We are crazy excited about Frostfire by Amanda Hocking, the first in a new trilogy from the mega bestselling author. Superfan Becky share five reasons why we all love Amanda Hocking. Becky, how did you narrow it down to five?
1) Amazing new worlds
When reading Amanda Hocking you can't help but be blown away by the worlds she creates. Especially because they are so integrated with our own and just fold in so neatly and cleverly.
The descriptions in her book are phenomenal, the worlds come to life off the page and form beautiful landscapes in you mind. For example in her new book 'Frostfire', the land where the Kanin live sounds breath-taking. Set in a snowy landscape surrounded by forests and trees that create gorgeous archways over the roads, and fresh crisp air. You can definitely walk down the halls of the palace, explore the village and it's houses from the more stately areas to the outskirts and Bryn's little Stable house which I adore.
Hocking just transports you into the landscape and lets you walk around and explore with the character. Bringing to life at the same time the world of Fairies or Trolls as they are called here, and all the different species and sub-divisions.
2) her characters are well developed and even a little kick a**
It's been years since I read the Trylle series but I remember thinking that Wendy isn't a pushover. She's lost, thrown into a whole new world, everything she thought she knew has been torn back and revealed to be something else entirely - she's not even really human for goodness sake - but she doesn't sit and cry and let it all get to her. She ends up in the middle of all sorts of problems and events and she totally pulls through.
Just as Bryn is a feisty girl ready to fight for what she believes in. She is automatically an outcast in society due to her heritage and looks, she has to work twice as hard as everyone else to get anywhere and she's faced more than her fair share of problems but if anything all of this has made her stronger - made her into a fighter. She got where she is because of her determination and fire within. Plus she's good in a fight and not afriad to get her hands dirty.
But what makes them even more kick a** is that they also have vulnerable sides, feelings, doubts, romance, uncertainties, arguments, bad days - they become more real. No person on this earth is perfect, we all have our moments and insecurities and Hocking presents these perfectly. Making her characters lifelike, they feel like real people and by the time you finish reading the books they will seem like good friends.
3) she writes about fairies! and makes it all seem like it could be real
This was one of the main things that first attracted me to Hocking's books. I love fairies and always have but not all authors can do it so the they feel like they could actually exist. The mark of a good book is that conviction. Hocking has created a world where Fairies exist around us, influence our lives and build up their own huge empires and laws and armies but they weave in so well. In this case Fairy is actually another world for Troll, but she has created a whole new meaning to that word. No longer are trolls short fat ugly creatures that can be smelly and aggressive but a huge race of sophisticated beings, graceful, masterful, intelligent and almost human- but still maintaining enough magic and mystery to be whimsical. They are more like fairies - just untraditional. But they are so convincingly real that it will make you start looking for 'changelings' around you.
4) her book covers are beautiful
Have you seen her book covers, I mean really? Have you? Because they are truly beautiful. The very first time I picked up Switched was because I saw those shimmering purple butterflies on the front of that black and white photo and it just drew my eye in. Then when you see the series all lined up together it just makes me happy and my bookcases very pretty.
Now we have Frostfire released and the snowy background is just gorgeous then you have Bryn in her startling red coat - a total contrast to the rest of the picture but it works so well and makes a truly astonishing cover.
The first thing anyone sees is the cover of a book, and these books have definitely got a hook there, they are stunning yet simple.
If you haven't seen them I implore you to go and have a look.
5) she takes me away in her stories and makes me want more
If I can find an author that can take me away from reality and disappear inside a book then I know I have found a keeper. The sort of reading where you are so absorbed you lose all concept of time or hunger or places to be etc. The ultimate getaway - someone could be having a conversation with you but you have no idea they are talking or that they are even there because you are so absorbed. And I found that with Hocking in 'Frostfire' particularly - I was walking that snowy trail, I was running through the hallways, fighting the bad guys right there along with the characters.
That's real storytelling - in it's truest form. It's a magical experience and one you are lucky to find. When you find an author that can do that for you - make a list of them, they are ones to watch and follow and to pass onto other readers and even reluctant readers. It will have them devouring a book in no time.
But you'll be so hooked you will be eagerly waiting the next book so there will be no forgetting them anyway!
Frostfire is out now.