Cover Image: Shadow Frost

Shadow Frost

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Member Reviews

I am so amazed that a novel of this quality was written by someone so young. This had amazing rep, characters, banter, and action! I love the writing style, very accessible with hilarious banter. Highly recommend!
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I absolutely loved this book! I loved the characters, the use of magic and the twisty story.
Asterin is firs in l, one to take the throne in a realm where magic is celebrated- all magics except shadow magic. Asterin her self can weld several types of magic and trains every day with her guardian. But one day two soldiers are sent from a nearby kingdom as a gift to the princes. At first distrustful, ASterin lets them become part of her guards and their loyalty is proven when they are chosen as part of a team to take out a demon that is killing Asterin's people. With her mother's blessing, she heads out with her closest and most deadly companions. But this quest isn't what Asterin expected and she finds here;f being tested in ways she never imagines.
I loved the way magic was used in this tale. Magic users had stones that allowed them to tap into their specific elements. some people could master elements such as air and water while other illusion and fire. Some people can only wild on type while others can manipulate them all. This allows the author to create a variety of characters who are all different and spell casting doesn't become dull and boring.
I enjoyed the characters. Coco Ma develops the majority of her characters. IN many books like this, only the most major characters get true development, but the secondary characters grow and move past any stereotypical archetype. Extra points for adding diversity into the characters.
Shadow Frost is full of fantasy action but never lets its characters suffer from a lack of development. I can't wait to find out what happens next!
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I do remember enjoying this book but it wasn't a complete favourite. I struggled with the first half of the book. I remember thinking that even though things were happening, that it felt like nothing was happening at the same time. I do think that was just a thing for me personally.

The plot was fast paced and that was something I enjoyed. However, I do think some things were just quickly focused on and then moved on, without fleshing some things out. But again, I think that was just what I like in books to be honest. I think my major issue with the book was just so angsty it was, but not in a good way for me. I love some angst, don't get me wrong, but this level of teenage angst was just way too much. It felt like it was on every page I read and just constant.

I absolutely loved Asterin. She was such a strong, loyal, headstrong character. I think she was the main reason why I liked this book. I loved her with Quinlan, even if it did feel like a bit of a corny romance. But Quinlan was such a quirky yet haunted character, that I couldn't help but love him.

I will say though, Harry made this book for me. He was just such an amazing character. I feel like I can't give a lot away about his character because his role and type of change throughout the book is a rollercoaster. Plus Harry and Orion!!!!

I can't wait for the next book in the series, I'm intrigued to see where the story goes!

Thank you very much to Blackstone Publishing for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
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It's taken me a while to read this and I honestly don't know why I waited so long! It was such a great book! The characters where fun and engaging from the very first page. The explanations of the magic system was concise and easy to understand. A really well written story than made me feel all the emotions! I cannot wait for the second book!
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This book was just alright. I know it was a debut so that could have something to do with it. I didn't feel connected to the story or the characters.  The story kept me semi-interested but It didn't bother me if I wasn't reading it, I didn't care much to pick it back up if I put it down.
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I bloody hope this is going to be the first of a long series. 

There was nothing that I didn't love about this book.   Yes, there were bits that were a little hard to swallow, but to be honest, when I'm reading a fantasy book, what else would you expect. 

Such depth.  

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Disclaimer: I received an e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: Shadow Frost

Author: Coco Ma

Book Series: Shadow Frost Book 1

Rating: 1/5

Publication Date: October 1, 2019

Genre: YA Fantasy

Recommended Age: can’t recommend, did not finish

Publisher: Blackstone Publishing

Pages: 400

Amazon Link

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.

Review: I had to DNF this book unfortunately. The book was really slow to get through and some of the scenes were just painful to read through. The writing wasn’t well done, it felt clunky and hard to follow, and the multiple POVs confused me. I was also confused by the world building overall.

