Friday, April 10, 2015

Book Review: Frostbite by Adrienne Woods + Excerpt + Bonus Excerpt

Book Details
Title: Frostbite (#3)
Author: Adrienne Woods
Series: The Dragonian Series
Publisher: Fire Quill Publishing
Release Date: 9th March 2015
ISBN: 978-0-9946641-1-2

Synopsis (Back blurb)

Losing Lucian McKenzie, the Prince of her heart and discovering her true identity has made Elena Watkins' life almost unbearable. However, new trials will test the 17 year-old's strength and push her to limits she didn’t think were possible.

Only a mysterious offer from Blake Leaf, the Rubicon and a dragon predestined for evil, reveals there may be a light at the end of Elena’s dark tunnel.

With the life she thought she knew crashing down around her, Elena will have to face a monumental decision about the fate of Paegeia. She can either make peace with Blake’s demands or try once again to unravel the Queen’s secrets that lie deep within her dragon, Tanya La Frey’s, heart.

The third heart pounding novel in The Dragonian Series by Adrienne Wood



I'm just going to say it because I'm sure someone else will say it, the cover sort of looks like Elsa from Frozen, but it's not. The title makes sense after you read the book but personally I think there could have been a better name but that's what the author decided to go with and I respect that. It's still a stunning and eye catching cover and I like it.

This book is the ultimate, near climax accumulation of the previous two books. Whereas I had been fairly indifferent but still somewhat curious and invested in the plot for the first two books (Check out my reviews: Firebolt #1, Thunderlight #2), this third book is by far my favorite.

Let me tell you why, the main character, Elena, started off a bit whiny and annoying in the first book but got a little better in the second. It's the third book where I find her more tolerable based on her decisions and personality. She finally grew up a little more and I liked her because of it. I also felt like Elena is the main character now that she's changed but in the first two books I didn't think she really fit being a main character. Her growth, although somewhat gradual, improved my opinion of her as a protagonist and it helped make her a more complex character. I still can't and don't believe some of the choices she made, it just wasn't too realistic for me throughout the entire series but I learned to just go with it.

The pacing was actually pretty good, I wasn't bored and I didn't need to skip ahead to any parts. Some of the banter and descriptions were not really necessary but were entertaining. Another thing I wanted to mention, I would actually prefer if an author decides to cuss in a book, then cuss the entire book. If they don't want to cuss, then don't sugar coat it or include cussing at all. This is a little pet peeve I had for the whole series. The use of "for the love of blueberries" or the word "blueberries" as a substitution of something was just too corny for me when later in the book there is actual cussing. Just use the bad words or don't use it at all. Personally, I've never heard anyone use that expression before either. Again, this is a personal pet peeve so if that doesn't bother you, please carry on.

The writing improved in this book compared to the first one. The writing is still a little immature but I still see an improvement from the previous books. While the copy I read (which I think is an ARC) still needed some formatting and editing, I imagine that it will be thoroughly done by the time the final version comes out. The writing is still simplistic and straight to the point, it can still touch you emotionally. I found myself tearing up and crying with the characters during some scenes.

The conclusion is decent, better than the first book. I liked it better than the second book too because it left me with more closure and answers that I didn't get from the previous two books. I also found myself excited and even re-read the battle and climax scenes in the book. I love a good action scene and Ms. Woods delivers. I would love more of those please! I have a feeling we'll see more in the next book and I'm eager to see those play out.

I thought that this might be the last book in the series but apparently there is one more novel and a novelette. This is good because would have been devastated if that was the last book. After "Moon Breeze" (I think it's the last book coming out in 2016), the author says she might write a few more novels in this universe which readers may look forward to.

Frostbite is a better written novel than the previous books from this author but still had the mystical intrigue that will get the better of your curiosity. Those readers who had any unanswered questions will find them in this book, everything makes more sense after finishing this book. I'm actually looking forward to reading Moon Breeze!

3.5 out of 5 rating for me!

(An ARC was provided by the author for an honest review. I was not compensated in any other way.)

