Jack: The Tale of Frost by Tony Bertauski
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Sura is sixteen years old when she meets Mr. Frost. He’s very short and very fat and he likes his room very, very cold. Some might say inhumanly cold. His first name isn’t Jack, she’s told. And that’s all she needed to know.
Mr. Frost’s love for Christmas is over-the-top and slightly psychotic. And why not? He’s made billions of dollars off the holiday he invented. Or so he claims. Rumor is he’s an elven, but that’s silly. Elven aren’t real. And if they were, they wouldn’t live in South Carolina. They wouldn’t hide in a tower and go to the basement to make…things.
Nonetheless, Sura will work for this odd little recluse. Frost Plantation is where she’ll meet the love of her life. It’s where she’ll finally feel like she belongs somewhere. And it’s where she’ll meet someone fatter, balder and stranger than Mr. Frost. It’s where she’ll meet Jack.
This is going to be a very hard review to write. I have been eagerly anticipating this book every since I read Claus: Legend of the Fat Man earlier this year. Claus was easily one of my favorite reads of the year, so I was expecting a lot from this book. Sadly I did not quite find what I was hoping for. Where Claus had amazing world building with so much detail that I was totally immersed in the story, I felt that Jack lacked those exact things. I was able to fill in some gaps because I had read Claus (which in my opinion is a necessity before you read Jack) but I just did not feel like I was being drawn in like I had been while reading Claus. I don't feel like I really got to know any of the characters well enough to connect to them. I almost feel like I was just getting a glimpse into Mr. Frost's life, whereas I wanted to be a part of it. I wanted to get to know May, Templeton, Jonah, Joe and Sura. I wanted to be a part of Frost's plan, not just see the end result of it. I wanted more! This will not deter me from reading the next installment -- Frosty: Journey of a Snowman, but I do hope that Tony gives us more of what I so loved about Claus -- all those wonderful little details that made me believe that the world that he created on the North Pole could exist and could be the basis for our modern day beliefs in Santa Claus.
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