A Breath of Frost (The Lovegrove Legacy #1) – Alyxandra Harvey

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16059442In 1814, three cousins-Gretchen, Emma, and Penelope-discover their unknown family lineage of witchcraft. Beyond the familiar manicured gardens and ballrooms of Regency London, a dangerous, alluring new underworld visible only to those with power is now open to the cousins.
But unbeknownst to them, by claiming their power, the three cousins have inadvertently opened the gates to the Underworld.
Now the dead, ghouls, hellhounds-and the most terrifying of all: the spirits of dark witches known as the Greymalkin Sisters-are hunting and killing young debutante witches for their powers.
And, somehow, Emma is connected to the murders…because she keeps finding the bodies.
Can the cousins unravel the clues and mystery behind their heritage and power before their gifts are stripped away …or even worse, another witch is killed?

 

I read an early ARC of this book when it was still called Witching Season: Stormcaster. There may be changes and/or edits in the finished edition.

 

The first 100 pages of A Breath of Frost were absolutely amazing. I was instantly hooked to the 3 main characters, Gretchen, Emma, and Penelope and their magical ways. I thought that the beginning had a very similar feel to The Beautiful and the Cursed by Page Morgan, which is a HUGE compliment from me considering that that was one of my favorite books of the year.

I loved that A Breath of Frost was about witches. You don’t really see that a lot any more. I’m always dying to get my hands on a good witch book, so you can only imagine my excitement when this one came in the mail. For the most part, I really enjoyed the witchcraft in this book. However, I did think that it was a bit downplayed. I would have liked to see a little bit more magic, and I also would have liked the girls to have more power than they actually did.

I thought that A Breath of Frost had a few too many POV’s. It didn’t really give me a lot of time to connect with the characters and some of them honestly just confused me. I still don’t understand why Moira’s POV was even included in this book…nor did I understand why she was even a character. Moira’s character in the few parts that she actually appeared in seemed to take away from the story because it was so confusing why she was even there. She didn’t really fit in with the rest of the plot.

Another thing that was weird was that sometimes there would be large gaps between scenes or sometimes there would be an implied conversation that never appeared in the book and then all of a sudden a character who didn’t previously know something knew it. That happened quite a few times. Again, I read an early ARC of this book so that may not happen in the final printed edition.  But it was a little confusing at times to have things happen that I didn’t have a chance to read about.

There was a cute romance in this book between Emma and Cormac. It wasn’t quite as adorable as I wanted to be, but I liked how low key it was compared to the rest of the book. What I would have liked to see, though, is some side romances between some of the other characters. I feel that this was the type of book meant for a few different low key romances, and I was a little disappointed that I just had to settle for Emma and Cormac. There was a certain scene with Pen that made me thing a romance was about to happen for her…so maybe we will see that in the next book.

One of my biggest complaints with A Breath of Frost was that halfway through it started to slide out of the YA genre and reach MG ground. That’s middle grade for those of you who don’t know. It got a little boring, really cheesy, and somewhat exaggerated. I think that YA historical witch books need to be geared more for older audiences, and I was a bit disappointed with the different turn of events. While I did enjoy this book, I feel that it’s something geared more for my 5th graders. They would absolutely love it.

On a more positive note, I loved how snarky and funny this book could be at times. I laughed out loud so many times, you don’t even know. I really enjoyed how Harvey’s personality shown through at certain times, and then the characters voices covered the rest of it. I like to read books that make me feel emotion. I laughed at this one. I got angry. It made me feel stuff.

Unfortunately, I had to skim the very last 100 pages of this book because it got way too boring, cheesy, and predictable. I will see that there were some shocking turns of events, and the book went in directions I didn’t foresee, but I was just a little bored. I really loved it at first, but it just seemed to go a little downhill after that. So, while I WILL be reading more from Harvey, I don’t think this was my all time favorite witch book. But I did enjoy it, and I would recommend it!

 

Pages: 496

Publication Date: January 7th, 2014

Publisher: Walker Childrens

Rating: [rating: 3]