and for all. The book really comes to life if you read it in a dim room because it feels like you are more part of the action rather than reading the book outside or in a lit room. I know young readers will enjoy this book tremendously and will be anticipating the next installment sooner rather than later, at least I know I will!

We will consider adding this title to our YFantasy collection at our library. That is why we give this book 5 stars.
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Wow, this book was great!! It was exciting and suspenseful. The plot line was unique! I couldn’t put it down!!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own
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Shadow Frost was a very engaging enjoyable read.  I enjoyed all the characters, Rose especially was a favorite.  I also liked that almost all of the characters had some depth, most of them had some difficult situations in their past that they had to acknowledge and come to terms with over the course of the story.  And they were pretty heavy topics, like abuse and death of parents.  That being said, the tone of the story stayed pretty light and included quite a bit of humor.

I definitely think that this was a solid beginning to a fantasy series, although there were a few issues with the execution of the book.  Especially towards the beginning of the book, the plot was a little bit choppy and the writing could have used a little more refining.  There were also some packing issues over the course of the story, especially before the 50% mark. I also thought that relationship between Asterin and her love interest was a little too familiar too quickly after the love interest was introduced. I appreciated that it wasn’t love at first sight and the banter between them fit in with all the other character interactions of the book, but it felt a little odd that the love interest would speak to a princess in that kind of way almost immediately after meeting her.  However, none of these issues detracted from the story overall and I felt engaged throughout the novel.

Despite a few issues, I did enjoy the story, I read it in about a day.  It’s awesome that the author wrote this book at such a young age and did a really good job with it.  Especially with how the book ends, I’m very interested to see how this series progresses.

*This ARC was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
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THIS FREAKING BOOK!! ADDED TO FAVORITES LIST! PREORDERED WITH NO HESITATION!

What the hell am I going to say??? I loved this book so freaking much! There were some sad things toward the end and I don't know if they can ever be mended but one can hope. This book pulled at all of my FEELS!

I CAN NOT BELIEVE Coco Ma wrote this book at 15 years of age! She's freaking amaze balls! If I could write this good at 15 I would have been a star! Hell, If I could write this good now, I could be a star!

Shadow Frost is the YA Fantasy book I never knew I needed. THIS, is what YA Fantasy should be in all shapes and forms. Yes, I have a few favorite authors and books in this genre, but damn... Coco Ma just jumped right into my little capsule of favorite authors!

Okay, let me get to the book. Holy crap on a cracker, let me keep this short and not give anything away!

Princess Asterin is a bad @ss princess through and through. She is NOT the sit around and let men fight for me princess. Oh she has guards etc, but she conned all of them from a little girl to show her how to fight, pick locks, you name it. She also has magic, but that's a whole other ball game.

Asterin is not ordered around by any man/boy; she fights her own fights and has some freaking amazing friends. They all love each other and protect each other as much as they can. There is a little thing at the end but it's just one of those horrible decision things. No win situation. But this particular situation has me conflicted; I feel for both sides.

There is a monster demon thing going around killing people in Asterins' realm. This does not sit well will her so she tells her mom, The Queen, she is going out and killing the monster with her magic. And no, she doesn't take any lip there either. She has magic, she has friends with magic and she has a couple of new guards with magic. And we are off.

Turns out not everyone on this journey is what they seem and this is not really a bad thing. I love each and every person and all of the women are bad @ssed in their own way.

THE PEEPS I LOVE:

Asterin
Luna
Rose
Orion
Quinlan
Eadric
Harry
Their horses which seem to have a mind of their own at times
Amoux (sword, just because it's Asterin's sword and it's a sword)

and a certain someone that is also a thing but I can't tell you about this certain someone thing =)



There is a tiny bit of grimdark in this book. There is some swearing. Mainly Asterin calling a certain boy @sshole all of the time. There were times I had some good laughs with the comedic side to the story.

