Monday, June 13, 2011

Review: Winter's Shadow by M. J. Hearle

Winter's Shadow by M. J. Hearle
Series: Winter's Shadow (#1)

Pages: 432
Publisher: PanMacmillan Australia
Published: June 1st, 2011
IBSN: 9780330404471

Blake Duchamp...

He's all that Winter Adams can think of. Ever since their fateful meeting at Pilgrim's Lament. Ever since he looked at her with those emerald eyes. Ever since he saved her life.

But Blake isn't all that he seems. There is a strangeness about him, something dark and otherworldly. Something dangerous. In his attic is a secret he would kill to defend, but Winter seems to have a special ability to make him forget his duty. And he is her only protection against the gathering darkness.
The only problem is, to protect Winter, Blake must risk exposing her to an even greater danger. Himself.

Winter's Shadow is welcome new edition to the paranormal scene. The supernatural aspect is unique and stand-out, unprecedented in a way that makes trying to guess what comes next extremely difficult. Immediately there was one great thing about it: unpredictability.

Though the book follows the apparently-not-so-normal-girl-is-dropped-onto-paranormal-scene, the way Winter finds out about Blake's world and the pace at which information is revealed is suspenseful. We're learning new things alongside Winter right until the very end of the book.

If there was a flaw in Winter's Shadow, however, it'd be the detached narration. The over-done writing style had a formality that isn't naturally to a typical teenager's narration. For some characters, that style could have been appropriate, but it didn't help make Winter a character that you feel as though you know. 

The tone of the novel was constantly foreshadowing and spooky, reaching an eerie calm at the end of the book once things have settled that still doesn't entirely hint at this being the true ending. I really do look forward to seeing where the author takes us in the sequel he's currently writing.

Topped with a dramatic twist at the ending, Winter's Shadow was an engaging and interesting debut from an Australian author to keep an eye on.

I give Winter's Shadow a 4 out of 5.