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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A bit on the dark side, but a good read
Frozen Prospects follows Va'del in his quest to find acceptance. It is set high in the mountains where all the communities are based in large cave systems and it is death to wander outside unprepared. Born from a lowlander mother and orphaned at a young age is enough to make him an outcast and a target for the bullies in his community. Constantly beaten by the...
Published on March 28, 2011 by bookblogger

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Potential
This is a difficult book for me to rate. On one hand, the basic story and plot is intriguing. Jain lives in a world that is frozen and becoming more and more treacherous. He is mixed-race and bullied and mistreated for that. He is given the chance to join an elite group that help protect the land. I didn't mind how vulnerable the main character was, it seemed real to...
Published 23 months ago by Karolinde Young


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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A bit on the dark side, but a good read, March 28, 2011
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This review is from: Frozen Prospects: A YA Epic Fantasy Novel (Volume 1 of the Guadel Chronicles Books) (Kindle Edition)
Frozen Prospects follows Va'del in his quest to find acceptance. It is set high in the mountains where all the communities are based in large cave systems and it is death to wander outside unprepared. Born from a lowlander mother and orphaned at a young age is enough to make him an outcast and a target for the bullies in his community. Constantly beaten by the headman's son Jas'per he once again awakens to find himself in the healing area being taken care of by Sara. While in recovery he learns that some of the mysterious Guadel have arrived to test the youngsters of his community to see if they will be taken away to the Capital. When Va'del is tested he is given the choice to stay where he is and continue his miserable existence of getting beaten up and not having anyone willing to take him as an apprentice, or he can accompany the Guadel for training and possibly become one of them.

Getting into anymore of the story would start to give spoilers so I'll just say that when he arrives at the Capital under less than ideal circumstances his life becomes just as miserable as it was and he is constantly thinking about suicide to end it all. There were times that I really was not a big fan of Va'del as a character, but he really grows as the story develops and at the end I was left wanting to see more books about him. I really enjoyed a lot of the support characters, especially I'rone.

I look forward to the next book in the series, but in the meantime I will check out the other work by Dean Murray.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Potential, February 11, 2013
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This review is from: Frozen Prospects: A YA Epic Fantasy Novel (Volume 1 of the Guadel Chronicles Books) (Kindle Edition)
This is a difficult book for me to rate. On one hand, the basic story and plot is intriguing. Jain lives in a world that is frozen and becoming more and more treacherous. He is mixed-race and bullied and mistreated for that. He is given the chance to join an elite group that help protect the land. I didn't mind how vulnerable the main character was, it seemed real to me.

The downside is that it reads a lot like a first draft. I would have loved more character and setting development. There were also some distracting editing issues that took away from the plot. More than anything, the ending bugged me. It almost felt hurried and unimportant, but it shouldn't have been. It reveals a lot about Jian's character and potential and deserved more build up and resolution.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sometimes when a book is free ..., April 21, 2013
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This review is from: Frozen Prospects: A YA Epic Fantasy Novel (Volume 1 of the Guadel Chronicles Books) (Kindle Edition)
you wonder if it's worth the time to read. This one was free and I only started it when I did because it fit a monthly reading challenge I was doing.

I finished it because it was good.

I finished it the day I started it because it was fantastic.

Totally new world. Magic and mayhem. New love. Cranky people, political people. Danger and triumph. I'm ready to read book two and happy to see a third!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Good, July 10, 2012
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This review is from: Frozen Prospects: A YA Epic Fantasy Novel (Volume 1 of the Guadel Chronicles Books) (Kindle Edition)
Over all it was a good read. The most disappointing part was the length of the book. It was just too short. I read the whole thing in 4 hours. When I invest the time to read a book I want it to last a while (so I don't have to look for a new book to read again). All that said, it was an intriguing story. The author does fairly well at his character development, at least with the main character. The supporting ones were a little less developed, but at least the were diverse. The story flowed fairly well, but I would have liked a little more background on this society the story is set in.

