By: M.P. Kozlowsky
Narrated by: Cyrina Fiallo
Published by Scholastic Audio 3/14/2017
8 hrs and 2 mins
Forst Audiobook Sample
Zombies, Robots, Post-Apocalyptic World…
Of course I had to snatch this one up and give it a listen. New to me author and narrator increased my curiosity. I was excited at the get-go, but ended up having mixed feelings about this one.
My mixed feelings are because this one contains both the fantastic, but mostly the not so fantastic elements of the Young Adult Genre. Usually, I can avoid those not so fab elements in YA by reaching for a sci-fi or dystopian (and this is both), but that was not my luck with Frost.
So, the not so good first:
1. Special Snowflake heroine. Frost is a passive character with some stubborn-stupid going on. People follow her lead and there is never really a compelling reason offered other than she Pollyanna’s everything. She makes costly choices that nearly/does get people she cares about severely hurt or killed (frequently) and yet there she is curled up in a ball over in the corner or frozen to the spot while it’s all going down.
2. Adults are idiots who need their brilliant children to show them the way. It’s not that I think achieving the age of 21 and up makes a person a genius, but when they have the experience out in this savage city jungle and Frost has none? And yet she’s the guru making the calls and each time an adult naysays they are shot down and treated to some good old teen guilting.
3. An untenable plot. This is a quest style story. But the quest that set things in motion just didn’t fly with me over the course of the book. Frost chooses to leave safety and lead people she cares about into many encounters of danger all to find some fabled utopia on the other side of the city to get veterinary aid for her sick dog. Don’t get me wrong, I would probably not want to watch my animal sicken and die, either, and I might have attempted the first leg of this journey because of that. However, once people are getting hurt and dying and the animal is in pain and suffering as a result, this quest became a sticking point for me.
There are some solid and fantastic elements, too.
The world and action-suspense elements come into play. High functioning robots who feel and who grow. Humans diseased and becoming cannibals. Powerful regime in a crumbling ruin of a city where robots and humans war for supremacy. A mysterious intellectual inventor’s person stored inside a robot. The gritty, action, and danger of the world. And those gasp-worthy reveals at the end.
The writing has potential, but there is room to grow. The descriptions of setting and build of tension is well-done. Pace is uneven with some slow points. The world building is creative, but also vague. At the end, there were a lot of questions left about how things came to be and the whys. Perhaps this will be answered in the next book- because, it is obvious this one is the beginning to more the way it ended on that cliffhanger right after a few startling reveals. It’s not that I think those reveals at the end made up for all the issues that came before, but there is a small part of me that would like to see what comes next. Because I do have issues with certain YA elements, I think there is the potential for many others who enjoy the YA genre to enjoy this more than I did so I would encourage you to seek out other reviews or jump in and give it a try yourself.
Frost Audiobook Narration
The narrator, Cyrina Fiallo, did a good rendering of Frost the book and the main character. Her other cast of characters were good. She instilled emotion in her narration and caught the pacing and tone of the story. There was one niggle- the accent choice for the human men. She gave them a gruff, uneducated hick accent even though their generation would have been the dwellers of that huge city. I understand that as society broke down people would lose their tight, smooth, educated speech, but this close to the upheaval, probably not that drastic. I didn’t hate it, but I found it distracting. I would definitely listen to more of her narration work.