- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's UK (2 Mar. 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1847383092
- ISBN-13: 978-1847383099
- Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 0.1 x 12.9 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,560,771 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Secret Ministry of Frost Paperback – 2 Mar 2009
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About the Author
Nick Lake is a children’s book editor at Harper UK. He received his degree in English from Oxford University. The Blood Ninja trilogy was inspired by his interest in the Far East, and by the fact that he is secretly a vampire ninja himself. Nick lives with his wife and daughter in England.
Top Customer Reviews
It isn't bad. However, the strange mixture of setting it in the present (along with Global Warming and other sensibilities), but throwing in Eskimo myths and the sort of explorers / rich Lordship families one might expect in a more Victorian setting results in a book that does not quite manage to sustain a coherent atmosphere throughout. Worse, a lot of the supposedly mythological creatures come across like 20th century gothic alien monsters, rather than old myths. Balloon people who suck out people's insides through intestines that are thrown around with spears? Creepy, yes, but I can't imagine Eskimo myths containing anything like this.
The story is quite fast-paced. It introduces a variety of show-stealing, often quirky characters. It kills them off at a similar pace. The enemies, meanwhile, are a faceless horde (with dozens of copies of each), which makes them appear more like the creatures in a video game than like convincing entities. The enemy boss character is left woefully undefined and unmotivated, so he never really seems anything more than a video game boss, either.
There is a lot in this book which I wanted to love. Unfortunately, it reads like a video game that has been novelised, rather than a novel of its own right. It doesn't hit the nail on its head when it comes to its own atmosphere, it doesn't really stick with characters long enough, and its villains are flat and characterless. It reads like Tomb Raider. I'd buy the video game, if it existed, but as a book, I cannot wholeheartedly recommend it.
We read this novel for our book group and all agreed that it was great fun, and once things took off, it was surprisingly bloodthirsty! The author has successfully combined Inuit folklore with the more English version (though probably of Viking origin) of Jack Frost and set it all firmly in the present. The main characters are great - Tupilak, the shark-man with the legs of a polar bear is a fierce avenging monster; Butler with his moving tattoos is strong and enigmatic; and Light is an intriguing heroine, but not much is made of her being albino - it's just the way she is, and all will be explained later of course.
The title comes from the poem 'Frost at Midnight' by Samuel Taylor Coleridge which opens - "The frost performs its secret ministry, Unhelped by any wind.", and reading that poem with hindsight, it has obviously been a strong inspiration for the novel, as has The Northern Lights (His Dark Materials) by Philip Pullman.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I don't mean the concept is bizarre; rather that the author seems to have got away with 'creating' a character and background almost identical to the Artemis Fowl books by Eoin... Read morePublished on 3 Feb. 2014 by Mrs. L. Mclaren
With a quirky character and a blend of Western mythos along with Inuit tales this takes the best of both worlds and thrusts the principle protagonista, Light, into a story that... Read morePublished on 12 April 2009 by Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog