Katla Leblanc is a stork--she delivers unborn souls to their rightful womb. Her boyfriend Jack Snjosson is, in the most general of terms, Jack Frost. But we learned all that in the first book of the series, Stork. Katla is still a stork (and second in command) and still head over heels for Jack. Katla and Jack are spending their first Christmas together and it isn't as white as Katla would have expected in Minnesota. As his present to her Jack creates a light snowfall that they take a horse-drawn sleight ride through. During the course of the sleigh ride the light snowfall somehow becomes and all out blizzard. Jack and Katla struggle to make it home and eventually they do. Other families caught out in the storm didn't have such happy endings--a young boy died when the family car he was riding in went off the road.
Jack and Katla felt guilt from this and that was made worse when a weather scientist from Iceland came to explore the global warming "phenomenon" (or lack of global warming in this case) that Jack's blizzard became known as. The arrival of the scientist, Brigid, coincides with the arriveal of Katlas's father to start his new wind turbine factory, her mother planning her wedding while pregnant and the attact on the stork group which resulted in a serious injury to their leader and put Kat in charge. While she is dealing with all of these problems we cam add to them that it appears that Brigid has some sort of mysterious pull over anybody she comes in contact with (except Katla) but more so with Jack than anybody else and Kat's afi (grandfather) is suffering from a very intense case of homesickness for Iceland. Somehow or another (at least until we find out more about what is driving Brigid) high school senior, Jack, gets an internship to accompany Brigid to the weather outpost in Iceland and Kat is coerced into tagging along with her afi to his hometown in Iceland. Where she learns she is also descended from selkies (angels cast out from heaven that can inhabit both land and sea). And this is where Kat must ultimately figure out the mystery of Brigid and her odd hold over Jack.
I'll have to admit, this was the very first book I read as an e-book and it took some getting used to. I also don't have an e-reader (yet! Update: I have since acquired a NookColor and am looking forward to many hours of e-reading) so I had to make do with a netbook. It wasn't my favorite way of reading but I liked the first book in the series so much that I persevered because I wanted to find out what happened to Kat and Jack.
So, maybe you can tell by now from the books that I've put up on review that I love a good story that revolves around a myth or fairy tale or some sort of folklore (and the several previous times I've mentioned this fact). And this one covers the bases in that sense. I think Kat is a fun and vibrant main character--she has a unique fashion sense--and even though she keeps getting hit with all this mystical aspects from her family and friends she takes it in, processes some solutions and charges right on to what needs to be done in order to save those that need saving--her mother, her boyfriend, her homesick afi, or even the mother who lost her little boy in the freak storm Jack created. Kat allows herself to be talked into auditioning for the school musical even though she'd much rather focus solely on the set and costume designs, she travels with her grandfather to Iceland in a last minute decision to attend the Selkie festival held in his hometown and she doesn't complain when her mother is on pregnancy bedrest and she is delegated to gopher and chef.
My one detraction, and I don't know if it was reading it in e-book format or the writing style itself, but at points it seemed that the chapters ended abruptly and then went jarringly into another portion of Kat's life. It was a little off-putting at times but wasn't anything too overwrought that made me stop reading the story all together. Sometimes I just had to go back and make sure I didn't scroll too fast.
One of the highlights for me was the way that the author had so many pop culture comparisons and similies for Kat to describe how she was reacting to certain things.
"He was so gloomy it was material, gathering at his feet in a cloud of gray matter like Pig-Pen, Charlie Brown's sidekick."
There were many more like this--most of them amusing and clever. I remember they were also scattered in the first book and I am glad the author carried them into this one. There were quite a few but they weren't overwhelming and they felt like they belonged, for the most part.
As you can probably tell the folklore/fairy tale aspect totally won me over, and the fun character of Kat was a bonus, so I'm really looking forward to the continuation of this series if that's what happens.
I received this advanced copy from the publisher for a fair and honest review. Frost is due out October 11, 2011 by Candlewick Press.