Adrienne Woods was born and raised in South Africa, where she still lives with her husband and two beautiful little girls. She always knew she was going to be a writer, but it only started to really happen about four years ago. In her free time―if she gets any because moms don’t really have free time―she loves to spend it with friends, whether it’s a girls night out, or just watching a movie. She’s a very chilled person. Her writing career started with Firebolt, book one in the Dragonian series. There will be four books in total, including a further two to three books, which will be stories that take place within the Dragonian series. Her other series, Dream Casters, will be released mid 2015. She also writes in different genres, and her woman’s fiction, The Pregnancy Diaries, will be published under a pseudonym. And then, she has a paranormal series by the name of the Aswang series, which will consist of about ten novels. And if that wasn’t enough, there is another series, Guardians of Monsters, which will be released in 2016.


MY EYES WERE closed and I could hear a deep, raspy breathing filling the silence around me.
My body ached and the intensity of the sounds assaulting my sensitive ears told me that I was still in my dragon form.
What the hell had happened and where I was, I didn’t know.
My memory was all a blur after Amy pushed me against the wall and I began speaking to her in that horrible voice, releasing that first bolt of purple lightning. I tried to recollect my thoughts and it slowly came back to me in flashes: I’d changed.
The picture that formed inside my mind wasn’t the Thunderlight that had been reflected back to me from the glass that lay on the floor; it was the face of another dragon, dark and dangerous.
I turned to see the colored scales on my paw and found a deep purple-red reflecting back. The Rubicon.
No, this can’t be. I tried to move but was trapped. I couldn’t turn or break free from whatever held me to the ground and that stirred more panic within me.
I froze as I heard a voice. The beast inside of me wanted to take over again, and whatever it wanted to do, it wasn’t good. I’d known that from the beginning and nobody had wanted to believe me.
I could hear three hearts beating, and even more voices spoke softly to one another.
“What the fuck?”
“Watch your language, Blake,” a man said sternly.
“Just be careful. Sir Edward says that she is a Rubicon,” a woman said, frantically.
“Oh, come on. Only one Rubicon can live at a time, Constance.”
“I’m just repeating what Sir Edward said.”
I growled as they came nearer.
“She’s here,” the one who’d sworn yelled close to my side and I growled all the more.
“Is she okay?” the woman asked. I knew I shouldn’t be afraid of them, but I was. It was such a strange feeling. This happened every time I became her. I wouldn’t remember anything and I didn’t know if they were friends or enemies. I knew that in another five minutes, give or take, everything would come back. But I didn’t have five minutes, they were here now.
My heart was pounding a thousand beats a minute and I couldn’t calm it down. My belly warmed up and I could feel the lightning burning inside my throat once again. I tried my best to contain it as my dragon eyes took in the tall trees surrounding me.
One blast of lightning would set this entire forest aflame and I would surely die, choking in the suffocating smoke of my own rage and fear.
“She’s still in her dragon form.” The voice was right behind me again. “Elena.” He spoke gently.
I couldn’t turn around. My body was in a lot of pain and the lightning coiled inside my stomach like a viper begging for a reason to strike.
Stop this, I yelled inside my mind but it just kept boiling.
Trying to control it made it worse and the pain was so intense that it felt as if I was going to explode.
The guy laughed near me but it wasn’t him anymore, it was Paul. For some reason I always remembered Paul. He came into sight. “Look at you, a dragon, and not just any dragon, another Rubicon. Goran is going to be pleased, Elena.”
Another Rubicon? How can this be?
The heat in my body rose a couple of degrees and I released my purple lightning. The only problem was, it wasn’t purple, it was a vibrant pink fire.
Paul blocked it with an invisible force and the flames backfired onto my scales. It felt warm, familiar. He came closer and grabbed me by the whiskers that had suddenly sprung out of my chin.
Whiskers I’d never had. Then he laughed again. I released another breath but he froze my fire. The features on his face slowly began to morph into the face I had seen before it had turned into Paul.
Blake? Everything came back in a split-second wave crashing down over me.
“I’m sorry,” I yelled and the green of the trees became brighter. I could feel my skin soaking up an invisible cloak.
“Are you calm?” Blake yelled.
I nodded my ugly head, but the whiskers he had a firm grip on hurt my chin. “I’m scared,” my deep voice whispered back.
Constance and Master Longwei came into view, and my fear evaporated as I recognized them.
“Why can’t I control her?” Oh no. I dug my head into my paws as Sammy’s figure jumped into my mind. I’d blown fire at her when she’d tried to follow me. I’d almost killed my best friend.
A whimpering sound left my body, reminding me of the calls made between whales; a sound that always brought me to tears.
“Are you sure you are calm?” Blake asked again.
“She’s calm, Blake. We need to get her out of this,” Constance said, and for the next couple of minutes they spoke all sorts of incantations and I began to feel the grip the roots and vines had on me starting to weaken.
When I was finally free, Blake’s spoke again. “Can you move?”
I didn’t answer. They should just leave me here. I couldn’t face Sammy or what I’d done to the cafeteria.
“Look at me,” he demanded.
I didn’t do what he asked.
“Elena, look at me,” he yelled this time.
I could hear his steps coming closer.
He grabbed my whiskers again, and turned my head by force to look at him. It didn’t even hurt this time. He stared at me for a short while. Then something I’d never seen in his eyes before emerged. It was as if he’d finally found the answers to all his problems.
His mouth curved slightly upwards. He really was so beautiful. The slight curve of his lips transformed into his million-dollar smile. One I’d only seen that first day my eyes had fallen on him, the same one that resembled my father’s and the one that would make every girl turn to goop on the spot.
Blake helped me like the last time I’d had to transform back into my human form. It still wasn’t easy as the shift was just as painful as the changing into a dragon part. It became a bit easier, though, to clear my mind when he was near.
Constance covered my naked body with a robe the minute my human figure re-surfaced and all the scales and talons were gone. When I lifted my head slowly, I found Blake still sitting on his haunches in front of me.
“Thanks,” I mumbled and clutched the robe tighter around my body.
“You’re welcome,” he chuckled again, ending it with a huff. He looked down at the floor for a short second and the expression of what I’d seen earlier in his eyes became evident on his face. He stood up and walked toward Master Longwei.

