(Cover picture courtesy of Goodreads.)
After the drama of finding out that she’s a Stork, a member of an ancient and mystical order of women, and that her boyfriend, Jack, is a descendent of the Winter People able to control the weather, Katla Leblanc is delighted when all signs point to a busy and peaceful Christmas. That is, until the snowstorm Jack summons as a gift to Katla turns into the storm of the century, attracting Brigid, a gorgeous scientist who, in turn, attracts Jack. Between the school play, a bedridden, pregnant mother’s to-do lists, and keeping an eye on her aging grandfather, Katla doesn’t have time to question Brigid’s motives or deal with Jack’s increasingly cold behavior. But Katla’s suspicions mount when Jack joins Brigid on a research expedition to Greenland, and when the two of them go missing, it becomes clear that Katla is the only one who can save her beloved Jack from the Snow Queen who holds him prisoner. Adventure, romance, and myth combine in this winter escapade for teens who like a bit of fire with their ice.
It took me a little bit to warm up to Stork because of Katla but by the end I liked the story enough that I was willing to read the second book. I had bought the entire trilogy on a whim anyway so why not? It certainly sounded a little more action-packed than the first book. In a way it was but in a way it was also slightly disappointing.
My whole impression of Katla in Frost was essentially ‘meh’. She’s changed a little bit from the first book in the sense that she’s no longer as stuck up and is taking on the responsibilities of being a Stork willingly but at the same time she’s also still pretty immature. When Brigid shows up, Katla immediately goes into jealous girlfriend mode without seeing how Jack will even react to the woman. Of course her initial suspicions are confirmed when Brigid drags Jack off to Greenland but at the same time I can’t help but feel a little colder toward Katla for her rather obsessive jealousy. I don’t hate her or really dislike her because I can completely understand jealousy but it didn’t make me feel any warmer toward her. When she set off to go find Jack her selflessness really came into the spotlight so in the end I did like her a little more than I did in the first book. Still, I wouldn’t call her a great or even a memorable character; she’s pretty average.
The plot was pretty slow-paced even though this book is only a little under 400 pages long. It’s very much character-driven (which I usually don’t mind) but at the same time I had a hard time with the first 200 pages or so because not much happens. Sure it’s nice to see how Katla is settling into her duties as a Stork and how it’s changed her life at school but at the same time I couldn’t help but get bored. It’s nice to see Jack and Katla’s relationship develop before Brigid bursts onto the scene but I think Wendy Delsol spent a little too much time on her introduction. I wanted a lot more action and I simply wasn’t getting it. Because of the slow pace of the first part of the book it also felt like the last part where Katla had to go rescue Jack was way too rushed and more than a little bit confusing. I would have liked the plot to start out a little bit faster and then gradually build toward the more action-packed sections rather than the abrupt transitions in Frost.
As for the world-building, it was thoroughly enjoyable even if it lacked that ‘wow’ factor. The plot of Frost is loosely based upon the Snow Queen story which I’m more familiar with than the first book’s story so in that regard it was a little more enjoyable for me. I liked how we finally got to see how the hierarchy of Storks works and whether or not there are other Storks around the world that carry out the same or similar duties. It made things a little more realistic and it added more depth to the story.
Wendy Delsol has a good writing style that describes things well and clearly while not beating around the bush, which would have made the book excellent if not for the lack in pacing and the admittedly lackluster characters. She’s an author with a lot of potential and despite my overall ‘meh’ impression of Frost I’ll be reading the last book, if only to finish the series. Basically, this book was just not made for me and if the blurb at least sounds intriguing to you I’d recommend giving the series a try. Who knows? Maybe you’ll like it better than I did.
I give this book 3/5 stars.
(Cover picture courtesy of Wendy Delsol’s site.)
Family secrets. Lost memories. And the arrival of an ancient magical ability that will reveal everything.
Sixteen-year-old Katla LeBlanc has just moved from Los Angeles to Minnesota. As if it weren’t enough that her trendy fashion sense draws stares, Katla soon finds out that she’s a Stork, a member of a mysterious order of women tasked with a very unique duty. But Katla’s biggest challenge may be finding her flock at a new school. Between being ignored by Wade, the arrogant jock she stupidly fooled around with, and constantly arguing with gorgeous farm boy and editor-in-chief Jack, Katla is relieved when her assignment as the school paper’s fashion columnist brings with it some much-needed friendship. But as Homecoming approaches, Katla uncovers a shocking secret about her past — a secret that binds her fate to Jack’s in a way neither could have ever anticipated. With a nod to Hans Christian Andersen and inspired by Norse lore, Wendy Delsol’s debut novel introduces a hip and witty heroine who finds herself tail-feathers deep in small-town life.
It actually took me a long time to warm up to Stork. I had read up until chapter three sometime in March but was so bored with it I put it down for a while. Lately I’ve had a little bit of time to read during the day so I sat down and got down to the business of reading a significant chunk of the book at once. It’s a good thing I did too. Stork is one of those books that isn’t very fast-paced at the start but it draws you in slowly and soon enough you’re hooked.
Normally I’d hate a main character like Katla. She’s a total fashionista and despises the small town ways (I myself live in a small town and feel the same way, but it gets tiring after a while). I would have given up on this book except I reminded myself of the way she was raised. Her father is very similar to her and raised her to be this perfect little fashionista that looks down her nose at almost everyone. Eventually Katla improves and starts to realize that maybe fashion is just her way of hiding her insecurities and that maybe she should lighten up a bit. Overall she is a well-rounded character, though.
This is loosely based off of a Hans Christian Andersen tale that I’ve never read so I can’t really comment on how true it stays to the story. I think Wendy Delsol added a lot of her own flair into the myth and that’s how we get the storks: women who help bring babies to ‘troubled souls’. They’re like the storks of myth in the cartoons that drop off babies on doorsteps, except they do it on a spiritual level. It’s much more interesting than I’m making it sound and you really have to read the book to appreciate the world-building.
Stork is not the best book I’ve ever read, I’ll admit that. It does drag on in some places and there are old tropes left, right and centre but overall I was actually quite impressed. By the end of the novel I felt connected to the main characters and honestly cared about what happened to them. That’s not bad considering my low expectations from the first three chapters.
Basically, if it sounds interesting to you give it a try. It’s not the greatest book out there but it was good enough that I’m glad I bought the second book in the series to continue Katla’s story.
I give this book 3.5/5 stars.