I give it four stars because it pulled me in enough that I really wanted to finish it, but not five stars because it left me wanting, and not in a good way. I wanted the story to have more meat to it. Also the ending was a little soft, but expected because of the shortness of the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good series, February 4, 2013
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This review is from: Frozen Prospects: A YA Epic Fantasy Novel (Volume 1 of the Guadel Chronicles Books) (Kindle Edition)
Dean Murray creates an interesting world for us to explore, but it falls just short of perfection. And I say this in a good way. You should buy this book because it's very readable and certianly enjoyable, but if I had a complaint it would be that it's missing some flesh. The potential is so apparent you can taste it, but the storry and characters just needed a little more...character, descriptive, whatever you want to call it. It felt a little hollow. Once agin, not that this book is bad by any measure, it just falls one step short of a masterpiece.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly Surprised!, June 3, 2012
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This review is from: Frozen Prospects: A YA Epic Fantasy Novel (Volume 1 of the Guadel Chronicles Books) (Kindle Edition)
I think I was checking out new science fiction authors because I don't know quite how I came across this enjoyable story, but having just finished it I liked it so much that I began reading Thawed Fortunes (The Guadel Chronicles Volume 2), apparently the third in a series, which gave the first chapter at the end of this book. It's a coming of age book, which I suppose is aimed at young people, dare I say young adults? At any rate, it is the coming of age of a young orphaned boy and girl who live in caves in a world of ice and snow. They are both sponsored and in training to become what they are chosen for in adulthood. I never thought I would care to read anything that I deemed to speak to magic but this has done it. Of course, there are the adult Guadel of differing families who are the sponsors and teachers possessing varying degrees of "magic" and "entering minds, or mind melds if you are a trekkie," of the young ones. I enjoyed this read and plan to continue on with the new Thawed Fortunes (The Guadel Chronicles Volume 2) having just purchased it and will pursue when I retire for the evening. It's not quite science fiction but entertaining none the less and has me hooked.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Frozen Prospects, February 1, 2012
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This review is from: Frozen Prospects: A YA Epic Fantasy Novel (Volume 1 of the Guadel Chronicles Books) (Kindle Edition)
I first read the "I'rone (The Guadel Chronicles)" which is a short story that introduces you to some of the characters. I then read "Frozen Prospects". I think the story-line has some very interesting ideas, I liked the characters and I found it to be well written. However, I was getting a bit frustrated by the constant unfair treatment of Va'del but I am happy with the ending and looking forward to reading "Thawed Fortunes" which continues the story.
Update: I finished "Thawed Fortunes" and gave it 5 stars.I don't give a book 5 stars very often but I really thought it was very interesting. I was reluctant to give "Frozen Prospects" 5 stars because there were still so many unanswered questions, but I like how "Thawed Fortunes" gives it closure and I found it very different and memorable from other books.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Team Va'del?, January 17, 2012
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This review is from: Frozen Prospects: A YA Epic Fantasy Novel (Volume 1 of the Guadel Chronicles Books) (Kindle Edition)
I love this authors characters! I've become just as attached to Va'del and Jain as I ever was (and still am) to Peta and Katniss from the Hunger Games. Dean Murray has that magical ability to make you sympathize with his characters and even really loathe the bad guys! I am a huge fan of Twilight and the Hunger Games and I have so far loved the Gaudel Chronicals and can hardly wait for the next installment!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moral Pick Me Up, December 3, 2013
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This review is from: Frozen Prospects: A YA Epic Fantasy Novel (Volume 1 of the Guadel Chronicles Books) (Kindle Edition)
Ever felt unloved? If a child of divorce, did you blame yourself? Ever felt like a social outcast? Then we all can relate to Va'del, our orphaned hero of this book. Dean Murray touched on something in all of us, a desire to be loved and accepted. Although a book of science fiction/fantasy, it is readable, clean without all the gore and foul language, it also has an important message: we are all worth loving.

I highly recommend this book and looking forward to reading the others in this series. Thank you Dean Murray for writing a book that some of us can relate to,
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars PetRead, September 14, 2012
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This review is from: Frozen Prospects: A YA Epic Fantasy Novel (Volume 1 of the Guadel Chronicles Books) (Kindle Edition)
(This review is also posted in goodreads.)I've never read of a male main character who has fainted several times (I stopped counting after his third collapse)... and that's just about 30% into the story. Not that there isn't a valid reason for each fainting spell... but still. It just goes against the grain, to read about someone who faints a lot, and the character in question is not even a female...it's sexist and it's petty, I know.. but hey this is fantasy--I just want to read about a hero who doesn't lose consciousness after a big fight.

Moving on. Frozen Prospects was a fuzzy read for me. The snowy mountain village setting was new, the socio-political structure unique, and the whole business of the Guadel secret society quite confusing. I could not get a hold of the story and was afraid it would be that way till the end. It all started to click into place and marginally made more sense after the the first half of the story. The women recruited into the Guadel have the ability to work magic-- by healing, by using gemstones for heat & light, and by linking minds with their husbands to make them a stronger warrior than normal. On the other hand, the Guadel men become members of this privileged group if they can withstand the mind invasion that's necessary for the augmentation of their fighting skills. This elite group is responsible for keeping the peace among the different villages. But Guadel families are being ambushed and their number diminishing. The main character Va'del, though a new recruit, is caught in the middle of this conflict, while battling his own personal insecurities and darker tendencies.

The characters here take more time to be understood and appreciated, but they are all solid enough to be memorable. My favorite part here is the transformation of Va'del. The outcast orphan finds very few people who supports him, let alone treat him kindly. But eventually he has stepped up to embrace the role of a protector, and his good character and potential earn him a much needed ally in his journey to become a full pledged Guadel. Great training and skirmish scenes abound in this book peppered with thick political parley. The pace turns urgent towards the end, and the closing chapter marks Va'del as one with exceptional and unprecedented ability who is destined to do great things.
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