Thursday, August 7, 2014

Review: The Winter People by Rebekah L. Purdy

Salome Montgomery fears winter—the cold, the snow, the ice, but most of all, the frozen pond she fell through as a child. Haunted by the voices and images of the strange beings that pulled her to safety, she hasn't forgotten their warning to "stay away." For eleven years, she has avoided the winter woods, the pond, and the darkness that lurks nearby. But when failing health takes her grandparents to Arizona, she is left in charge of maintaining their estate. This includes the "special gifts" that must be left at the back of the property.

Salome discovers she’s a key player in a world she’s tried for years to avoid. At the center of this world is the strange and beautiful Nevin, who she finds trespassing on her family’s property. Cursed with dark secrets and knowledge of the creatures in the woods, his interactions with Salome take her life in a new direction. A direction where she'll have to decide between her longtime crush Colton, who could cure her fear of winter. Or Nevin who, along with an appointed bodyguard, Gareth, protects her from the darkness that swirls in the snowy backdrop. An evil that, given the chance, will kill her.


I just don't even know where to start on this one. So many things to cover. Well, this is the first book I've read by this author and I'm still undecided as to whether I would read something else by her in the future. Whoa. Loaded statement right off the bat, right? Well, I'm a bit peeved by this novel. More than a bit peeved. 

I was 3/4 of the way through this book and loving it. Adoring it. I worshiped the shelf that this novel would eventually grace (it comes out in September of this year). I usually don't enjoy fantasy novels THIS MUCH. I was thinking all of this after each page I read. I mean, how lucky can I be to have read so many great books in a row and then this one is a fantasy and I love it as well. Until the other shoe dropped. And man ... it was a giant shoe. Now, lets rewind a little bit. The writing is great. The story line was great. I was completely entranced by every word on these pages. I really enjoyed the characters and the way that they interacted with each other. This author knows how to write and engage the reader, that wasn't the issue.

Now this other shoe ... le sigh ... I understand that there is going to be some overlap with other books. You and I both know that there probably aren't that many truly original ideas left anymore. Everything is a bit of a skewed version of something else. I get that. But there were two places in this book that are Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood. When the first thing happened, I had a brief thought that what was going on was similar and I found it amusing. But then the second thing happened and to be honest, it really just kinda ticked me off. I wish that I could say what the things were but the copy of the novel that I received is an ARC and that means that since it hasn't gone to press yet, it could still change and I'm not allowed to quote anything because of that. But I really hope that these two things are changed or removed because it felt almost cheap to use two hugely significant things from another series. 

Okay, now that that one is out of the way ... once I got about eighty percent through, there was a huge shift in the book. It felt like it wasn't as engaging because it was moving way too quickly. One minute the characters are doing something and then the next thing you know, the author is skipping months ahead and continuing the story. It was just entirely too fast in my mind and there wasn't really any reason for it. I would have loved to have read about what the characters were experiencing in that time period. I wanted to see relationships grow and change and I felt a little robbed of that. And then all of the sudden, it's over. The novel is over and instead of feeling fulfilled, I was just angry. I don't know if the author didn't want to turn this into a series or what, but it felt like that was where it was going at first and then that idea was scrapped when the novel was almost finished and then an ending was just shoved in. 

Ugh. I just don't know. I don't know if I liked or hated this book. I don't know if I'm giving it the right rating, I really did enjoy most of the book but everyone knows that a horrible ending can sour your entire reading experience. It's really just too bad. So much potential. This could have been a pretty spectacular series. Oh, and the cover is gorgeous.

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