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review 2016-09-15 01:48
Review for Frostfire by Amanda Hocking
Frostfire - Amanda Hocking

This review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews


Bryn Aven has spent her life training to be a member of the Högdragen (an elite group of royal guards). Right now she’s a successful, if somewhat outcast, tracker who has yet to lose a changeling. She is determined to not let anything stand in the way of her goal, certainly not a starcrossed affair with Ridley Dresden, her hot boss. Her plans get derailed when Konstantin Black, a former Hogdragon member and current outlaw, starts kidnapping changelings. Bryn is assign to a team to help protect the changelings and put a stop to him, by any means necessary. Can she succeed and gain entry into her dream job or will she fail and watch it all collapse?


I really enjoyed Hocking’s Trylle series, so when I heard she’s was writing a spin-off series, I knew I’d have to read it. Same world, but different tribe of trolls? Bring it on! Sadly, we don’t get much of Loki, just a small glimpse, but we do get to see Finn and Tove. Tove, oh Tove. Le sigh.


I didn’t love Bryn immediately, but she does grow on you…like a fungus. In the first chapter of this, I wanted to slap her. She goes on and on about how in love she is with Konstantin and she’s all dreamy eyed and I really wanted to shake her. Luckily for us, that only lasts for a chapter because Konstantin goes all outlaw and tries to kill her dad. From that point on, Bryn’s only focus is getting on the Hogdagon. It was her goal before and she worked hard as hell towards it, but afterwards, she refuses to even entertain the idea of romance. Sure, she has had boyfriends, but nothing serious. Revenge drives her to be the best tracker she can be. She ignores the growing attraction to her boss, Ridley. They both know nothing could come of a relationship, so she suppresses her feelings and focuses on bringing home changelings and training her body to the brink of exhaustion. When Konstantin reappears, she knows she should kill him. He tried to kill her father and has been evading capture for YEARS. But something about this whole situation feels off and she wonders if Konstantin is really as bad as everyone believes or if someone else is pulling his puppet strings. Her avoidance of emotional relationships both confused and fascinated me. From a very young age, I was obsessed with the concept of love. I spent my high school career with my nose buried in historical romance novels, so reading about someone so adverse to falling in love threw me for a bit of a loop.


Ridley…I…he…He’s no Loki, okay? He’s smart and attractive and it’s obvious he has a thing for Bryn. That’s a little on the creepy side because he’s older and he is her boss, but he quickly wipes the creep factor out with his loyalty. He also doesn’t act on his feelings. He makes a conscience effort to avoid that not just because of the threat to his job, but also because he knows Bryn well enough to know how it would affect her. That had me smiling a bit. He’s backstory confuses me because it shows how he despises playboy’s, yet Bryn portrays him as a bit of a playboy. Regardless, he was a character I enjoyed and that tension between him and Bryn is perfect.


I will admit that it has been a LONG time since I read the Trylle series. In fact, Kandice is currently plowing through the final book and not particularly enjoying it. It made me wonder if maybe my reading tastes have changed on the past few years. After reading this, I tend to doubt it. This felt a great deal like that, but told from an entirely different perspective. We don’t get the changeling, struggling to understand the truth and learn an entirely new culture. We get an outcast. A half-breed who isn’t really accepted anywhere, but neither can she be cast out. I think anyone who loved the trylle series will enjoy this. It’s a bit slow to start, but it hooks you in pretty quickly and it wholly entertaining. It does end on a horrid cliffhanger, but that’s really to be expected at this point, right?


