Author: Marcus Sedgwick
Publish date: February 5th 2013 by Roaring Brook Press
Source: ARC from the publisher
Have you ever had the feeling that you’ve lived another life? Been somewhere that has felt totally familiar, even though you’ve never been there before, or felt that you know someone well, even though you are meeting them for the first time? It happens. In 2073 on the remote and secretive island of Blessed, where rumour has it that no one ages and no children are born, a visiting journalist, Eric Seven, and a young local woman known as Merle are ritually slain. Their deaths echo a moment ten centuries before, when, in the dark of the moon, a king was slain, tragically torn from his queen. Their souls search to be reunited, and as mother and son, artist and child, forbidden lovers, victims of a vampire they come close to finding what they’ve lost. In a novel comprising seven parts, each influenced by a moon – the flower moon, the harvest moon, the hunter’s moon, the blood moon – this is the story of Eric and Merle whose souls have been searching for each other since their untimely parting.
“You’re moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You’ve just crossed over into…”
The island of Blessed.
At least, that was how I felt while reading Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick. It felt like I was reading something out of The Twilight Zone. I couldn’t get the do-do-do-do theme song of The Twilight out of my head while reading.
And that’s totally in Midwinterblood‘s favor because it comes off as super eerie.
It’s sort of a book of short stories, because Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick consists of seven different stories, with new characters and plot lines for each one. They each have a creepy note to them.
Unlike your typical book of short stories, however, they are tied together through small, but concrete things: people with some variation on two names. A phrase. A plant. A few other small symbols.
And most importantly, they all take place on the island of Blessed, this island that we know from the start of the first story as “mysterious.”
While there are some bits I still found confusing (like the opening paragraphs of the book), this book was satisfying. It was just eerie enough to be interesting, but not so much that I jumped at small noises. And as we move through the stories, we find more and more to tie them together.
And, thankfully, Sedgwick wraps it up to reveal to us how they’re all tied together, for which I was SO GRATEFUL. I think I’d have driven myself crazy if I continued to try to puzzle it out.
To sum up: If you want eerie and mysterious but not outright SCARY, Midwinterblood is a solid choice.
Be sure to check back February 12, when I’ll be hosting a stop on the Midwinterblood blog tour!