Author: Kate A. Boorman
Publisher: Amulet Books
Publication Date: September 2014
Genre: Young Adult Fiction/Fantasy
Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone; possible series?
Synopsis can be found here.
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This is a hard book to review for me.
Winterkill is the story of a girl named Emmeline, who is in this isolated settlement waiting for the winter that freezes everything and traps them all inside. She is about to turn 16, binding age. She is stained because of her grandmother’s sin from when she was a child. She has few friends and is looked down upon. But something outside the walls call to her. And she can’t resist finding out what it is, even if it means becoming Wayward, like her grandmother. And they killed her for it.
There are a lot of strong elements that I adored in Winterkill. I love the tone of the story, the general bleakness of her surroundings and society’s way of bullying her and making her feel like an outcast. I love the snow and the looming winter, coming quickly. I love the language interspersed with French (yay! I could understand most of the French so that was an awesome bonus for me) and the stylized dialog is lovely to read. There is magical eeriness in the stark setting and Boorman does a wonderful job of keeping the answers to your questions just out of reach. The writing is very good, with some perfectly placed words and descriptions that draw you into the world.
Emmeline is proposed to by the leader of their community and she is not happy to accept. There is an uneasiness that lurks beneath the young and handsome leader. Multi-layered and complex, he is my favorite character in the book and has a wonderful arc and closing.
So why not five stars then? Well, for most of the book, while I was engrossed in it, I kept thinking about that awful movie The Villiage from a few years back. I know it’s silly, but it reminded me of that for some reason. I kept waiting for some weird twisty plot thing to happen. That’s more my fault than the books. Also, a few things happen towards the end. I don’t want to give it away but a new character is introduced and it’s parts magical/mythical and very unclear on what the future holds and what the answers to all those questions are. Sadly I didn’t really buy it. I like some magic in my book just like the next girl, but this additional felt weirdly flat to me considering the richness of the previous pages and it didn’t answer a lot of questions so this story line felt incomplete.
Overall, I think Winterkill is a well crafted book that will enchant readers.
Rating 7 Would Recommend
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