Audio Notes:
This is the third….forth Eileen Stevens book I’ve listened to now. The jury is still out on my opinion of her. In the first two, both novel’s from Krystal Wade’s Darkness Falls series, I wasn’t impressed. That could be contributed to the fact that I just didn’t really like the story, so I don’t hold that against her. Then it was Devil In Denim by Melanie Scott and she was pretty great in that. Here she was okay? Her accent is a little…off? Once you get into the story and Bryn describes how her people talk, it makes a bit more sense, but it was still a bit off-putting in the start. She also says Konstantin different than I imagined it to be said. This isn’t the first time a narrator and I have disagreed on how a name should be pronounced and I have no idea if Hocking was consulted on the proper pronunciation, but it looks like the name Constantine, right? I would think it would be pronounced the same. They just changed the name and dropped the “e,” which doesn’t make much of a difference. But she says it CON-STAN-TEN. Ten, like a ten dollar bill, instead of teen. Now, this could all just be me, but every time she said his name, I cringed. Beyond that, she was a great as I remember from last time. She has good pacing and does a great job with differentiating who is speaking. I would say I enjoyed her overall performance, despite my nit-picky-ness.


****Thank you to Esther Bochner at Audible for providing me with an audio copy in exchange for an honest review****


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review 2015-12-05 01:10
Frostfire Review
Frostfire - Amanda Hocking

Book Info

Title: Frostfire
Author: Amanda Hocking
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Hardcover Price: $22.99
Source: Public Library


Report Card:

Characters: B
Plot: B
Setting: C
Writing: C


Bryn Aven aka the White Rabbit
I like her. I do. I just feel like she's a little, oh I don't know, cliche? She's the badass chick who wants to be tough and ambitious and do her job and play with the boys and beat them at their own game but... then she's also got this softer side that wants the romance that she knows she can't have. I don't know. I just feel like I've been there before.
Ridley Dresden
I think he's almost the bad boy but doesn't quite make it there. Or perhaps, he was. He's a reformed player, only the girls knew it was a one nighter. Now he's a big boy with big boy responsibilities. Eh.
Konstantin Black aka the Villain (maybe??)
Probably the most interesting character here only because he's pretty much central to the story but we really don't know all that much about him. I'm kinda hoping for a romance with Bryn, but I don't think it'll happen.


The mystery isn't enough to keep me up at night, but I want to know what happens. This is fairly routine with Hocking's books. They're just good enough to keep me intrigued. 


I think she could have built this up more. Tell us more! [More in the writing below]


Hocking has stated that she usually writes between 8,000-10,000 words per day. You can tell. The writing just felt, I don't know, hurried to me. It's easy to see how she could write 26 books in a few years. She just churns out words, but they lack real depths. I can't bring myself to FEEL for these characters or the story. There were no moments of gasping or disbelief. 


I will finish the series. These books are a fun bit of escape. 

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review 2015-04-27 00:00
Frostfire - Amanda Hocking First off I'm not sure why the characters in this book are called trolls when there is nothing troll-like about them. Do they live underground? No. Are any of them ugly? No. They most definitely seem a lot more like the Fae. Overall Frostfire was a lackluster read. Not a lot really happens in the book and I found myself bored with it on more than one occasion. The main character isn't all that likeable at times and it also didn't feel like there was enough thought or planning put into the whys and hows of the "troll" society.

The book starts out with Bryn, the main character in a modern day city tracking a changeling. So it's like an urban fantasy at this point which is something I wasn't expecting and I wasn't crazy about. Once Bryn returns to the city where the "trolls" live it feels like we are in a old world fantasy type setting. This is mainly due to the fact that they care little about technology there and still run around using swords instead of guns. In my opinion this sort of time period would have suited the book better.

At times I didn't find Bryn all that likeable. She seemed a bit selfish and couldn't seem to look at things from any perspective but her own. There were a couple of times that she was so rude to her friends that I wondered why they were friends with her. One of those times was when her friend Ember gets a mission and all Bryn can think about is herself and why she wasn't sent on it. The second time was even worse when Bryn finds out a secret (which to avoid spoilers I will not mention here) her friend Tilda has been keeping about herself. To Tilda it was something good, but Bryn was so horrible to her about it. The things she said to Tilda made me angry with her.

The villain of the book, Konstantin Black was the most interesting character because the reader is kept wondering what his motivation is. He definitely is more than he seems to be. But he is hardly in the book at all. One issue I did have with his character was that if he is supposed to be good enough to have been on the King's guard then why is he beaten so easily by a teenage girl who has no special fae...I mean troll powers, more than once?

