Publication Date: September 3, 2014
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance
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Synopsis: An engrossing, complex, romantic fantasy perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore or Maggie Stiefvater, set in a wholly unique world.
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.
My Rating: 3/5 stars
My Review: After almost downing in a frozen pond as a child, Salome has always been afraid of winter. Not just of the cold or the ice, but of the strange voices she heard that lead her to the pond, but these voices haven't gone away. As Salome's grandparents leave the country, the seventeen year old must take care of the house, which includes her grandmother's weird ritual of leaving shoes and jewellery in the woods.
There were so many amazing things I loved about this book, some of the characters, the setting, and the action in the later half of the book were fantastic. Yet for the first half of the book I found it to be very boring and very stretched out, and while it got the story moving forward I feel like most of it could have been skipped or edited out.
In the first 70% of the book, we follow Salome as she explains her past, we see her meet three very interesting guys, and begin to solve the mystery of the "curse." This is the part I had some problems with. While the story itself was beautiful, I feel like the first part with Colton could have been skipped, this is why most authors just have a love triangle, rather than having three boys because writing about all the dates that your character goes in just takes a lot of unnecessary time.
Another point that left me a little confused is the mystery aspect of the "curse." Salome's family members aren't allowed to talk of the curse so she has to do the research herself. That seems pretty reasonable, except the fact that we didn't exactly learn anything about he curse until the last 15% of the book when Salome has everything explained to her. This just causes the readers to be confused about who the characters really are and whats going on, it would have definitely helped if this part was explained a tad earlier in the novel.
I really fell in love with the last part of the book. It was honestly so adorable and cute it just made my day. The sad part is that even though this part was really good, it only lasted the last 30% of the book, and it had me wishing that the whole book was like this.
Overall, I fell in love with the characters (other than Salome really) especially Gareth. I really do think that the ending of this book is so fantastic that I would recommend people to just go through the painful beginning just to read the ending of this amazing book.
I wasn't expecting there to be a sequel to this book, but I am definitely looking forward to reading it once it comes out.