'The Face in the Frost' is one of those books that, when finished, made me shrug, and think "Well, that happened." Except, this book refuses to go away. I finished it Friday night and scenes keep replaying in my head. I hadn't appreciated the book when I first read it in middle school - I wanted more of his juvenile mysteries, not a fantasy pastiche. Now, I know better. Bellairs had been inspired by 'The Lord of the Rings', but wanted more humanity in his characters, and less archetypes, and so created his Prospero (not that one) and Roger Bacon (maybe that one) to run around a version of late medieval England.
The plot is simple: Bacon comes to Prospero for help in locating a book. An evil wizard starts tracking their movements and the two realize there's evil afoot. The genuine horror elements clash with the light-hearted, anachronistic fantasy, which leaves a reader off guard. You don't know what to expect.
My opinion of this is improving the more I think about it, but for the most part this still reminds me of 'Three Hearts and Three Lions' and other early modern fantasies that almost captured something, but leaves most modern readers equally entertained and nonplussed.
Despite the critical success of this book, Bellairs turned away from fantasy to focus on his successful juvenile books. The book was included on the reading list in the back of one of the early 'Dungeons and Dragons' manuals, too, which is a fun future list for me to explore. There was an unfinished sequel posthumously published in the 'Magic Mirrors' anthology that I may have to track down now, and a prequel short story was finished, but is considered lost after the anthology it was submitted to was never published.
Book source ~ Purchased
My favorite vegan vampire is at it again. She and Alex need to solve a security breach at HQ, but before they can do that, not just one murder happens, but two! This is a fairly quick funny read that is just what I needed during these stressful COVID-19 times. Mallory is as scatterbrained as usual and it’s always fun to try to figure out her thought process. Alex is yummy as always and it’s awesome to see everyone else, too. Boone especially gets some extra time in this story and I’m glad. Because who could ever hate such a special doggo? We get a new character in the form of Madeline. I like her. A lot. And I’m so glad I discovered she has a series of her own. Now I must read them! There is one character I’m concerned about at the end of this tale and it’s driving me a bit loony. I hope everything ends up ok and I look forward to Mallory’s next adventure.
I'm going to make this short.
Okay Alex and Henry are adorable and I totally love them. They go back and forth just like me and the hubs.
The story just. Keeps. Going. Ffs it could have been wrapped up neatly well before it was. And the whole Richardson background story was way too cliche and easy to figure out. Because the book dragged on forever, I started to lose interest.
So, a good book but a bit slow and dull.
Libby is seriously sick. The hottest man ever has mangled her front yard. Just gross. He has gotten sick, made her feel bad, and thoroughly disgusted her. How is this possible?
Killian is so glad to be anonymous, knowing it will not last. For the time being his neighbor slash enemy is avoiding him. He cannot stop looking her way. He may have to get to know her better.
This book starts out with such fun angst. There is so much humor, and the laughs keep coming. Until the heat kicks in. Then it is all heat and spark. Between these two, you can feel it lifting off the page and seriously almost burning me as the reader. I was fully impressed. I cannot wait to read the next book in this sexified series. I give this read a 5/5 Kitty's Paws UP!