By: Suzi Davis
Published By: ireadiwrite Publishing
Publication Date: December 2010
Page Count: 292
Source: Kindly Provided by Publisher
Audience: Young Adult - Fantasy
Amber Frost is the story of Grace Stevenson, a gorgeous and wealthy eighteen year old, who lives in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. I have to admit that part of the appeal of this novel was the setting. Victoria is a gorgeous place and I could totally see magic really lurking in the shadows. Grace has a seemingly perfect life, but being from a well-to-do family has its drawbacks. Her entire life is decided based on what her mother deems appropriate. Grace must dress in the latest designer clothes, befriend the right sort of people from the best families in Victoria, date the perfect boy, and always conduct herself as a lady. It's all too much for Grace to handle and inside she is lashing against her parents' control.
Grace doesn't have the courage to stand up for herself and change her life until she meets the handsome and secretive Sebastian in art class. The two bond over a stranger drawing of Grace's and strike up an unlikely friendship. Sebastian teaches Grace to find her backbone and she teaches him that he doesn't always have to do everything alone. The pair realizes all too quickly that their friendship isn't accidental and ancient mysteries swirl around them. Sebastian begins to remember details from a past life he never knew he had.
Hmmm, rating and reviewing this novel was tricky. While there were some elements I didn't like, there were many things I really enjoyed. I certainly think this series has lots of potential. I really enjoyed the fantasy elements of this story. The connection to Celtic roots was intriguing for me. I also liked that the fantasy elements weren't the same old predictable beings.
I'm interested to see if Suzi Davis' writing develops along the way as well. In many ways, it was simplistic and derailed my enjoyment. For example, in the beginning when we are meeting characters, instead of letting the reader learn about them gradually, we get grocery list descriptions. This form of telling instead of showing is a huge pet peeve of mine. This instantly put me on my guard and made me doubt my decision to read this story, but I wanted to give it a fair chance and kept plowing on.
Another thing that irked me about this novel was the romance. It was predictable and felt a little like a recycled version of Edward and Bella. Sebastian convinces himself that he can't be with Grace and immediately starts to push her away. He even prepares to move away to avoid her. Sound familiar? Furthermore, Grace falls for Sebastian rather quickly. Grace also was not a character I immediately liked, but eventually I got to a point where I liked her better. The exact same thing happened with Bella. Perhaps I am being unfair making these comparisons as Twilight was certainly not the first book to have this sort of relationship, but I expect other paranormal romances to step up their game a bit. Davis does a nice job of wowing me with the paranormal aspects, but I wanted something different in the romance department. I understood Davis' choices concerning her characters, but I couldn't stop my mind from going to these places as I read.
All in all, I ended up really enjoying my time in Davis' world. I warmed up to the characters and settled into the plot after the first few chapters. This is one of those novels that starts slowly, but ends with a bang. Your efforts will be rewarded if you can get through the first half of the book. I'll be picking up the sequels for sure. I'd recommend this title to those who enjoy paranormal romances and interesting lore.
One Last Gripe: Some of the dialogue - particularly Grace's mother's segments - didn't sound realistic.
My Favorite Thing About This Book: Sebastian's story
First Sentence: My pen carefully moved across the paper, twisting, flowing, black ink streaking in its wake across the virgin white surface.
Favorite Character: Sebastian
Least Favorite Character: Grace's mother
Grace Lynn Stevenson is an eighteen year old girl who recently moved with her wealthy, but busy parents to a new city. She's popular, pretty and rich - what more could a girl want? But deep down, she's sad, lonely and plagued by nightmares.
When she meets Sebastian Caldwood at her new private school, she's inexplicably drawn to him and his strange tattoos. Sebastian always gets what he wants - he simply has to wish it; but he's fighting his own inner demons, and struggling to remember a past that eludes him. When he remembers that he is much older than he looks, he realizes that he's seen many people live and die, including Grace.
Once Sebastian realizes his true nature and finds what he has been searching for the past hundreds of years, he also realizes that it is now up to him to protect Grace from the dangers that have plagued them throughout eternity.