Thursday, March 6, 2014

Midwinterblood: A review

Author: Marcus Sedgwick
Info: Indigo, copyright 2011, 272 pages
Printz Award Winner

Hub Challenge Read - #hubchallenge

A review in 10 words (or thereabouts): A book with just about everything (especially things that don't really go together).  Vampires, vikings, and a "love" affair that spans centuries.

Have you ever had the feeling that you've lived another life? Been somewhere that has felt totally familiar, even though you've never been there before, or felt that you know someone well, even though you are meeting them for the first time? It happens. In 2073 on the remote and secretive island of Blessed, where rumour has it that no one ages and no children are born, a visiting journalist, Eric Seven, and a young local woman known as Merle are ritually slain. Their deaths echo a moment ten centuries before, when, in the dark of the moon, a king was slain, tragically torn from his queen. Their souls search to be reunited, and as mother and son, artist and child, forbidden lovers, victims of a vampire they come close to finding what they've lost. In a novel comprising seven parts, each influenced by a moon - the flower moon, the harvest moon, the hunter's moon, the blood moon - this is the story of Eric and Merle whose souls have been searching for each other since their untimely parting.

~Goodreads Description~

Moral of the story...stay away from Blest Island.  Stay away from crazy tea offering elderly men.  Stay away from dragon flowers.  Stay away from vikings and their dooming sacrifices.  Just stay away.

The Awesome
Sedgwick doesn't a pretty awesome job creating atmosphere.  Every chapter (super short chapters by the way) take you right to the edge.  He creates a dark and foreboding mood that leaves you wondering what in the world is happening and worrying whether or not these strange characters that you really don't have a chance to get to know will survive whatever is about to come there way.  (Long sentence...sorry :)

The Not So Awesome
The setup of the story is awkward.  you get glimpses of lives that you never get to understand.  There is a supposedly epic love story going on, but you never feel this heartwrenching love.  You never really get a picture of why these two people who live life after life for the hope of being together again.  And then there are the vampires.  Reincarnation is one thing...I can maybe suspend disbelief and by the idea that some wicked viking sacrifice caused this traumatic, dramatic story...but vampires?  Really?

I can't help to think that Sedgwick was trying to do something epic here.  He just fell short.  The short chapters keep the story moving...and there is that rather cool mood thing going on, but overall, not my favorite story ever.  I do like archaeologists though.  There really aren't enough archaeologists in teen literature.

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