Dec 27, 2016

Review: Frostblood by Elly Blake

Author: Elly Blake
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publishing Date: January 10, 2017
Pages/Format: 384, ARC
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Seventeen-year-old Ruby is a fireblood who must hide her powers of heat and flame from the cruel frostblood ruling class that wants to destroy all that are left of her kind. So when her mother is killed for protecting her and rebel frostbloods demand her help to kill their rampaging king, she agrees. But Ruby's powers are unpredictable, and she's not sure she's willing to let the rebels and an infuriating (yet irresistible) young man called Arcus use her as their weapon.

All she wants is revenge, but before they can take action, Ruby is captured and forced to take part in the king's tournaments that pit fireblood prisoners against frostblood champions. Now she has only one chance to destroy the maniacal ruler who has taken everything from her and from the icy young man she has come to love.

Fast-paced and compelling, Frostblood is the first in a page-turning new young adult three-book series about a world where flame and ice are mortal enemies—but together create a power that could change everything.

Book in One Word: Insufficient

I'm trying and failing to remember what made me want to read Frostblood and add it to my TBR. It certainly has an interesting premise, a world in which people can exist with powers of ice or fire, and ice rules over and decimates fire. And I'll admit that the blurb promising steam was intriguing. But when I saw some conversations on Twitter discussing and flailing about the shippy perfection in Frostblood, I really wanted to read it. Once I stuck my nose in it I was expecting a book that, though it may be slightly hindered by hype, would be on some level good. But instead I got a case of frostbite.

Let me be blatantly honest here: Frostblood really wasn't very good. Like, at all. I'd try to list some redeeming qualities but there really aren't any (well, maybe except for Arcus. But only slightly). I never officially DNF a book--I'll just set it aside and maybe pick it up later, whenever later is. I was intrigued just enough by Frostblood not to set it aside--but instead I just skimmed the last third of it to see how it ended because I could barely give two fucks. So I guess you could say I didn't really care for this book.

First and foremost, why is this called Frostblood? That title makes zero sense. It should be called Fireblood because Ruby is a fireblood. Secondly, that first chapter. My gosh, getting through that first chapter was so, so painful. I just couldn't focus on it and grasp what was happening and I felt like I was just thrown into everything. And it didn't really get any better from there. You'd think it was getting better and that the whole story was vastly improving--finally--but then you'd soon realize that it's just a trick and there's no good end in sight. There are just so many problems in the storytelling! Every chapter is basically a new setting--or three weeks or three months later, something I strongly dislike in books--and there's never enough time developing anything. And the characters? I didn't really give a damn about any of them and the writing and story didn't prevent any reasoning or development to get me to care. (And Ruby's kind of annoying to be honest. That's not helping anything at all since we're stuck in her head.)

Then there's the romance. I'm sorry, WHAT STEAM? This was not a steamy book in the slightest, unless you count the steam or sizzle created when fire and ice come into contact with each other. But there was just not enough--once again!--to create, well, enough. There was no slow burn, not enough banter, not enough contact, not enough time between the two--not enough enough enough. And that's a bit of a disappointment because I was expecting an epic romance and nothing about this book was epic.

In the end, I just don't get Fireblood Frostblood. It didn't work for me in any way, shape, or form and was neither hot nor cold. It just simply was. (Hype isn't even a consideration in the issues here.) I think its biggest issue was that it lacked enough: I couldn't care about the characters, the story had nothing compelling about it (at least with how it was told), the ending gave the story zero redemption, and there was just too much jumping around. Take the time to tell your story: don't continuously bounce around settings and fast forward in time. It takes away so much meaning in the story and ultimately forces it to its demise. And that's exactly what happened with Frostblood.

Did I like it? No.
Did I love it? No.
Would I reread it? No.
Would I purchase it? No.
Who would I recommend it to? A lot of people really liked this (which surprises me--did we read the same book?!), so maybe this book will work for you. In that case, I'd recommend this to fans of fire and ice, fantasies that are somewhat original, hate-to-love romances, and stories that aren't heavy in the depth department. (I don't mean for that sound to mean.)

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


  1. That's too bad that you didn't enjoy it :( I had the opposite experience and basically loved everything you didn't lol. That always fascinates me, how subjective reading can be!

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