Bonus Excerpt
DEATH WAS MY constant companion. I’d escaped its icy clutches three times in my short life.
My first brush with the spirit I now knew as Death was the night I learned who my father truly was. The night I witnessed his transformation into a dragon on Interstate 40. The night we were attacked by dragons. I lost my hero that night, and my world was completely turned upside-down when I was whisked away to Paegeia: a world where dragons and magic exist; a world located inside the Bermuda Triangle, hidden from the human realm behind a magical wall.
Humans have the ability to penetrate the wall, but if they try to exit Paegeia, they are instantly disintegrated.
I used to call it my one-way ticket to Neverland. Now it has become my home.
While the wall may be limiting to humans, dragons are free to come and go as they please, and they’ve done so for the past nine hundred years, hiding amongst the human race to protect the weak, help the poor and trade with the rest of the world.
The second time I almost died was right after I received my foretelling from the Viden. Foretellings are a type of prophecy intended to lead the people of Paegeia to their destinies, but the Viden gives them in a messed up way, in the form of a riddle.
Mine could mean anything, but I knew now that it would only bring death. What the words in my foretelling meant, I still needed to figure out. The question was, would it be worth it?
The first time I thought I had figured out my destiny was when I went to retrieve the King of Lion sword. It was formidable, magical and could slay evil in any form. Brian, a Sun-Burst dragon, died saving my life, and the lives of my friends who were dumb enough to follow me into the madness.
The second time I had the opportunity to fulfill the twisted words of the opaque riddle was when I had the opportunity to claim Paul, a Wyvern, to prove once and for all that Wyverns had the capacity to be good like all the other dragons. Once again I was wrong, and my only love, Lucian, paid the ultimate price. He died saving my life, but not before I turned into a dragon myself.
I was a dragon, I had always been a dragon, and I had never known. It was still a mystery why I hadn’t been able to shift before, and they were still studying why only my anger and fear had brought on the change.
To be honest, I didn’t care about my foretelling anymore. People I loved died, and I couldn’t stop feeling like all of this was my fault.
Losing Lucian took a huge toll on me. I didn’t want to live, but for some reason now that I wanted to die the spirit of death didn’t come to claim his prize. Instead I was left with a hollow feeling deep inside my chest, one that would never be filled. I was left with a broken heart: ice cold, as if no amount of heat could ever warm me again. Arianna is right, I am like poison.
No, not poison.
The people in my life, the ones I love, didn’t die from my touch, their deaths were written in the choices I made. All of them were on death’s list; waiting for the day they would take their last breath.
I’d paralyzed their lives, their futures. I was like ice, like frost freezing their hopes and dreams. I was the living embodiment of frostbite.

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