Book Review: What Man Defies (The Frost Arcana Book 2) by Clara Coulson

People have been mysteriously disappearing from Kinsale for weeks, and when they start showing up as angry ghosts, Vince takes action to figure out what's going on. With a team of cops and one magic practitioner, half-fae Vince sets out on a dangerous rescue mission into the faerie realm to save the rest of the missing victims and thwart another plan that will have disastrous effects for humans and fae alike.

Book Review: What Man Defies (The Frost Arcana Book 2) by Clara Coulson | reading, books, book reviews
Title: What Man Defies
Book Number: Book 2
Pages: 246
My Rating: 4 Stars
More Info: Goodreads, Amazon


*I received an ecopy of this book from the author. This has not influenced my review.*

This was another great book in this post-apoc urban fantasy series. It had a fast-pace, page-turning action, likeable characters, lots of kick-butt women, deadly fae, and great writing that sucked me in.

One small issue I had though was that the plot was very linear, no subplots or extra complications. Even the initial mystery was fairly simple for Vince to solve. It’s not something that made the book bad, just an area where I think it could’ve been spiced up more. I admittedly got a little tired of fight scenes.

But on the bright side, I felt like Vince was more developed this time. I’m happy that I got more of a connection with him and got to know him a bit better. He’s a tough, take-no-shit, badass faerie when it comes to jerks who deserve it, but he cares about innocent victims and civilians and the people who fight beside him, which suits his cop background. He’s a bit hard-boiled and definitely not a pushover, but he’s not a total misanthrope. And every so often he cracks me up with his matter-of-fact-ness (like when he asked for his payment after that first angry ghost attack) and his particular brand of snark/banter (like in the quote below—which is from an ARC and may be different in the final copy).

“Oh, you’d be surprised at the things you can do if you put your mind to it.”

“Fuck you,” she muttered.

“And you also.”

I’m not connecting to this series quite as much as I do with Clara Coulson’s City of Crows series for some reason (normally I wouldn’t make a comparison like that, but they share so many similarities that I can’t help it), but this is still turning out to be a well-written, action-packed, and enjoyable urban fantasy series, and it’s got me gripped enough that I want to continue and see what happens to Vince next, especially since there seems to be some interesting stuff yet to come!


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  1. Greg

    Sounds like Vince is a pretty good character in spite of the linear plot. Glad it turned out well! It always amazes how few fae books I read considering I love the concepts, and stories that involve going into Faerie always at least get my attention. I’m such a slacker on UF…

    1. Kristen Burns

      He is! I feel like you have a lot of things that you enjoy but for some reason don’t read much of, haha. But hey, this one is UF and has fae, so it would kill two birds with one stone 😉

  2. Bookworm Brandee

    Hi, Kristen! *waves* It’s been awhile. Sorry.
    I can’t remember if I read your review of book 1 in this series but I plan to check it out because…fae! LOL And honestly, Vince sounds like a lot of fun. I like your description of him. 🙂 I’m sorry you’re not connecting with this series quite as well as City of Crows though. At least you enjoy the writing and Vince. 🙂 I *know* I have the first book in City of Crows so I’ll try to jump on that one sooner than later.
    I hope you’ve been enjoying your summer. My oldest and youngest were just in Florida with their drum corps and my son says he’s never experienced humidity like that before. And my daughter was a swollen, itchy mess thanks to mosquitoes and fire ants. LOL Needless to say, neither of them plan to visit again anytime soon.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Hi! 🙂

      He’s a good character! It’s all good, a series can still be solidly enjoyable even if I don’t LOVE it.

      Haha, humidity and mosquitoes, that about sums Florida up 😛

  3. Olivia Roach

    It sounds like the characters are done well and like this one is a good story, but it also sounds like this one got a bit too simple for it to become amazing. But it still sounds like quite a good and enjoyable read. I like my tough characters with a compassionate side – even if they don’t show that soft side to everyone but just to one character in particular. I know someone just like that so I find that very believable!

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    1. Kristen Burns

      Yep, it was solidly good, but a little more complexity in the plot could’ve made it even better. Characters gotta have some compassion if they’re gonna be likeable, I think, so I agree 🙂

  4. Daniela Ark

    I see that often that when there is character development then the plot suffers and vice versa. I don;t think I had heard a post-apoc with Fae before! 🙂

  5. Stephanie Jane

    Sounds like this one could have used more complications in the plotlines, but then sometimes a straightforward story can work if there’s good character progression to add the depth.

  6. Lola

    This sounds like a good series so far, that’s too bad the plot was a bit too linear. That sounds great the main character is more developed in this book. I am glad to hear you’re enjoying it even tough you’re not enjoying it as much as that other series.