This book is a bit confusing, slightly frustrating, but still an okay book. I struggled with my thoughts on the book, and I really struggled with how many stars to give it on Goodreads. I ended up giving it 3-stars, but it is definitely between 2.5 and 3.
I loved Dorothy Must Die, I enjoyed The Wicked Will Rise, and I was indifferent about Yellow Brick War. I still haven’t read The End of Oz. Since I saw Paige’s first series decline, I was not expecting the best, but I was hoping it would have that same magical spark that Dorothy Must Die had. It did not. It might of had a fizzle, but there was no spark and definitely no fire. I would go as far as to say this attempt was somewhat of a dud.
The major issues I had, as well as most reviewers had, was the flatness of Paige’s world building. Algid is just snow and magic as far as I’m concerned. There is no explanation about anything other than magic and snow.
Sometimes authors forgo world building for character driven plots. Sometimes authors just have half-baked ideas. The character development for Snow is somewhat steady, but everyone else just stays in this stagnant mysterious place. There is also a love square (yes, love square), which means Snow has 3 suitors vying for her affection. This is a bit too much to handle, and the one long love is obviously not meant for her. The other two are insta-love. *eye roll*
The saving grace for this book is the plot. The plot borrows from other stories (a lot of other stories), which can be confusing, but there are enough twists and turns that it leaves you interested in where the book/series is going. It doesn’t help that both of the insta-loves are swoony.
For readers, I am not sure if everyone should read this one. I think it is worth a read if you keep in mind that it is plot driven and will probably not get good until the end of the book.
For librarians, I think it is a good secondary purchase. It has a hold list a mile long at my library, but Danielle Paige is very popular here. I would say buy where her other books are popular or where retellings are popular.