Verdict: It wasn’t for me.
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I really wanted to enjoy Shadow Frost with promises of assassins, monsters and darkness set in a fantasy world. But as much as the interactions between the characters were a delight to read and I loved every second of it, the writing style just isn't my type. I personally didn't feel the book was worth investing more time into, and I'm sad to say I had to DNF this at 34%.
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I am so proud of this author for being a young person and being able to write such an epic tale! Definitely worth the read.
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I didn’t do a full review on this one, but here’s a mini paragraph from a blog post I wrote in September 2019, before this book was published:

You don’t need to tell me how jealous you are that I got my hands on an early copy of this one -I already know. The book community seems to have put this book on a pedestal before it’s even hit our shelves. I’m not going to go into too much detail but overall, compared to the hype, it was… disappointing. Don’t get me wrong, the writing was lyrical and sweet but I would need at least 20 hands to count out the number of stereotypical tropes included in this one. I can deal with a few (I can even obsess over a few, because let’s be honest- tropes can be amazing when done well), but it just felt like Coco had gone through with a list of YA tropes and ticked off every single one, page by page. That being said, I would definitely read it again. I’d just be more prepared for the predictability next time.
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For around the first 30-40%, this book was kind of bad. Basically it can be summed up as ‘girl goes questing with her friends, they fight a demon in a town and then hang out in a cottage for 100 pages’. It took me… wait for it… 3 MONTHS to read the first 150 pages. Yep, this was a read a chapter and then ignore it for a few weeks type book. But tonight, I finally got to a point where something interesting happened and I binged the rest of it.

Which leads me to the second half. Let me tell you, it’s good. Like super amazing good. So fantastic in fact that it kind of reads like someone swooped in ghost writer style and wrote the second half. Either that or Ma suddenly worked out what the hell her plot was going to be and frantically typed until she could type no more. This section is full of magic and mayhem and lots of gasping as ALL THE THINGS happen as you enthusiastically flip the pages. Let me tell you, there is actually a twist WITHIN a twist and if you aren’t like me and able to pick it, you will be retrieving your jaw from the floor. Alas, I read too much and picked the identity of The Woman within 5 pages of her popping up (this is not Ma’s fault, its mine for reading too much).

Most of the characters were a little take-it-or-leave-it for the first half, except for that of Luna. For some reason, I kept envisaging her as a child, although it’s not possible because she is a chamber maid/lady in waiting. Even when she had her big reveal, I still saw her as having a meek and mild exterior with a raging flame of a soul inside.

So, as I said earlier, the first half has its issues but the second half is amazing. The pacing for a large majority of the novel felt just a little off; while it speeds up and gets really interesting, it goes from being bland to super fast paced within a few pages. Inevitably I have missed something within the narrative which left me confused in parts. This may have also been actual plot holes, I am actually not sure…

Lastly I want to talk about the romantic interests within Shadow Frost. Because there are so fricking many of them. For the most part, they are well done. Everyone has their perfect mate or is quietly pining after whomever. Luna and her love interest are ultimate goals, going above and beyond to make sure each other are safe. But then there is the M-M relationship that could have blossomed. But instead it felt a little forced and only included to give this book some LGBT+ rep. While others have tender moments, this relationship is all missed opportunities and longing stares until the end when someone goes missing. Honestly, either fully explore the relationship or just leave it out – if it wasn’t meant to be there, dont include it just for rep because it leaves you looking like a toss.

Basically its a good read so long as you can get over its pacing issues and poor treatment of certain characters. Its fun and magical and feels very finished despite it having a sequel coming in the future. Perfect for those who loved Grace and Fury and Ash Princess.
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Shadow Frost is one of my most anticipated releases of 2019 by debut author Coco Ma. Set in a unique fantasy world, Shadow Frost follows Asterin as she is faced with a terrible threat. The story is told from multiple perspectives which provide a well-rounded view. 

  The book had a strong beginning as it does a great job of introducing a unique world surrounding elemental magic and what seems like an intricate political system. The middle fell a little flat and needed more movement to match the pace of the beginning and end. The last couple of pages will have you itching for the next instalment. 

The cast of characters are diverse and often provide humorous moments that will have you chuckling out loud. I loved the various relationships that were explored in this book but felt as if some of them were created for convenience. However, I also think that relationships played an interesting role in the progression of the plot. 

I liked Asterin as our main character but felt as if she lacked the depth needed to be the incredible heroine we want her to be. I enjoyed how she interacted with the other characters and the humour she brought to the book creating an accessible environment for all readers.

Shadow Frost is an enjoyable YA Fantasy that will have you smiling at the friendships, swooning at the romances and creating endless ships between the characters.
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This month, I'm going to be destroying my arcs-tbr. And I'm starting with Shadow Frost, which I should have read last year but didn't. (Oops)

2.5 stars

For me, Shadow Frost had a strong beginning and it managed to captivate my attention quickly. However, I kept finding things that annoyed me soon after (basically, when Rose and Quinlan were introduced) and overall, it was just all over the place. Therefore, my enjoyment of the book was lacking. Because of that, I couldn't rate it any higher than three stars.

