Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Book Review: Frozen by Erin Bowman

Title: Frozen
Series: Taken #2
Author: Erin Bowman
Published: April 15, 2014 by Harper Teen
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Synopsis: The second book in Erin Bowman's gripping dystopian sci-fi series, this exhilarating sequel to Taken is perfect for fans of Incarceron by Catherine Fisher and Variant by Robison Wells.

Gray Weathersby has escaped Claysoot and uncovered the truth behind the Laicos Project and the Order's twisted plans. Determined to fight back, his small group of rebels is on the hunt for more answers and more allies—a search that will take them on a harrowing journey across a frozen wasteland, and even deeper into a world built on the Order's lies.

In Frozen, discover more of the nonstop action and riveting plot twists that made Marie Lu, New York Times bestselling author of the Legend trilogy, call Taken "an action-packed thrill ride from beginning to end."

Because I typically don't like first books in a trilogy I usually give the second book a try if I found redeeming qualities in the first. While I didn't love Taken it was enjoyable so I decided to read Frozen but sadly it still quite work for me.

What I didn't like much about Taken was the characters. In Frozen they were actually much better. In Taken I did not at all like the MC, Gray because he was reckless and frankly a jerk and didn't seem to care about the poor consequences for his actions. In Frozen he had a bit of an "aha moment" and is developing and learning that he needs to think things through more. He is kind of growing on me. But I also felt similar about the secondary characters. I like characters like Bree and Clipper much more than I like Gray but the fact that I didn't have a favorite is very telling for me. They all just seem very similar and more easily identifiable by their negative qualities over their positive. I didn't hate them but I didn't quite like them either.

That also how I felt about the pacing. It was totally better in this book. It didn't feel as much like a disconnected series of moments. In the case of Frozen everything flowed a lot better and the chapters connected to make a more connected story. It was however a bit of a slow rise and took a little while to get interesting. This was the kind of book where I would pick it up the next day and have to take a minute to remind myself what was going on. But when it did get interesting it was very engaging.

What I liked most about Taken was the action packed plot and the mystery. Frozen was just as full of adventure with tons of daring escapes, fights with a shady government entity, and more than one battle scene. It definitely read like an action movie and had some very thrilling moments. But what it wasn't full of was mystery. It seemed to ask more questions than it answered but there was a lot of info-dumping and telling about the world rather than showing. And for me the twists in Frozen were quite predictable. Many of them I predicted back in Taken. It did manage to surprise me a few times though and keep me engaged and curious. I honestly kept reading to prove that I was right more than anything else.

But while the plot was interesting and engaging at times it was a little confusing. Frozen picked up right where Taken left off and developed the larger world of this universe even more but what I didn't quite get from the series is the connection between all these storylines. There seems to be the main plot line of the series and then lots of smaller storylines that I thought were independently working within this universe. These varying storylines felt like pointless distraction from the larger problem and "villain" of the series but then I realized the themes of the book and that I was completely misinterpreting them. I realized it's more Hunger Games and less Divergent. More about the political intrigue and a shady entity suppressing it's people and less about finding the truth behind this world. I did eventually get there but I had to work to make the connection between where the series began and where it is now. When I finally made the connection I enjoyed the book so much more.

I give Frozen by Erin Bowman a 7 out of 10


Despite my criticism I am invested in finishing this series. I want to see how it ends and the conclusion of the larger story. I feel like I misinterpreted the themes of this book and know that I have made the connection to everything I will enjoy it much more. Have you read this series? Leave me a comment with your thoughts? Am I being overly critical because I have misinterpreted the themes? Thanks for stopping by and Happy Reading!

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