I'm just going to shut up now because I'm rambling. Just read it and if you don't like it then fine. But if you like bad @ss chics who rule, you will love it. Yes, some of the women throw the men around but so what, they all have fun either way. There is also a little boy/boy love if you want that as well. Everything is well rounded in my opinion and I can't wait for a reread with the actual book in my hand.

I will leave you with a quote. Now this is an uncorrected proof so said quote could change. I would like to add a million quotes but I digress.

Enjoy!

    Quinlan's fists clenched. "Asterin! Get back here!"
    Orion felt her anger spike, as tangible as fire. The princess whirled around. "You do not have the right to tell me what I can and cannot do, Quinlan Holloway. This is my duty. I will not let anything or anyone stop me from defeating the demon that took the lives of hundreds of innocent people-my people. And if I fail to avenge them, I do not deserve the throne." Quinlan faltered. "I didn't...I just meant that-"
    "And furthermore, let me remind you that you're here officially as a soldier serving my kingdom, and therefore under my command, prince or no. You will obey my word or return to the palace. The choice is yours. But do not, under any circumstance, rule me." With that, Asterin spun on her heel and strode away. The dense foliage of the forest swallowed her in darkness in less than a second.


*Thank you to Netgalley and the Pub for giving me the opportunity to read this awesome book!*

Mel ♥
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**This ARC was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**

Execution: ⭐⭐⭐.5
Enjoyment: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Key Descriptors: elemental magic, coming of age, strong characters, world-ending stakes

Premise: A Woman of uncertain origin has raised a demon using the taboo art of shadow magic… and only the princess of Axaria can stop her. Asterin, skilled both in blades and elemental magic, rises to the challenge along with a group of her friends. Along the way, she discovers the secrets plaguing her queendom go much deeper than she ever could have imagined.

Review: Before we jump into the full review of this book, I’d like to take a moment to appreciate the author herself.

"Born in 2000, Canadian-Chinese author and pianist Coco Ma began playing the piano at the age of five and a half. Since then, she has performed on some of the world’s greatest concert stages and graduated with a pre-college diploma in piano performance from The Juilliard School in New York City. At fifteen years old, she finished writing her first novel, Shadow Frost. Currently, she studies at Yale College. When she isn’t practicing piano, writing, or studying, you might find her bingeing Netflix or eating cake. Lots of cake."
-NetGalley Author Bio

Coco Ma has accomplished more between the ages of 15 and 19 than quite a few people do! Completed Shadow Frost at 15? Degree from Julliard? Going to Yale? That is fantastic, and I’m incredibly impressed! I read this novel prior to reading about the author, and I was ready to praise it as a strong debut YA novel long before finding out that it was a strong debut novel written by a 15 year old. You go, GlenCoco.

Anyway, on to the novel itself!

The characters definitely carried this novel for me. They interacted in charming and often funny ways. It was genuinely fun to read when they teased or joked around with one another – particularly Asterin’s guardian-from-birth, Orion. Harry, the woodsman we meet partway through the story, also turned out to be surprisingly funny and interesting!

Each of the characters had an astonishing amount of growth over the course of the book. In some cases, things felt a bit rushed; there were more than a few pacing issues in the novel, but nothing I’d consider to be unforgivable. Every character grew up or learned something about themselves and was forced to confront one personal demon or another. In some cases, these were pleasantly surprising as a reader, adding an unexpected new plot thread.

Unfortunately, some of the revelations were a bit much to swallow. To at least one of the plot twists, my reaction was less surprise and more, “Oh come ON, that’s literally not how things work at all. This would LITERALLY never happen.” Fortunately, each of those did serve a future purpose in the novel, allowing it to build up to its final conclusion.

The ending was yet another twist – and a well done one at that. Characters were forced to make difficult decisions and choose where their hearts really lay, and the ramifications of these actions were not simply hand-waved away. One of my biggest pet peeves is to see characters’ relationships being “reset” after one person makes a terrible decision or hurts the other person – I am pleased to say that Shadow Frost does not succumb to this temptation and instead follows through on each choice Asterin, Luna, Quinlan, and the rest make.

