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.
About the Author
M.J. Hearle became addicted to stories at a young age. It was somewhat inevitable that he eventually turned to dealing them himself. Winter's Shadow is his first novel.
How can you love a book so much and hate it so much as well with the same passion all the same time? That's what Winter's Shadow did to me and that means that it was that awesome. I got hooked from start to finish and could hardly put it down. My good friend had to pry me away from it. I won't go into all the details but just what I thought. The premise and plot were great; it was different and nothing that I had expected. I couldn't put my finger on what exactly Blake was. That was pretty good because the blurb on the cover didn't give anything away. I'm not going to compare it with Twilight or any other books out there either. It's irritating that every YA Paranormal Romances simply had to be compared alongside Twilight. C'mon, Twilight had its glorious moments. Move aside and make way for the new!
Back to review. The story had enough of mystery, creepiness and eeriness to arouse the solid and avid bookworm in me. There were many books that do not grip me from the beginning and after a few chapters in, I would simply cast them aside until the time comes when I would pick it up again. Winter's Shadow wasn't one of them. Congratulations, you are enlisted in my Book of Fame. I'm pretty generous with my reviews. *ahem*
Winter is a really beautiful name. I like Winter enough. She's a pretty strong character and nothing at all like Bella. Why would people say that she's like Bella, I have no effing idea. Bella is Bella. Winter is Winter. But, demerit points for her when she ditched Jasmine. Love is the greatest after all. Who can blame her. Blake is swoonworthy and NOT similar to Edward Cullen for pete's sake! There are two different characters. If people keep similarizing (if that's even a word!) beautiful, mysterious, self proclaimed dangerous male leads to Edward "Sparkling" Cullen, I think I would have already given up reading YA Paranormals. As Mr. Hearle has pointed in one of his blog post, all these similarizing traits and relationship angle thingies are simply frameworks with empty canvases. They are foundations and basic tools authors used to start painting the sceneries and transforming them into something of their very own. So, quit comparing this and other books to Twilight. Jeez!
As much as I loved the story and the characters - bonus points for no hate-table characters -, I could fairly predict certain things (can't think of another word for "thing" at the moment) in the novel. I will not hint or reveal what they are here as I do not want to spoil the story for those haven't read it yet. Another thing that bothered me slightly was Winter and Blake's relationship. I felt that their time spent getting to know each other was not long enough to fully convinced me. Maybe I should adjust my logicality mode into paranormal mode. Nothing is normal in books. They are supposed to be unearthly after all. That's what books are for - to me at least.
Other than that, I have no more complains about Winter's Shadow. It is a tender, poignant and touching story that succeeded in invoking painful emotions within me. The ending tore at my heart and I felt like I could literally feel Winter's heartbreak. And that is why I hate this book so much. I hate the ending because I love the story too much to want it to end that way. It is so cruel to leave readers hanging like that. Very cruel indeed Mr. Hearle. *pouts*
I'm craving for the sequel Winter's Light, but have to wait at least a whole freaking year for it to be released. If only I have some tiny hints to what is awaiting me in Winter's Light, I might be a tad comforted over my frustrations on the ending. I just refuse to accept what became of *him*. Arghh!!
She first saw those piercing green eyes, that saw deep into her soul, only minutes before her world came crashing down around her. He was nothing more then a shadow through her camera lens before he became her saviour and she was indebted to him more then she would know.
He spent his life on the run, moving about from place to place, running from those who chased him, running from the danger he possessed. Now, however, he was running out of time, her life was over before she knew it, but he would make it right, or at least he would try to. But you can't out run death.
Winter's Shadow is a love story that takes you through history revealing a past of family betrayal, passion, murder, monsters, magic and love. Blake makes the intimate sacrifice for love and in return Winter has the rest of her very long life to morn his gift. A dark, dangerous and original story of demon's and love that is a brilliant debut novel.
From the cover alone, this book looks a lot like other fantasy novels at the moment. A dramatic cover, a splash of colour against an otherwise dark background. A two-word title, suggesting a dark, fantasy, romantic plot. A very Gothic feel to a Young Adult novel. It blends in with the other vampire, demon, fallen angel type fantasy novels out there on the market at the moment- and this is why I think this book will be let down. It's a very good book, and I enjoyed it for the most part. And Hearle tries hard to keep this Gothic feeling go throughout the book, although I felt it was all rather overdramatic and needless for some parts. If this book had a different cover, then I think it would be more eye-catching.
For the plot and characters themselves, Winter's Shadow is unique. Despite it being a fantasy/supernatural work of fiction, you'll find rather little of it in the novel. The novel builds slowly, and it's not until about 250 pages in that any of the action starts to take place. Blake is part 'demon', though his real status is rather difficult to describe (personally, I was hoping he'd be a ghost). The plot itself is rather easy to guess, and I figured out what was going on once Blake's real position in the world was revealed. Still, it's all dramatic and Hearle wins a couple of brownie points from me by not going down the normal YA path and redeems himself in the end.
One problem I had was the love-at-first sight schtick. I hate it. Looking into someone's eyes for the first time won't make you fall in love, no matter how good looking they are. Infatuation? Sure. But for Winter and Blake, it's more luv (Winter)/I want to eat you (Blake). Love requires getting to know a person beyond how they look.
So, good book, bit of clumsy writing with Winter and Blake's relationship.