Thursday, 3 January 2019

REVIEW - KILLING FROST - AFTER THE SHIFT BY GRACE HAMILTON

Title: Killing Frost
Series: After The Shift
Author: Grace Hamilton
Genre: Sci-Fi, Post Apocalyptic
Release Date: 13th September 2018

BLURB from Goodreads
In the dawn of a new Ice Age, families everywhere are taking to the road to escape the frigid landscape—but you can’t outrun the cold.

No one could have predicted the terrifying impact of human interference in the Arctic. Shifts in the Earth's crust have led to catastrophe and now the North Pole is located in the mid-Atlantic, making much of the eastern United States an unlivable polar hellscape.

Nathan Tolley is a talented mechanic who has watched his business dry up due to gas shortages following the drastic tectonic shifts. His wife Cyndi has diligently prepped food and supplies, but it’s not enough to get them through a never-ending winter. With an asthmatic young son and a new baby on the way, they’ll have to find a safe place they can call home or risk freezing to death in this harsh new world.

When an old friend of Nathan’s tells him that Detroit has become a paradise, with greenhouses full of food and plenty of solar energy for everyone, it sounds like the perfect place to escape. But with dangerous conditions and roving gangs, getting there seems like an impossible dream. It also seems like their only choice.

This novel contains violence, profanity, referenced sexual content, referenced sexual violence and referenced substance abuse.


PURCHASE LINKS

REVIEW
Having read and thoroughly enjoying Freezing Point the first book in the After the Shift series I couldn’t wait to read more. It was not a case of if I should read this one it was more of a when can I squeeze it in! I initially downloaded this one thinking I would read it once completing another book I was reading but wow this one had a strong pull and I ended up putting down/pausing what was my current read on the kindle and diving straight into this one!

The cover fits the description in the book of the masonic building that Stryker has described as being a safe and thriving place to live. All is most certainly not how Stryker has described it. It turns out that Nathans friend has changed a lot since he last saw him and it isn’t for the better! The surroundings are stark and to be honest I think that Nathan, Cyndi and their travel companions they picked up on the way are worse off than they were to begin with! This book cover alone would make me want to pick it up from a book store shelf to learn more about it.

The genres I have seen listed for this book are Post-Apocalyptic, Sci-Fi & Dystopian, which I agree with. I should point out once again there is some "violent" content meaning this book should (in my opinion) be categorised as General Fiction and an 18+ book, however I do think that most older teens/mature teens will probably have seen much more violence scenes on TV then there is described in the book. Killing Frost has more detailed injuries and more violent action and betrayal than Freezing Point had. I would also add Climate Fiction to the genre list as the book
Is set in a perpetual winter.

At the beginning of the book there’s a kind of summary or a look back at how far the characters have travelled and what they went through to get to where they are in Killing Frost. I always like books to have a bit of a recap at the beginning if they are part of a series. It doesn’t need to be in great detail just a little about the major events of the prior book to jog your memory, though I have to admit I had remembered all the necessary details about Freezing Point as I began reading Killing Frost.

As in Freezing Point Cyndi’s prepping skills are still well sought after and end up having to be used as a bargaining tool in Killing Frost. Cyndi has already given birth to her baby, Brandon and he is a few months old when this book starts. The main reason Cyndi & Nathan do not immediately leave Detroit is that there are medics and medical supplies available as Brandon is a sickly baby and Tony still battles with his asthma. Sadly these medical services and supplies are not as freely available as Stryker had described. Initially the travellers cannot understand why Stryker has so blatantly lied about life in Detroit. As always Cyndi, Nathan, etc literally keep their heads down and get on with the situation they are presented with. They are soon planning to move on from Detroit as soon as they can. They have ended up in an increasingly dangerous place to live in.

In Freezing Point Syd feels like she has avoided her past and the guy she never wants to see again. . . . .but soon realises that is not the case. Her past is Danny, the leader of a cruel gang who want females simply to breed with to continue humanity. Though Syd is still really reluctant to reveal exactly what Danny did to her, she finally opens up to Nathan.

If you thought Freezing Point was action packed then Killing Frost is even more so! I have noticed with other book series that the second book isn’t always as good as the first but wow this one is even better than first book. I’m seriously looking forward to more from this series.

There are new friendships, love, loss, betrayal and plenty of sacrifice in Killing Frost. I think that Nathan and some of the others in their travelling family have to quickly toughen up and use all the skills and treasured items to barter and deal with a lot more unscrupulous people in Detroit. Then just when all seems loss, help arrives in an unlikely form.

Killing Frost also see’s Nathan face impossible decisions and awkward, life and death situations. There are many times he could just give up but Nathan isn’t like that and always thinks back to what his father would say to him. “Family first” becomes his motto and mantra that he attempts to live by. However, when friends he and Cyndi have made along their travels become more like family and are in danger how can possibly choose who to save and who to let go?
.
I immediately took a dislike to Stryker in Freezing Point and I think you’ll agree once you have read the book, he sure deserves to be a hated character! I must admit I did get suckered in at one point and begin to feel sympathy for his character. . . but, ..well,… without spoilers I will say he turns out bad. . .really bad.

I grew to love Rose, the leader of Trash Town where almost anything can be bartered for what you want or need. I adored the easy, camaraderie and flirting that was never going to go anywhere between her and Nathan.

I still adored the characters of Nathan & Cyndi, always happy to trade skills and prepping information with anyone that wishes to do so. One character in particular hands over a very valuable item that will be in demand as the world tries to build itself back up again.

My immediate thoughts upon finishing Killing Frost were No! Oh no! How could you Grace? . . .Mmm a little cryptic of me I know but I think a lot of readers will be shocked.


After everything this group has been through already, I did not see that ending coming at all! The ultimate sacrifice. . .wow! But did the right one make the ultimate sacrifice? I suppose we will find out in book three in January 2019 in Black Ice. I hope we get to re-visit or catch up somehow with some of the characters that chose to stay in Detroit. The other final thought Killing Frost left me with was Is anywhere safe now?


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