Things I liked
-The prologue.
-The stones and the way the magic worked around elements.
-The FMC, Princess Asterin. She's strong and willing to learn everything that could possibly help her. She's not afraid to go on a hunt against a demon that's murdering her people.
-Some of the plot.

Things that annoyed me

-The romance : At first, you think Orion and Asterin have something going on and are going to be together. But then Quinlan shows up and I thought a love triangle would occur but nope. Apparently, Orion had no interest in Asterin (even though the beginning was ambiguous) and is actually heads over heels for Harry, a new character that shows up after a while. I would have loved that MM relationship but the way it was written made me cringe a bit since it was always in your face, just in case the reader missed it or something. Also, the flirting between Asterin and Quinlan was fun but I wasn't all that invested.
-The reveals felt a bit similar and for me. Too much about the parents. Too much Royalty.
-The characters seemed very childish at times and I didn't connect with them.
-The changes of POVs. Maybe there were too many of them.
-The choice made by Orion at the very end was foolish, stupid, childish, idiotic and came out of nowhere just to make sure the readers will want to buy the next book to find out if he's okay.
-The passage between Queen Priscilla and the King was confusing. It was like their past was missing.

Also, I didn't even realize this was supposed to be a retelling. Of what, I don't even know even after I finished it. Even if I seem negative, I believe Shadow Frost is a book that a lot of people will enjoy and love. I only wish I was one of them.

(Thank you to the publisher for letting me read and review an arc via Netgalley)
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This book has a nice and interesting world-building. As well as good characters you will surely rooting for. What I just do not like about this book is the style of writting. For me, it was kinda' info-dump at times, sometimes some scenes are very overwhelming in a sense that the author likes to put up some scenarios that maybe she intends the reader to swoon over with the characters, but lacks the connection and enthusiasm I was hoping for. I just hate that the point of interest of the main character was like a child in my opinion.
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I loved that Asterin was a strong female protagonist in Shadow Frost! We definitely need more of that! This book was very enjoyable and I'm impressed that Coco Ma wrote it so young!
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I would not say I enjoyed this book, but at the same time, I did not not enjoy it. The book honestly made no sense, but I found that it was really easier to read,d and I did want to continue reading it. There is no plot, AT ALL. I thought the last book I had read had no plot, but compared to this one, it had the most intricate storyline ever. The characters were also, meh. All they do is drink, the entire time, and talk about nonsense. But I never found myself not liking the book, which is weird, but probably has to do with how short the book is since it wasn't long enough to make me feel like I was wasting my time.
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Title: Shadow Frost
Author: Coco Ma
Pages: 400
Release Date: Oct 1, 2019
Genre: Fantasy
Series or Stand-Alone: Book 1 in series

Character Rating: 5/5
Story Rating: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Total Stars: 5/5

Pass the Bechdel Test? (Depiction of Women): Yes

Triggers: There is a lot of violence, but some of it happens offstage (such as coming across a town of people murdered). No sexual violence, however. 

I received a free eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Story: Such an enjoyable story! We have princess warriors, true love, monsters, and magic! Though there are some darker themes of entire towns killed by monsters, the book itself never becomes too dark. Even when the world is falling apart, hope wins out and even wins others to their side!

Likes: The characters were fantastic!

Could be Stronger: I gave this a 5-star review, so nothing major that I would change.

Recommendations: Appropriate for teen and up! See my note above about the violence, however!
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"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."

-Royals weilding elemental powers,fierce woman and so many plots twits!  Shadow of Frost was a fun, fantasy full of intrigue and betray. Loved all the elemental magic!
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I wasn't sure what I was expecting going into this, I didn't have many expectations because I haven't heard much about this book, and I didn't know what it's about. The plot is really simple, the idea is so simple, and it left the necessary room needed for some great plot twist, but I think there ended up being too many, and I there wasn't any need for them all.

I didn't really like the characters, I enjoyed diving into the background of the characters, I feel like we got to know the right amount about each of them, and it didn't overwhelm the story, in the end, I didn't end up having a preference.

The magic system was beautiful (who doesn't love elemental magic), it felt new, fresh, and something I haven't really seen before.

Even though this was a great book that I enjoyed enough, I have yet to decide if I will be continuing the series in the future.
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Shadow Frost was a fun, sizzling fantasy full of intrigue and betrayal and although it wasn't perfect I still thoroughly enjoyed it! an entertaining read and very impressive considering the author wrote the first draft at fifteen. It had a very similar vibe to Throne of Glass so if you liked that book, you'll like this one too!
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