Thursday, March 7, 2013

Review: Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick

  • Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
  • Publication date: 2/5/2013
  • Source: ARC sent from publisher for review
 Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

Seven stories of passion and love separated by centuries but mysteriously intertwined—this is a tale of horror and beauty, tenderness and sacrifice.

An archaeologist who unearths a mysterious artifact, an airman who finds himself far from home, a painter, a ghost, a vampire, and a Viking: the seven stories in this compelling novel all take place on the remote Scandinavian island of Blessed where a curiously powerful plant that resembles a dragon grows. What binds these stories together? What secrets lurk beneath the surface of this idyllic countryside? And what might be powerful enough to break the cycle of midwinterblood? From award-winning author Marcus Sedgwick comes a book about passion and preservation and ultimately an exploration of the bounds of love.

My Thoughts

I have been thinking on this review for a while. I usually like to write my reviews within a few days of finishing a book, but I couldn't quite figure out my feelings about this book. I did like it, but it wasn't quite what I was expecting. The writing and how each story linked to one another was beautiful, but I always felt disconnected from it all. I also think that it was supposed to have a creepy vibe to it that I never quite felt. While the story was very intriguing I really wish I had felt more invested in it. I wanted to really love the characters and get lost in the world, but it didn't really hit the mark. I really feel like I am the underdog with not loving this book as much as everyone else. I did think that it was a great story of love and sacrifice though.

This book has seven different stories in it, but it isn't an anthology. The stories are all from the same island and they involve some of the same things. Each one goes back further in time, and I thought that was very cool. Rather than going forward, we go back and we discover each life lived. Eric and Merle go through these different lives, starting from the future, 2073 and going back to the beginning where you discover the why of the reincarnation back in an unknown time.They are not the same person to each other in the different lives, though they always manage to find each other. Whether they are strangers and meet, someone who helped the other in a time of need, brother and sister, or mother and son, they always will find love for each other somehow. It really was fascinating how it all wove together.

I can't really say anything else about the story without giving away details since they are each separate from each other even though they are all linked together in some way too. I thought that the way the stories were told and how it took us through them and back to the beginning was brilliant really. The atmosphere of it all was rather mystical and creepy, but it wasn't as much as I had thought it would be going into it. I did really enjoy the beauty of the writing and will be sure to check out more of Marcus Sedgwick's work. I don't think I would consider this a YA. There is no inappropriate content for YA, but it just doesn't read like most YA novels do. The main characters are adults for the most part and the story is very in depth. (Not saying that YA can't be in depth. I guess if you read it you will understand what I mean. Okay, shutting up now before I get people misinterpreting what I mean.) Overall it was an enjoyable, beautiful book about love surviving through time.


15 comments:

  1. I'm glad to see you enjoyed this one, Amy, despite your lack of a connection. I've heard great things about this one, recently, so it's been on my radar, but I'll definitely have to go into it with more moderate expectations after reading this review. I'm usually a fan of when novels have multiple story-lines, as long as they're all tied together in (what I think is) a neat and believable way in the end, so I'm really glad to hear that it's brilliant in this one. Great review, hon!

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    1. I really wasn't sure how to rate this one. I liked it, but it was so much less than I was expecting. I think that a lot of the other reviews for it had my expectations for it really high. Don't get me wrong, the writing is beautiful and the story is intriguing, but I think I was expecting a more creepy and haunting feel and I just didn't get that.

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  2. Interesting that is involves different stories going back in time. THat does sound like a neat idea!

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    1. I loved how the individual stories were done. I thought it was really great. Even though they were separate stories in different times, they easily connected with each other.

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  3. That cover is so creepy. It's like the girl is staring at me.
    This sounds very different with the whole concept of going back in time instead of the future. It's a shame you weren't as emotionally invested as much as you wanted to be.
    Still, I'm glad that you enjoyed it despite it all.
    Lovely review, Amy! :)

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    1. I think that was my main issue with it, was my lack of connection. Everything else about it was really great. Oh, and the lack of creepy which I was totally expecting. I really did enjoy the writing though. I will most definitely check out some of his other work.

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  4. Never heard of this book. I heart time travel and going back instead of forward is quite different that what you usually read.

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  5. I totally get what you're saying about not being able to connect to the characters; it's definitely written in a way that is very different from most YA books, which is partly why it's so hard to categorize! I obviously liked this one much more than you, but I'm glad you were intrigued enough by the story to finish, Amy. :)

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  6. Sounds very unique. Thanks for sharing.

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  7. It does sound interesting. Nice review. :)

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  8. I had a hard time deciding how I felt about this one as well. In the end I decided I liked it. I know how you feel about not being able to make a strong connection with the characters, since they're always shifting. I was pretty unsure about it until about halfway, when I started to enjoy it more. It's definitely different! And I completely agree that it really didn't feel like YA to me.

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  9. Awesome review as always, Amy! Ooh I'm sorry this one wasn't as super creepy as you anticipated, but it sounds really interesting how this entire thing worked out, although not being able to connect with anything is a big bad point D:

    I'm glad you liked this one though!

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  10. I don't think I've heard of this book before. I like the premise, with the stories and reincarnation. I'm story you didn't like it as much as you'd hoped to.

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  11. How have I read so many reviews for this and never noticed that it was a collection of related stories? I feel dumb. Also, I was on the fence about reading this, because horror isn't really my genre of course, but now I'm falling off on the 'no' side. Short fiction isn't generally my thing.

    Also, I've had so many books that could have been great but for my lack of connection to the characters. Without that, it's often hard to care what's happening to them, which might be more so the case in horror.

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  12. Reviews like this are SO hard to write! It seems like quite often I end up not reviewing them at all cause I just don't know what to say. Sorry it wasn't a fabulous read for you though.

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