"Will his kiss be enough to revive her frozen heart?
Once Upon A Time meets La Femme Nikita in GATHERING FROST, a dystopian romance from bestselling author Kaitlyn Davis that reimagines the classic fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty.
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."
NetGalley. Thanks for the copy.
Gather Frost is definitely like Once Upon A Time (though not anything like Season 4, which is the most dreadful season of all). There is a mixture of fairy tales, modern times, and an interesting focus on one tale, the Snow Queen. Well, it isn't exactly a retelling of the Snow Queen, but it is really close. It involves the Snow Queen/Ice Queen.
The plot starts off quickly, and it remains surprisingly quick and well-paced throughout the entire story. I find Jade's cold heart to be very rigid and calm in the beginning. Watching it melt and thaw is totally amazing as Jade regains parts of her real self and let the hard shell around her heart stop hiding away her emotions. There is a fire in her, and seeing it go free is awesome. The conflict is strong and straightforward, and it creates a wonderful amount of drama that Kaitlyn Davis manages to portray in a great way.
The world building is solid as ice. We start off in New York City, that is soon then destroyed by a mysterious event (lack of information here is disappointing). But that particular information isn't needed, so it isn't bad. Davis makes a simple enough world with three major agendas (one of them the queen's).
As the coldest character on the block, Jade is frozen. She is cold most of the time, and her heart is frozen in a way she can't feel emotions or anything at all. (It is like when Will Scarlet removed his heart to prevent himself from feeling anything for the Red Queen. Oh, and that is from OUAT in Wonderland.) When she meets Asher, suddenly everything seems to be brighter. Of course, I'm not going to go into spoilers, those smaller details.
The romance between Asher and Jade sparks off lightly. It slowly burns brighter and brighter (melting the ice around Jade's heart). It is really good, and the chemistry is very strong.
The ending confuses me, and I'm mostly like... What just happened? The thing about Asher and Jade's last run (in the book) is definitely shocking and surprising. I guess it is Davis' way of having a cliffhanger, but the cliffhanger doesn't sit well with the rest of the plot. (This has to do with what Asker said.)
Overall, Gather Frost is a wonderful fairy tale retelling. Davis spins a tale of magic, snow, and romance that will melt the most icy heart. The book is nearly perfect (except for the ending and the world building), but it is also greatly satisfying to read.
Rating: Four out of Five