I was sent Winterkill and it’s sequel, Darkthaw, a while ago, in exchange for an honest review, so apologies to Allen and Unwin for the delay!
Today, we have in very convenient and easy-to-read list format, the things that I did and didn’t enjoy about Winterkill, by Kate A Boorman. Enjoy!
The writing style would have been disjointed and jerky in any other book, but was completely perfect for Winterkill in particular, mainly due to the inhabitants of the village not being “properly” educated. There are some subtle nuances to the writing, such as the repetition of various words, that really enhance the writing.
I really enjoyed the emphasis on the community being both French and English, and quite liked the snippets of French throughout the book. I’ve heard other reviewers say that if you speak French, it gets a little repetitive, but I it added nicely to the flair of the story, from the perspective of a non-French speaker.
We weren’t really given a time or place, but the writing style indicated a time period from a long time ago? The world building was well done, and the village certainly felt very 3D to me. Some other reviews have complained about the lack of information, and said that the world building lacked concrete details, but I think the exclusion of times and places added a certain air of mystery about the book that I quite liked.
I’d like to have seen some more depth to some of the secondary characters in the book, because at times, it felt as if they were there simply to support Emmeline. While I get that Emmeline is the main character, the minor – well, they weren’t that minor – characters could definitely have done with a bit more developing.
The book is actually quite short (well, relatively), but it felt much longer than it really was, mainly because of all the repetition of actions and scenes. Some of the thing that happen tend to reoccur, creating an almost-loop, and by the time the reader is taken out of that loop, they’re basically already dead from boredom.
While this book isn’t exactly generic, it’s quite a standard dystopian book. Not really the best, not really the worst, just another [meh] dystopian book.
So in conclusion, while Winterkill does have a lot going for it in terms of setting and culture, the underdeveloped secondary characters and standard plot line let it down. I look forward to reading the second one, and posting a review! Until then, au revoir.
Me again. Just thought I’d jump in with a mention of another book, similar to this that perhaps you might like. The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly is another “religious cult” kind of book, and you might enjoy this if you enjoyed that, or enjoy that if you enjoyed this. Now, au revoir.
Where Emmeline lives, you cannot love and you cannot leave…
The Council’s rules are strict, but they’re for the good of the settlement in which Emmeline lives. Everyone knows there is nothing but danger the other side of the Wall, and the community must prepare for the freezing winterkill that comes every year.
But Emmeline struggles to be obedient under the Council’s suffocating embrace – especially when she discovers that a Council leader intends to snatch her hand in marriage.
Then Emmeline begins to hear the call of the trees beyond the Wall…