Romance was a strong secondary element to the adventure. Almost all the characters were either dealing with a past love, falling in love, or currently involved with someone. There was sometimes a bit too much “tell” rather than “show” when it came to the build-up, particularly where Asterin’s relationship is concerned. On the whole, however, I’d say it was very well done with a teen audience in mind. Anything overly explicit occurred entirely off-screen, with only the implication being communicated to the reader (usually with a bit of humor thrown in).

All in all, Shadow Frost is a strong debut novel with a great cast of characters. Despite some slight pacing and “show don’t tell” issues, this book was a solid 3.5 stars.


Shadow Frost can be found on Amazon and Goodreads.

If you liked Shadow Frost, you might also enjoy:

Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley
Song of the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce
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E-arc provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest opinion.

Where should I start? The main character reminded me of Buffy since she's such a badass character. And let me say that I LIVE for Buffy!
I felt very connected to Asterin since she's so far from being perfect. That's one of the reasons why I loved this book so much and I recommend everyone to read it.
This book is very much a character driven one. Luna is also such a cutie and I love her so so much. If you love the character centred stories I'd really advise you to start right off after finish to read this review, The world building was also very detailed and it seemed like I was literally there the whole time. I think it's fair to say that this was one of my favourite reads of 2019 so far! Such a good title.
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WOW!!! I LOVED this book!!! It was amazing and the writing was wonderful. The plot is well thought out and I loved the characters and their personalities. So happy I discovered this book!!! Definitely recommend reading it!
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Thank you to Blackstone publishing and NetGalley for a digital ARC of this wonderful book!

I am so excited I got to read this unique book early! Wow. This book was impressive. I felt it was unique and soaked in originality. Every single one of the main characters was likable (except for the villains, of course). The romance was sweet but not overwhelming to the story line. I enjoyed this tale about demons and princesses who fought them among her dearest friends. All the main characters had such strength and personality that added to the story. It was full of unexpected twists which I also found quite enthralling! There's also the theme that not every villain can be hated and I really appreciated that. It added to the depth of the story. The imagery was fantastic and I felt as though reading this book was like watching a movie in my head. This was a really great adventure read that also has themes of friendship and finding yourself.
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What a captivating and imaginative tale of magic and friendship! While reading this, I felt like I was under an enchantment spell - I couldn't get enough of it and couldn't turn the pages fast enough. 

So apparently the author was 15 when she wrote this and damn, am I super jealous of her incredible talent! To have this kind of creativity and grace with words and to be able to come up with such an incredible world, it’s a really impressive achievement. Major kudos to the author. I would have never even guessed and had I not known, would have assumed this was written by a highly experienced writer. 

Shadow Frost is an original tale set in a complicated world that was masterfully descriptive, easy to follow and as equally easy to get lost in. With plot twists, endless surprises and obstacles thrown in our favorite characters' paths, I was constantly rooting for their success and safe passage throughout their dangerous adventure. All six main characters - Asterin, Quinlan, Rose, Orion, Eadric and Luna  - were equally significant and equally likable. They truly felt like an ensemble cast, no single character more important or deserving than the other which is a very rare feat to achieve in a novel. Initially, I thought this was a story about Asterin with 5 supporting characters at her side, but you come to realize that all of her inner circle is just as important and have what it takes to be leading men and women in this magical tale. And that was simply refreshing. Asterin was the total badass I'd expected and loved instantly. Quinlan was the dashing and charming hero to our heroine that we deserved. Rose was lively, fierce and a badass in her own right (and while I loved all the six leads, she's definitely my favorite). Orion and Eadric were both powerful, reliable and surprisingly sweet. And Luna was the most surprising of all with the most notable character development. 

Side note - as a professional graphic designer, I have to give major props to that gorgeous cover for capturing my eye and intriguing me enough to read the synopsis before finally deciding that, oh yes, this book was definitely for me.

I can't wait to read more in this series that I know will become everyone's new favorite fantasy YA go-to.
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