“First kisses sometimes wake slumbering princesses, undo spells, and spark happily ever afters.
Mine broke Bale.
Seventeen-year-old Snow has spent her life locked in Whittaker Psychiatric—but she isn’t crazy. And that’s not the worst of it. Her very first kiss proves anything but innocent…when Bale, her only love, turns violent.
Despite Snow knowing that Bale would never truly hurt her, he is taken away—dashing her last hope for any sort of future in the mental ward she calls home. With nowhere else to turn, Snow finds herself drawn to a strange new orderly who whispers secrets in the night about a mysterious past and a kingdom that’s hers for the taking—if only she can find her way past the iron gates to the Tree that has been haunting her dreams.
Beyond the Tree lies Algid, a land far away from the real world, frozen by a ruthless king. And there too await the River Witch, a village boy named Kai, the charming thief Jagger, and a prophecy that Snow will save them all.”
-Synopsis taken from Goodreads
Hey guys! Meaghan here again with another review!
Stars (Out of 10): 6/10 Stars
Overall Thoughts: I ended up enjoying the book, but I was far from loving it. The beginning felt boring, and I had some trouble originally liking the main character. Snow’s relationships and thoughts on things also felt jumpy at points. However, I did end up liking the action-packed ending, and that made me give the book a higher rating than originally expected.
The Good: An interesting premise, with a pretty developed magic system it seems. Also, the boring build up does end up being worth it, with tons of interesting twists near the end of the novel.
The Bad: Not a fan of the beginning, felt somewhat slow, and I was honestly a bit bored. In addition, the romance of the book felt super all over the place, with Snow practically falling in love with every boy she meets, and somewhat forgetting about them when she gets transported to a new area/cast of characters. In addition, the characters Snow was working with and meeting seemed to switch a lot throughout the book, which often felt rough and unplanned unfortunately.
SPOILERS BEGIN HERE
The Characters: Out of the main three categories I judge books off of, this was my least favorite aspect of the novel. Nothing really drew me to the main character, and while I understand her confusion at being in a new world, she didn’t seem to frequently stick to what she believed. In addition, none of the potential romantic interests seemed interesting either, since we never learn much about Bale, the boy stopping Snow from wanting to be with anyone else, and the other two, Kai and Jagger, were also some weird “love interest at first sight” thing as well.
The Plot: I felt that for the most part, the book’s plot was okay, but not amazing or anything. It felt like a lot of Snow doing random things she felt she had to, with no event really having any dedication from her. This made a lot of the events seem useless, since if Snow didn’t truly seem to care, why should we? There also seemed to be a lack of impact of each event on Snow as the story progressed. She seemed to rarely think about the River Witch, Kai, and Gerde after being separated from them, and it felt like the chapters then spent with them had no real impact on the formation of the story. However, I did really enjoy how it all ended, with all the secrets coming to light, and with Snow finding her way back to the people who truly wanted to help her, not just use her.
The World Building: The book built as much world as we needed to see to understand the plot. There seemed to be a well thought out magic system, and a hierarchy based on that. However, I am still confused on the actual state of the world, and magic in a sense, since many things are mentioned, but not necessarily elaborated on.
The Favorite Character: I liked the Kai and Gerde duo