THE BOOK: The Winter People
AUTHOR: Rebekah L. Purdy
THE GENRE: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance, Fantasy
AUTHOR WEBSITE: http://rebekahlpurdy.wordpress.com/
“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, he takes Salome’s 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.”
The Winter People Review
For those readers with an unquenchable thirst for more paranormal romance with a side of fairy tale, you need look no further than The Winter People. Right from the start, the mysterious atmosphere of the story urges you to keep reading, to discover the secret world just beyond the gate; a mystery seemingly entrenched in winter.
The Winter People begins when Salome, just 6 years old, falls through a patch of ice due to the murderous whisperings of a terrible woman who wants the child dead. But Salome is not alone and other unknowable figures witness her fall, one jumping into the icy depths to save her. Eleven years later, Salome fears everything about winter. She remembers the voices after all. She knows danger lurks in the shadows. But then her grandparents take off for Arizona and Salome must take care of the house in their stead, her lifetime mystery beginning to unravel in the process.
Soon, she meets Nevin, the only one who gets her madness. She even goes on her first date with her longtime childhood crush Colton. Life gets even more complicated, however, when Gareth arrives to save her from danger, a danger that becomes ever more present as she reaches the age of 18. Someone or something is after her, but who and why?
As these questions are asked and the mythology begins to fall into place, a love quadrangle also ensues, but don’t worry it’s not as irritating as it sounds. It all makes sense. I promise. Indeed, at first I had no idea who to root for until about halfway through. Colton? Gareth? Nevin? Needless to say, if you love romance and adventure, the developments and surprises are well worth checking this book out. You don’t even have to wait for a sequel to get to the ending!
Aside from the romance, the characterizations of the main characters are also worth noting, particularly Salome. While some may be turned off by the damsel in distress essence to the character, I urge you to look deeper. In this day of “strong” and kick butt female characters, it is difficult to discover one who suffers from severe anxiety. This is a character that is deeply afraid. That is one of her flaws. She doesn’t bravely run into the woods where danger lurks. Sometimes, she just has anxiety attacks. Sometimes, Salome just gets to be human and I find that refreshing. Yes, she needs rescuing at times but that’s okay, because Salome’s struggle is about overcoming that fear, a journey I truly felt invested in.
Overall, The Winter People is an enjoyable and romantic read. However, there are a couple of shortcomings. Because this is such a clean, romantic story, I did find a few of the curse words jarring and out of place. They didn’t come across as natural, rather an attempt to seem natural. Furthermore, there were a couple of side characters that needed just a little richer development. Without spoiling anything by saying who, there was one character that I mainly wanted to understand why he behaved in such a manner. I wanted to know more of who he was. Still, these are nitpicks and don’t set this novel back much at all. If you love fairy tales or novels like Twilight, go read The Winter People, you won’t be disappointed.
This would work best as a two part TV mini-series, much in the same realm as Merlin (the one with Sam Neil), Labyrinth (not the old film), and the 10th Kingdom. All the extra time would serve the rich mythology of the book well. I would love to see, for instance, The CW attempt to do an original mini-series for this kind of genre. It would be right up their alley.
“You had me at hello.”
“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My
feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me
to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”
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