“To truly live. No matter what that looked like.”
Janna has lived her entire live trying to find moments to escape the confines of her close minded village, especially in the last year when she’s been grieving. Only in the woods and under the stars does she feel free and at ease. But when the sky turns read warning the people of Skane that there’s a plague coming, Janna is forced to flee her village when fin fear they turn against her to try and save themselves..
I read and reviewed Lueddecke’s first book, A Shiver of Snow and Sky, set in the same world, about a year ago. I really enjoyed it, and was delighted to find out there was another book coming! I read this this week, during cold weather and I loved it. It’s a very atmospheric book and you really feel the cold as you travel with the main characters through this rough and icy landscape that is Skane. This world is something I really like, because it feels so real and has such an unique character of its own, while it all still feels familiar. The emotions are universal but the world itself is so strange and magical and cool, but subtly so.
What I love most about these books and the world it’s set in is the creepy, creepy monsters it holds. They’re not often that physically impressive, but they’re very creepy in terms of the emotion they conjure up. Like, they feels so incredibly wrong, at times, and they’re pretty inventive. There’s one in the middle that I really liked, but I won’t say anything because this is a spoiler free blog, but that was a good monster.
But what I really loved was the ending. It ends in such a way I really didn’t expect, and something that really doesn’t happen often in books, especially not YA, because it’s maybe a little too gruesome, but it fit the story perfectly and I loved it so much.
The only thing I thought wasn’t so great was the endless repetition of talking about the same feelings and observations. I felt like a lot of inner dialogue of the MC could have been scrapped, of those ‘in-between’ times when there was no action happening, nor any dialogue. The whole book just should have been somewhat shorter.
It was said that this book was not a sequel or a prequel to A Shiver of Snow and Sky, which is technically true, you can read both books as standalones. But, I have to say, in reality the story is chronologically a prequel, but I feel you understand the world it’s set in better if you read Lueddecke’s first book before you read this one.
Also in comparison with the first one it’s a lot slower, quieter, dealing more with thoughts and feelings than with punchy action like the first one had. So don’t read it expecting the same kind of story, it’s set in the same world but it’s much less action-y.
Another super atmospheric book by Lueddecke, set in the same unforgiving, icy cold and decidedly creepy world of Skane.