A delightful novelization of Frozen told from alternating view points of Anna and Hans.
It's impossible to read this without the Frozen soundtrack running through your head (if of course like me you've seen it a million times, and can quote it word for word, know all the songs and all the music ques). A fast read and a fun one, after the first chapter I read this in a few hours.
I'm sort of surprised it was Hans's point of view and not Elsa's or even Kristoff's. I think the idea is to give some insight into Han's character. Which the author does a nice job of, detailing the misery of growing up with 12 older brothers and being the last in the royal line without much prospects, a horrible father, a weak and limpid mother. So Hans sees an opportunity to make something of himself by heading to Arendelle and seducing Elsa and overthrowing the throne and taking it for himself.
The author also does a brilliant job of capturing Anna’s loneliness and isolation, as well as her utter naivety when it comes to the open gates and falling madly in love with the first handsome guy who was nice to her. Many many times I have said to the cat whilst watching the movie worst instalove ever! Of course, through a novelisation it’s easier to understand why without wanting to shout at the girl. She’s been forced into isolation through no fault of her own, ignored by a sister she was once very close to, the loss of her parents…the gates are open for 24 hours only so she’s got to make something work if she wants to find a way to change her dreary existence.
As interesting as the details into Hans and Anna were, the story captures every part of the Frozen movie, all familiar scenes and all the familiar dialogue, but some of it falls rather flat and some things simply just don’t work as well as they do on the screen. Like Olaf and the trolls. Olaf is the comic relief in the movie with some surprisingly deep points to make (“some people are worth melting for”) but in a novelization his comic lines just don’t have the same impact. Same when Kristoff takes Anna to meet his troll family. It’s loud, flashy and fun. While mama troll has some nice things to say about what true love means, the whole troll wedding thing without the catchy music is just flat.
It doesn’t really do Elsa any justice either, until right at the end. Elsa is just a figure who’s there, there are no insights into her character at all. Her scenes and lines are all from Anna’s point of view. While I love that no matter what Anna is still saying that’s my sister and I love her no matter what, Elsa hardly has any impact other than her ice magic. Elsa’s ice powers get a pretty decent treatment, and there is certainly a big rush of emotion towards the end. I really would have liked there to have been a third viewpoint of scenes from Elsa’s POV.
For the most part, it was very good and entertaining.