All of that said I think the biggest problem I had with the book was the whole changeling thing and the "Troll" society in general. I'm not sure how I'm supposed to root for a whole race of people who steal human babies and then dump them in orphanages so they can replace them with their own, only to steal that child too once it's a teen. And it's all done in the name of money. For me this was not a real plausible explanation. Money isn't good enough. That just made them seem greedy and too lazy to work for what they get. Am I supposed to believe that the "trolls" can't come up with a way to earn money in the world? They can blend in well enough with humans that they aren't noticed when they go out on missions so there is no excuse for stealing babies. And how do these humans not notice what is going on? Nothing is mentioned about that at all. And doesn't it ever bother the changelings that they have left the parents who raised them and their lives behind?

Even though I wasn't crazy about this book I will be reading the next book in the series because I won a free copy of it. Hopefully it will tie up some of these loose ends and answer some of the unanswered questions that the abrupt ending of this book forgot about.
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review 2015-02-26 03:39
Frostfire By: Amanda Hocking Review











Hidden deep in the heart of a snow-covered wilderness lies the secret kingdom of the Kanin—a magical realm as beautiful as it is treacherous…Bryn Aven has never fit into Kanin society. Her blond hair and blue eyes set her apart as an outsider—a half-blood unable to hold a respectable rank. But she’s determined to prove herself as a loyal protector of the kingdom she loves. Her dream is to become a member of the King’s elite guard, and she’s not going to let anything stand in her way…not even her growing feelings for her boss, Ridley Dresden. A relationship between them is strictly forbidden, but Bryn can’t fight her attraction to him. And she’s beginning to think he feels it too. Meanwhile, there’s an attack on the kingdom—one that will test Bryn’s strength like never before. Finally, she has the chance to confront Konstantin Black, the traitor who tried to kill her father years ago. It’s up to Bryn to put a stop to him before he strikes again. But is she willing to risk everything to protect a kingdom that doesn't accept her for who she really is? And when her mission brings her closer to Ridley, will she be able to deny her heart? (From B&N)


Ok I just want to start by saying thank you to St. Martin's Press for sending me this book to review. You guy's are amazing, and I'm really grateful for getting the opportunity. I loved this book so much.


So in case you didn't know this series is a spin off of Amanda's Trylle series. Which I loved. But to tell you the truth I think I might actually like this new one even better. I love Bryn's story and find her fun and one strong chick. She is so different from Wendy in the Trylle series and I liked how independent she was.



When Amanda Hocking introduced us to the world of Trylle I thought it was new and exciting. But as we delve further into it in this book I fell more in love. Seeing the world of the Kanin gives us a much better look into her crazy magical world, and allows us to see things from a different perspective. Instead of being introduced to the world from an outsiders prospective like we had during Trylle, we got to see what this incredible place looked like from someone born into it. To me it was interesting to see it this way. And see how the different tribes histories were all intertwined and fit together better.



As I said before I love Bryn. She is spunky and smart and so independent. She had to work her way to where she is and I respect reading about a character that proves just how amazing she is. Don't get me wrong now, I love me a good story where the hot guy comes in and saves the day. But it's nice to see a strong leading lady now and then. 

I actually really liked how different Bryn was from the other Kanin too. While it presented a problem to her, I liked how it made her unique and stand out. Plus it makes her stand out to Ridley *wages eyebrows. 



Speaking of the sexy Rektor ;)

I absolutely loved him. Oh Ridley!!!

He is incredibly caring and passionate about his work. While he might be to old to be out in the field as a tracker, he has taken the position as their leader. He makes sure everyone is ok, especially Bryn. The hotness that is the man with his persistent five o'clock shadow and unruly hair that has grown out adds so much more to this story. While he is the growing romantic interest of Bryn, he also serves to show just how hard she is working to gain a spot on the royal guard and to help support her through her struggles with the evil Konstantin Black (Well the presumed evil Konstantin Black *Que suspenseful music *DUN DUN DUN)




Hocking also did an incredible job of creating a great supporting cast. I loved Bryn's friends. They have a way of seeing deeper into her, and making her realize things she would rather try to pretend aren't happening. They also make her realize that she cannot do everything on her own. Ember in particular is my favorite. And who doesn't love a crazy Trylle who doesn't exactly fit the mold like everyone else? Any who her supporting characters are the best and I adore them all, even Bryn's parents are interesting and add a lot to the story.




