Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Review for A Breath of Frost by Alyxandra Harvey

A Breath of Frost by Alyxandra Harvey 
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release: 2nd January 2014
Genre: Historical Fiction, YA, Paranormal, Witchcraft
Source: Received for review via Netgalley

Goodreads Summary:
"Emma Day and her two cousins, Gretchen and Penelope, are uninterested in their debutante lives. All the boring balls, tiresome curtsying and polite conversation leave much to be desired. Then a girl is found dead, frost clinging to her lifeless body, and the murder is traced to Emma. As their world is turned upside down, Emma discovers more about herself and her cousins, from her connection to the murders to the secrets of her family legacy. Now the girls must embrace their true Lovegrove inheritance in order to stop the chaos, even if that means risking their lives. Dangerously handsome Cormac Fairfax wants to help Emma – but, with secrets of his own to hide, can she trust him?"

I really enjoyed Alyxandra Harvey’s previous historical novel ‘Haunting Violet’ so when I heard about her latest novel ‘A Breath of Frost’ which is about witches and set in Regency London I figured what’s not to like? And decided to give this book a go. For me this book was very hit and miss. Although it didn’t tick all of the right boxes for what I’m currently looking for in a great read I have no doubt that fans of Alyxandra Harvey and witchcraft will love it.

A Breath of Frost has a lot going on and we’re thrown into the action right away. There’s murder, mystery and magic with debutantes, finishing school and romance. Where this book went wrong for me is that I feel like the author tried to tackle too many topics at once leaving some aspects of the book feeling underdeveloped. I personally loved the story of the Lovegrove’s legacy and the girls discovering their powers during a time when being a powerful and strong woman is not the norm in society. However I was really underwhelmed by the whole murder mystery, I guessed a few of the plot twists and I found myself skimming over those parts of the book. I also felt like the rules regarding the magic were never fully established which I think is crucial when making a paranormal world believable. I would have liked to have understood the magic in this story better.

The highlight of the book for me were definitely our three heroines Emma, Penelope and Gretchen. Although at times they seemed a bit modern and overly British (I lost count of the amount of times they said “bloody”) they each had distinctive and strong personalities and were so much fun to read about.

Overall A Breath of Frost was a decent read that I enjoyed at the time but it didn’t leave a lasting impression on me and I probably won’t be continuing on with this series.

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