Sunday, February 9, 2014


Centuries ago, on the remote Scandinavian island of Blessed, a viking king is ritually sacrificed in hopes that his death will end a mysterious curse that has been plaguing the land. The curse ended...or did it? Shortly after the king's death, the queen vanishes--only to reappear months later possessing a terrible secret. A secret that would change the island and its people forever.

Flash forward: In the year 2037, investigative reporter Eric Seven visits Blessed hoping to uncover the truth to the claim that the residents of the island have discovered the secret to eternal life. Upon his arrival, he meets Merle, a woman he feels he's known before. As history brutally repeats itself, Eric realizes he has known Merle--in another lifetime. Many other lives, in fact. What follows are seven chapters told in reverse chronological order, summarizing how Eric and Merle's souls have encountered each other again and again throughout the centuries. 

Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick is this year's Printz Award winner. But despite the high honor bestowed upon it, the story is lacking. Chapters are too short to allow for much character development, and the way the plot jumps makes the storyline difficult to follow. What's more, clues linking the stories feel forced and are a little too convenient even for fate. Because of this, readers may have a hard time staying engaged. Lastly, the concept (two souls linked by tragedy doomed to follow each other throughout history) is stale. It's been done many times before: "Reincarnation" by Suzanne Weyn, "Cloud Atlas" by David Mitchell, "The Midnight Club" by Christopher Pike... The list continues.

While mildly entertaining, this one, unfortunately, isn't highly recommended. --AJB

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