September 29, 2019

Shadow Frost Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway

Shadow Frost
Author: Coco Ma 
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: October 1, 2019 
Publisher: Blackstone Publishing
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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.

From young author Coco Ma comes a dazzling new tale of adventure, power, and betrayal, weaving together a stunning world of magic with a killer cast in an explosive, unforgettable debut.
Shadow Frost is the exciting first book in a new young adult fantasy series that fans of the genre are sure to love. I personally like this genre, but it's hard to find anything wholly unique and original anymore - in any genre actually. It's like everything's already been done and now we're just reading versions of the same stories. Although this book wasn't completely unique, the author did a great job of putting her own spin on the story template. There are several aspects of the novel that I really loved and thought were very well done. 

One of these was the world building. The author constructs this intricate world where Asterin lives and the story takes place. There's a great amount of detail put into all aspects of this part of the book - to the point where I could easily picture everything in my mind as I read. The author did a wonderful job using vivid imagery and detailed descriptions to bring
Asterin's world to life. I loved learning about all of it - the history of the kingdoms and the different countries, the history of the old rulers who gave magic to the people, the magic itself (which was so cool), and everything in between. I especially want to note how much I loved the magic in the book and I loved learning everything I could about it and figuring out how everything works. I hope we get to learn even more about the magic, the history, the world, and the people in the following books. Asterin was a great main character for the book. Again, not exactly unique - a rogue princess that possesses the magic to save her kingdom and possibly the world, who isn't the usual idea of what a princess should be, etc. She is strong, brave, smart, loyal, and incredibly determined. She has flaws too, which makes her realistic and easy to identify with. The secondary characters were well rounded with their own personalities and aren't just flat stereotypes, which is always a nice surprise. I really loved watching Asterin come into her own throughout the story. I was rooting for her from the beginning and enjoyed seeing her overcome the obstacles that were in her way. I also liked seeing the relationships and friendships between Asterin and the other characters develop and change during the novel.

One thing that I personally didn't care for was the author's choice of writing style. She chose to write it from the third person point of view, which is not a style I like very often. I'm a huge fan of the first person POV because I feel it allows the reader to connect on a deeper level with the narrator. The third person never lets me make that deep connection I need to really be invested in the story or the characters. This is completely my issue and personal preference and doesn't reflect poorly on the story or the writing itself. If it had been written in the first person POV, I think I would've had a much better reading experience than the one I had. Overall, this is a promising beginning to what has the potential to be a fantastic YA fantasy series and I'm excited to see where the author will take us next.
Coco Ma is a Canadian-Chinese author and pianist. She wrote her first novel, Shadow Frost, at the age of 15. Since she began playing the piano at the age of five and a half, she has also 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. Currently, she studies at Yale University. When she isn't practicing piano, writing, or studying, you might find her bingeing Netflix or eating cake. Lots of cake. Follow Coco on Twitter @shadowfrost2019 and Instagram @CakeForCoco or visit her website at!
 Win (1) of (2) Shadow Frost bundles:
-1 Hardcover copy of Shadow Frost
-1 Signed bookplate
-Shadow Frost swag (bookmark and button)
Giveaway Starts on: October 1, 2019
Giveaway Ends on:October 15, 2019

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