{Review} FROST by M.P. Kozlowsky

O P E N I N G   H O O K:

  I N THE MIDDLE of the bombed-out room flickered a small fire, and near it sat Frost. The girl of fifteen—or was it sixteen now?—turned her head and watched her shadow against the battered wall. The wind blowing in from the broken windows set the flames dancing, creating a display of strange silhouettes around her. It was as if, after all these years, she was momentarily surrounded by other humans. She wasn't alone anymore.

"Hello," she said to the shadows. She'd never met someone new before and felt it'd be a good idea to practice, just in case. "I'm Frost. It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance. Have you been in the neighborhood long?" Frost frowned. The words sounded cumbersome. She rarely heard anyone speak aloud and didn't know whether what she'd read in her books was correct. She reminded herself to ask her father when he returned.

The shadows didn't answer, of course. Once again, there was only silence.

(Page 3, US Hardcover Edition)

    "You are love, Frost. You are the epitome of it. You are the warmth it carries."

~Alex, FROST

You would need more than two hands to count the amount of storylines throughout literature and film that cover the idea of an apocalyptic "rise of the machines" setting. The reason there are so many is because no two minds imagine a world that is exactly the same. A subtle difference in the structure of the narration, characters that come from different angles, a few plot twists . . . suddenly that same storyline is different. You might think that FROST by M.P. Kozlowsky is just another apocalyptic survival story set in a world where humanity paid the price for its obsession with advancing machinery and robotics, but believe me when I say that it stands on its own as a story with unique perspective and atmosphere.

Our heroine, sixteen year old Frost, has lived a dilapidated and suppressed life. After losing first her mother, and then her father, the girl is left with no companionship save Romes her broot (think an oversized rat) and Bunt, a loyal robot that served her family. Oh wait, that's not quite true, she's also got the ghost of her father's mind, which was implanted in Bunt but malfunctions and has him fading in and out of control. It's safe to say she hasn't had a typical upbringing, in a world where rogue robots and Eaters pose a constant threat. The world building Kozlowsky does here is haunting, broken down buildings, abandoned baby dolls, human consciousness trapped in machinery and the Eaters . . . god if the Eaters and the very idea of their existence didn't break my heart and give me goosebumps all at once.

Frost has reached a breaking point in her life, a moment of sink and swim. Her only living companion, Romes, is dying. After protest from both Bunt and her father Frost makes it clear no one is stopping her from attempting to save her pet. She'd rather die trying than continue to live the ghost of an existence in her home, and she's convinced that the lore of a safe zone called The Battery is actually true. And so a girl, a robot, and a beloved pet make their way into a world that is almost immediately and overwhelmingly deadly. Survival does something to humanity when they're immersed in it for too long, and everyone Frost runs into has edges and that "do what you have to in order to survive," mentality. This makes Frost's personality stick out like a sore thumb. Young, innocent, a little naive, there is more humanity in her pinky finger than in most of the people around her and it's visible in the way she affects them.

This is a deeply character driven story. Unlike some survival type stories that are all whizzing bullets and constant battles, the storyline here takes it time. In my opinion there's a reason for this, and the action never really ceases, it just gets internalized sometimes. Frost experiences important flashbacks of her life, she stops to ponder the world around her and what's happening and as the reader being able to view this world in detail through her eyes feels important. A slow buildup let's Frost's character grow and stretch it's wings, and really this is her story. Her relationship with her father and Bunt has moments of aching sorrow and warming tenderness, and the very human questions she ponders are things we ask ourselves in the 21st century. And when Kozlowsky throws in some really intense curve balls they come with depth, with background and knowing how far Frost has come. In the end I felt like something would have been immanently lost if the story had been all running through the woods and fighting off rogue robots.

In the end I think the question this story asks is of the origin of humanity. What makes it up, why do some have more or less, and is it something that could ever be found amid wires and metal?

If you like your dystopian fantasy and adventure to be creepy with a slice of sci-fi this book is for you. If you like a story that pairs physical action scenes with psychological growth and character development then this book is for you. If you are all about a character driven tale that explores the effects of a post apocalyptic life on humans and non humans alike, then why are you not in a secondary tab ordering FROST by M.P. Kozlowsky right now? I honestly loved it so much I had to reread it twice before I could even consider picking up another book.


Content Ratings: highlight between ( ) for details

Romance: PG (A few of Frost's crush-type thoughts regarding boys, but no romantic action)
Language: PG ( No cursing.)
Violence: PG13 (Violence, blood, atypical with fight scenes and a survival type storyline)
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

I found the cover to be simple but eye catching. The way the liquid metal drips from the rose becomes a bit symbolic once you jump into the story, and hey, a robot hand always makes you want to pick up a book if you like stories with a sci fi-ish edge.
O F F I C I A   I N F O:

Title: FROST
Author: M.P. Kozlowsky
Release Date: October 11th 2016
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Received: Purchased

Sixteen-year-old Frost understands why she’s spent her entire life in an abandoned apartment building. The ruined streets below are hunting grounds for rogue robots and Eaters.

She understands why she’s never met a human besides her father. She even understands why he forbids her to look for medicine for her dying pet. But the thing is, it’s not her real father giving the orders…

It’s his memories.

Before he died, Frost’s father uploaded his consciousness into their robot servant. But the technology malfunctioned, and now her father fades in and out. So when Frost learns that there might be medicine on the other side of the ravaged city, she embarks on a dangerous journey to save the one living creature she loves.

With only a robot as a companion, Frost must face terrors of all sorts, from outrunning the vicious Eaters…to talking to the first boy she’s ever set eyes on. But can a girl who’s only seen the world through books and dusty windows survive on her own? Or will her first journey from home be her last?