“Out here, I can feel the dead in the trees. The Lost People rustle the leaves, muddy the shafts of light, through the branches, whisper in my ear. They creep dusty fingers along my neck, tug at my braid, pull strands from my plait to tickle my face.
Or mayhap its the wind”
Emmeline lives in a settlement within a woods. The fortification keeps her and the other townsfolk safe from the dangers that lurk outside. For five generations the people have lived there, hoping that they can make a life for themselves and keep their families safe from the malmaci. The townsfolk are expected to stay within the settlement if they want to live, to only go out for gathering plants and roots for healing, or hunting for animals on the edge of the woods. But Emmeline hears whispering in the woods, and that whispering is pulling her further out. Inside the safety of the wall she is being watched, expected to array a man she doesn’t love and falling for a boy she can’t have Emmeline wants to explore, wants to get away from the confinement. But outside that wall lies the evil, and the freezing winterkill is almost upon on.
This book is going to be compared to the movie, The Village, by anyone who reads it or its blurb. It will happen and I’m fairly sure both the author and the publisher knows it. However, it was good on its own merits, with its own story and a great set of characters it was an interesting, good read and I really enjoyed it.
The story follows Emmeline, a cripple who is viewed as being ‘Stained’ because of her bad foot and the fact her grandmother was cast out of the settlement for propositioning a married man. Emmeline is so set on everyone being against her that she doesn’t realise how many real friends she has and is very lonely early on in the book which made me sad. She thinks anyone who shows an interest is after her as a joke rather than genuinely interested in her and that works well for the rest of the story when it comes to Brother Stockham and Kane. There is a major love story element to this book but its more about the town and its secrets, and Emmeline’s dreams than anything else. There is a lot of mystery and a bit of a creepy story running through the book. Its also about survival and the idea that the freezing months are upon the town so Emmeline must move fast.
I loved the mystery and creepiness of the story. Emmeline was an interesting character because she was strong and determined, despite being so lonely that she didn’t know what was good for her. I enjoyed her friendship with Tom and especially that with Andre and the healer who’s craft she was learning. I felt like they knew more than they were letting on and I was happy to find out more about goings on in their earlier life as it made things they said make more sense.
The writing was difficult to get used to at first and for around 60/70 pages I struggled with the use of different words for stuff and the use of french within the English. However once I was emerged more into the story this became less of a problem and I enjoyed that it left things for me to work out as Emmeline was doing.
I did really enjoy Winterkill. It was an interesting story with good charatcers, it feel a little short as the bringing was low going but the end more than made up for it, especially as it developed its own story and I stopped seeing The Village in it. All the way to the end it kept me on my toes and Iw as dying to find out what would happen next and I was happy with what did. When I finished I didn’t know there would be a sequel but thought that it would be good if there was an a little digging has allowed me to discover that there will be. I can see which storyline will be followed but knowing the twists and turns in this one I can image there will be a lot of mystery regarding what will happen once that storyline begins – and I can’t wait!
Winterkill was published on Septmber 4th by Faber and Faber. My copy was sent to me from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
To buy Winterkill or to find out more please visit: