Monday, February 4, 2013

Guest Review by Sian Gaetano: Midwinterblood

by Marcus Sedgwick
Roaring Brook Press | 2013

Marcus Sedgwick’s newest YA novel revels in the dark, the devious, and the destined. Through a series of seven connected but wholly individual tales, the story travels from the year 2073 into the past of long-ago times unknown.

The work begins with a young man, Eric Seven, taking an investigative trip to Blessed Island, where it is rumored that the inhabitants live forever. Despite this obviously science-fiction beginning, the story moves and changes to incorporate realistic fiction, fantasy, and horror in the seven different tales of Blessed Island. Within this one novel, a reader will find Romeo-and-Juliet-like love, a thirsty vampire, a reenactment of the Cain and Abel tale, magical potions, historical connections to WW II, and a tormented artist.

The chapters are short and the writing style simple, creating a read that is both inviting and dangerous—the reader will find herself desperately moving forward while the staccato rhythm of the writing brings to mind the pounding of ancient war drums. The constantly shifting protagonists make it difficult to catch your breath but, as it becomes clear how beautifully and intimately they’re connected, you might be able to regain your footing. This is a story of blood, and beauty; of death and destiny; of fear, and (finally) of love.

Read this book. And make sure you set some time aside for it because, once you start, you will not stop until those drums silence.  

REVIEWER BIO: Siân Gaetano is, before all else, a reader. She is currently pursuing an M.A. in Children’s Literature at Simmons College (to be finished in  Summer 2013) and working evenings serving the good people of Boston food and beverage. She was an editorial intern at Charlesbridge for the Fall 2012 semester, and is currently an intern at The Horn Book.

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