Today I’m excited to host a stop on the Frost Fire by Olivia Rivers Blog Tour, sponsored by Xpresso Book Tours! Below is my review of the book, plus some information about the author. Click the banner above to see the complete list of tour stops!
Frost Fire (Tortured Elements #1)
by Olivia Rivers
Red Sparrow Press, 2012
“Magic is just like love, Allai. It won’t wait for permission before it destroys you.”
Like sand in an hourglass, Allai’s future is dwindling away. She’s spent her entire life fighting the Mages who threaten humanity, and dreams of someday eradicating magic. But all it takes is an anonymous phone call for the truth to spill out: Allai is the one thing she despises most.
She’s a Mage.
Though ancient law mandates Allai’s death, she still has one last chance of survival. His name is Drake Rhaize, and he swears he can lead Allai to a sanctuary for Mages. Allai hasn’t seen Drake in years, but she remembers him as the Demon boy who used to hold her close and softly whisper that he’d keep her safe. But Drake has changed since then: He’s now suspected of murder, and has been out-casted for betraying his own kind.
While Allai doesn’t trust Drake, she has no choice but to put her life in his hands and hope he can get her to safety. Because Allai’s father has hired a pack of Demons to bring her back to him, dead or alive–and Demons never stop the hunt.
When I first saw the summary for Frost Fire, I was instantly intrigued. I like books where the main character finds out she or he is something different from what they’d always thought, and the self-discovery that usually takes place. While Frost Fire didn’t have any of that self-discovery – Allai is on the run for her life, which doesn’t leave a lot of room for ruminating on your future – and Allai herself wasn’t actually my favorite part of the book, I still found quite a lot to enjoy in its pages. I’m betting now that things have been solved in terms of where Allai is, we’ll (hopefully!) see more of that questioning in the second installment.
First of all, the world this is set in is very interesting. While I really would have loved more world-building – how did these paranormal creatures come to be, and why are they protecting the humans? why don’t they like the Mages, who can perform magic? how can the humans have no idea these creatures exist? etc. – the little glimpses we did see of the various factions intrigued me and made me want more. I was especially interested in how the Mages were seemingly working with Drake’s father, but don’t actually seem to like him. The whole thing left me very curious. I also enjoyed what we could see of the Mages’ magic and how it works. I am always a fan of magic, and am especially intrigued with Drake’s abilities.
As for the characters, I had a bit of a problem with Allai herself. She proclaims to have trained to fight the Keepers and Rhaize’s forces, but she spends most of this book being very damsel-in-distress. Drake has to save her neck several times (and his view of her as soft and weak didn’t help), which made it all the more disappointing. I know Allai is dealing with something pretty severe throughout the book in terms of her magic, but I would have liked to see her be a little stronger. Drake, too, has his own flaws (see his view of Allai above), but on the whole I found him enjoyable to read, and especially liked when we got to read from his point of view. He’s made out to be all-powerful and strong as well, but he, too, sort of didn’t live up to that hype. I’ll be interested to see more growth from both him and Allai in the second book.
The character I felt most drawn to is Luke, who I have loads and loads of questions about (and not just because of what we discover at the end). I’m really hoping he’s going to make an appearance in the second book as well, because there’s so much I want to know about him and his past!
While I seem to be complaining a lot about Frost Fire, that’s not really my intention. Truthfully, I found this book extremely intriguing and compelling. The action and introspective parts were very well mixed, keeping the book constantly moving forward at a good pace. While there are things I wish I had more information on, this is the first in a series, so not finding answers to everything isn’t exactly a deal breaker. The twists at the end regarding Drake’s father’s ultimatum and the appearance of the Mages leaves things with a definite question mark hanging over them, and I for one am very interested to see what happens next!
A copy of this book was provided by Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author
Olivia Rivers is a high school student, a literary agent intern, and an obsessive-compulsive reader. She has a slight obsession with Kootenai County in Idaho, and she’s pretty sure life will always be awesome as long as Irish accents exist. She lives with dysautonomia, a chronic medical condition affecting her nervous system. Portions of proceeds from her “Tortured Elements” series go toward supporting youth with dysautonomia.