Overall this book was great. I cannot wait to get my hands on the next one Ice Kissed that comes out in a month or so. 


I give Frostfire




Source: pagesbetween.blogspot.com/2015/02/frostfire-by-amanda-hocking.html
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review 2015-02-21 19:44
Brief Rant: Frostfire
Frostfire - Amanda Hocking

Frostfire -- Amanda Hocking

Book 1 of Kanin Chronicles

2015 Release -- St. Martin's Griffin

Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance



Frostfire is really NOT a terrible book. I just didn't like it.

In fact, the world in Kanin Chronicles DOES do quite a decent job balancing modern society with a somewhat, age-old world of trolls who are all still stuck in their own traditional monarchies. Setting aside the fact that I know nothing of the world of Amanda Hocking’s previous books about the Trylle (and now learning that this book was set in that world), I could come to like this world. Also setting aside the reasoning behind why trolls require changelings to luxuriate their greedy communities (which I don’t really agree with, but whatever, it’s their culture), I could STILL learn to like the world and the culture built around the different troll tribes.

It’s really actually quite creative and sparked an interest in wanting to know about the different tribes around the world of trolls.

What I DON’T like, unfortunately, are the underdeveloped characters, the lackluster storyline, the uninspiring narration and writing style, the random uses of pop culture references that are misused in at least three cases, the logic fail of the troll-changeling culture, and the multiple logic fails behind all of Bryn’s condescending, yet contradictory monologues of righteous tirade as to why the society of Kanin and the whole changeling thing works and why Bryn is the best tracker in the world and why everyone should see things her way and what a true tracker is really like: and I also don’t really like Bryn much either because she just lacks development most of all as the main character.

I mean, don't get me wrong, I like that she's strong and independent and can hold her own and is uber kickass--we all know fiction lacks a lot of such strong heroines and I could have really liked her as well. But she's so all-powerful and she's always right and knows what's best for everyone and the community and she's so perfect... what's left to develop? Her biggest flaw is that she's a condescending bitch who is rude to her parents and her friends, throws childish tantrums, and lacks empathy and open-mindedness; and even as the end of the book rolled around, I'm not sure that particular trait was going to change.

And also, the entire story was kind of boring and long-winded with 80% of it feeling very much like random tangent anecdotes and only 20% of it actually being about the main conflict. Oh, and the romance was also laughably predictable and eye-roll worthy too. So I don't have a summary for this book because I don't even really know what story we were aiming to tell despite the fact that I have an inkling about the direction the story was taking.

At least the ending ended on an exciting note, even if it DID supply an abrupt and unsatisfying cut-off cliff hanger in which I turned the page after the last sentence and went, "Wait, it's done?" but not in that "Man, I wish there were more!" way; it was more of a "Hmm... that was unexpected..." way.

Overall Thoughts: I have a lot more thoughts written down about all the many ways I don't like Bryn, but I'll spare everyone my soapboxes and personal tirades. I figure, this book is so popular that maybe I just don't understand it's popularity. Maybe I have to go back and read Amanda Hocking's first few novels about the Trylle... except that the small spark of interest I have is very much overshadowed by the many negatives I developed about this book. Chances are, I won't be finishing this series and neither will I be interested in picking up her previous books.

Her writing style is probably not my cuppa.

On a final note, it bugged me a little bit that there was sort of an underlying implication that, after having a baby, the trackers who are female pretty much give up their career as a tracker, as if having a baby means you're immediately a stay-at-home mother and nothing in the book seems to imply otherwise.


It's that whole deal where a lot of women in fiction I've read are made to choose between career or family (or career or love) and can only have one or the other, but never both.  It rankles me just a little bit.





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