Title: Gathering Frost (Once Upon A Curse #1)
Publish Date: February 17th 2015
"Will his kiss be enough to revive her frozen heart?
Once Upon A Time meets La Femme Nikita in GATHERING FROST, a dystopian romance from bestselling author Kaitlyn Davis that reimagines the classic fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty.
Jade was only a little girl when the earthquake struck. Before her eyes, half of New York City disappeared, replaced by a village that seemed torn out of a storybook. Horses and carriages. Cobblestone streets. A towering castle. And, above all, a queen with the magical ability to strip emotions away.
Ten years later and Jade has forgotten what it is to feel, to care...even to love. Working as a member of the queen's guard, she spends most of her time on the city wall staring at the crumbling skyscrapers of old New York. But everything changes when the queen's runaway son, Prince Asher, returns. Jade is tasked with an unusual mission--to let the Prince capture her, to make him trust her, and then to betray his secrets to the crown. In return, she'll earn her freedom. But life outside the queen's realm is more than Jade bargained for. Under Asher's relentless taunts, her blood begins to boil. Under his piercing gaze, her heart begins to flutter. And the more her icy soul begins to thaw, the more Jade comes to question everything she's ever known--and, more importantly, whose side she's really on."
StoryLine: So, I love retellings. I have for as long as I can remember. So whenever I see a new retelling, I pretty much already know it has to be mine. Sleeping Beauty was one of my favorite Disney movies when I was a kid (ok so they were all sort of my favorite), mostly because my cousin owned a copy and I didn't. As I got older I realized that it was the pretty magic scene with the cake, and the fact that watching it was a rarity, that made it more of a favorite. I really liked the direction that Davis took this story. While it is sort of a retelling, and there's definitely the elements of the fairy tale there, this story is so completely original and a refreshing look at the old tale. I loved finding the similar elements, while not feeling like I was reading the same story I read a hundred times before.
Characters: I really enjoyed our main character, Jade. She was such a bad ass, which is a favorite trait of mine. Such a far cry from the damsel in distress role most female characters in fairy tales occupy, Jade worked her way to the top of the queen's guard by proving herself better than all of her male peers. And even while under the queen's spell, she still knew that she craved freedom.
Asher, while sweet, warmhearted, and easygoing, was also brave. He did everything he could to protect people from the fate they should never have had to endure. Towards the end I also started to feel sympathy for the queen, which we all know is a sign of a well portrayed villain. She was still evil, but I couldn't help but feel a bit bad about her lot in life.
Parting Thoughts: This was a cute start to what I'm sure will be a fun series. Plus, the next book is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, which still is one of my favorite fairy tales.