★★★★☆ for Voyage of the Frostheart by Jamie Littler

It was raining quite heavily yesterday and my class ended earlier than expectedwhat a piece of great news. I finally had the time to continue my current read without pressure, and it felt rather satisfying to be able to finish a thick middle-grade book in between work hours and long classes (even though it took me weeks, but phew, successfully crossed-off one of my March’s to-do(s) from the list).

I got this book, Voyage of The Frostheart by Jamie Littler, from the famous @OwlCrateJr December “Ice & Frostheart” box and I couldn’t be more excited about it. It was a 3.5, an almost 4-stars reading for me. The bonus point was, it reminded me so much of my other favorite middle-grade book, except that everything was far less complicated in The Polar Bear Explorers’ Club by Alex Bell. Though same old, same old. All the ices and adventures got my mind wandering like a pro ice skater (I’m such a hyperbole, sorry).

The whole story starts with Ash. That little, stubborn Ash who has the ability to song weave in the world where singing is forbidden; or at least, the Fira Stronghold think so. They claim that singing is the only way to communicate with the Leviathan monsters, but everyone knows you risk everything when you sing. However, upon discovering his parents’ secret, Ash is rudely exiled from the Stronghold with his yeti guardian named Tobu and is left with no choice but to join the Frostheart voyage and be a Pathfinder.

And that's when the actual journey finally begins.

I did enjoy this book so much. Apart from the fact that it's wintery, the world-building was very well-crafted and all along I was very eager to find out about the mysterious “world-before”, although we were only given a glimpse of it through Shraad’s story. Well, I suppose we would get to know more about it in the second book? Hoping and being very excited about it, I am. Besides, I have to know why the Leviathan seemed to hate humans so much while secretly wondering whether the next book would make them top the fictional-pet list (meaning: they’re gigantic and deadly but kinda have a soft heart, just like what we bookworms usually adore).

After measuring my love for its world-building, I'm pretty sure that the characters in this book come close. I honestly adored Ash even though sometimes he’s too naive and I couldn’t help it but swore every time he did something careless. However, my heart broke with him when he was bullied by the mean Fira gang in the first few chapters. Such an important lesson, the scene reminded me of how bullying was literally everywhere and how we all needed to unite and fight against it. Glad Lunah was there to back him up.

As much as I adored Lunah, I have to admit that the entire Frostheart crew was very lovely also, but my favorites were still Captain Nuk and Tobu (considering he’s a part of the crew now). In their own way, both Captain Nuk and Tobu were very powerful, but wouldn't it be awesome if we got to know more about Tobu’s backstory or at least a little more of it? Tobu was so strong and valuable: what, or possibly who, forced him to leave the yeti pack? Moreover, how on earth did he survive the wild alone for presumably months or even years before he found the Fira Stronghold? Told ya this book was far more complicated than it seemed to be. I even got a little emotional in some parts (you should read and find out which).

All in all, I considered this book quite great and enjoyable; overall a very well companion for my rough weeks. Every time Ash or the Leviathan sang was still a favorite scene of mine though as it felt mystical yet at the same time enchanting. Putting another great thing into consideration, I found the stunning illustrations throughout the book exactly the way I imagined this world would have looked like (so shout out to Jamie Littler for not only writing this good book but also making all the illustrations by himself).

If you love middle-grade or you feel like magic is your day-to-day thing, consider this book a winter-related refreshment you should pick up. Voyage of The Frostheart was quite a page-turner that I didn't realize it was almost the middle of the night when I reached the last page.