Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Review: Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick (ARC)

Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick
Roaring Book Press (an imprint of Macmilllan), 272 Pages
Expected US Release Date: February 5, 2013
Format: Print ARC
Source: from publisher, for review (thanks Ksenia!)

Seven stories of passion and love separated by centuries but mysteriously intertwined—this is a tale of horror and beauty, tenderness and sacrifice.

An archaeologist who unearths a mysterious artifact, an airman who finds himself far from home, a painter, a ghost, a vampire, and a Viking: the seven stories in this compelling novel all take place on the remote Scandinavian island of Blessed where a curiously powerful plant that resembles a dragon grows. What binds these stories together? What secrets lurk beneath the surface of this idyllic countryside? And what might be powerful enough to break the cycle of midwinterblood? From award-winning author Marcus Sedgwick comes a book about passion and preservation and ultimately an exploration of the bounds of love.
------------Goodreads summary
Notable Quote
Eric thinks about his life, something he usually avoids, because it has not always been an easy one. He wonders if a few moments of utter and total joy can be worth a lifetime of struggle.
Maybe, he thinks. Maybe, if they're the right moments.
I wasn't sure what to expect when I went into this book. The blurb is intriguing, and the book trailer even more so. I had some ideas, and I kind of like the idea of multiple stories intertwining into one larger one. I love movies that are like that (Love, Actually anyone?), so I figured a book could be fun, too! There were so many questions, too: what is this plant? How are all these stories related? Is this like reincarnation, or karma? No idea!

Now, after reading it...I'm still a little confused, and a whole lot puzzled, and I can't answer if someone were to ask me what to expect heading into this book.

Even weirder? I dont think that's really a bad thing.

Midwinterblood is captivating in a way I can't really pin down or explain why. The stories are simple and a bit ethereal. I really enjoyed the time period of each one, and I felt very much involved in the story while I was reading. As expected, there were some I enjoyed much more than others; and some I'm still a little puzzled by. But as a whole, they work really well together.

I also enjoyed getting to piece together the arching storyline, figuring out what the little details of a previous story really mean. It makes you really remember and consider all the stories, and there's a fantastic sense of "oh!" as everything falls into place. There are a few things I'm still a little unsure if they were resolved, and some of the things I think I put together could be entirely misguided - but that's kind of the fun of it. This story is given to us, and we get to make it make sense.

Even though there was a lot I liked about reading this, there's still something that's very...dull to me. I didn't really attach to any of the characters, or the love between Eric and Merle. Perhaps because it was shown in so many different ways that I couldn't really find something for me to really fall in love with myself. While I believed in the love that could transcend lifetimes and moons, I still wasn't really convinced of its power. The stories are nice, but nothing absolutely blew me away.

I'm also not entirely sure of the function of this dragon plant. I mean...ok, that was the wrong way to put it. I do get it - I just don't think it's as important as it's painted to be. I get how it influences the characters or scenes, but I actually don't think it to be a big part. This story could exist without it, in my opinion, and it bothered me that it was supposed to be the link between everything. I understand how it is, I just wasn't impressed with it. Truthfully, I didn't even figure out what it did/functions as until after I finished the entire book and thought about it more. I read it, I processed it, but it just slipped through for me.

Even though there are some elements that fell flat to me, I'm still glad to have witnessed Eric and Merle's story. Midwinterblood is a great book about the endurance of love and the many manifests it can take.

3.5 Stars / 5


  1. Alexa S.January 23, 2013 at 8:02 AM

    I'm reading this one soon, and it still intrigues me. I'm glad you liked the way it was written! Curious to see how it's all connected.

  2. Kimberly @ Caffeinated ReviewerFebruary 24, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    Ok, you have me seriously curious about this, and the fact that you enjoyed each time period and felt it was well sounds unique!


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