Author: Rebekah L. Purdy
Source: Entangled Teen
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Release Date: September 2, 2014
Reviewed by: Jasmyn
An engrossing, complex, romantic fantasy perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore or Maggie Stiefvater, set in a wholly unique world.
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, his interactions with Salome take her 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.
I was a little lost at the beginning of this book - I'm sure I felt the same way Salome felt when she saw the strange figures and heard the voices. I had no idea what was going on. Slowly several boys make their way into her life and you begin to wonder which ones she should really trust. You know they can't all be nice guys - there has to be a bad guy after all.
Salome's problem seems to be that winter (the season) hates her. She's terrified of anything that has to do with the season - snow, cold, ice, etc. Every winter it seems to get worse. She has episodes where she swears she sees figures and glowing eyes in the woods and voices all around her. This winter it has been much worse. She is being attacked and she doesn't understand why - and the people that do know why aren't able to speak of it.
The story has a mystery wrapped up in it as Salome tries to figure out the three boys in her life - Colton, Gareth, and Nevin. I kept going back and forth with all of them trying to decide which one was the good one. All three were well written and Purdy did a good job of keeping the mystery alive for a very long time without making it tiresome.
There is a lot of magic at play as well, but it is very subtle and plays around in the background of the story for the most part. Towards the end it becomes much more prevalent, but since we've been toying with the idea of it for most of the book - it doesn't come as a shock to see it. I really enjoyed this story - I wish I had known a bit more near the beginning so that I hadn't felt so lost as a reader though.