Thursday, April 10, 2014
Midwinterblood gets 4.5 Stars
Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick is the 2014 Printz Award Book. That means it was the best Young Adult (YA) book for the year, and I very much say it is a fabulous YA book meant for YA's. I would really say high school students and above would be best suited to grasp the complexity of this novel.
I read the book b/c it won the Printz; though to be completely honest I wasn't excited to read it. Sedgwick had won a Printz Honor book for Revolver, and Revolver was an interesting story that surprised me but didn't leave me with a wow that I would want to recommend to everyone. Since I wasn't Wowed by Revolver I wasn't looking forward to another Sedgwick book. However, that was a completely unfair mindset I had.
Personally, I give Midwinterblood 4.5 out of 5 Stars. It is a well written absolutely fascinating story. It is a clean read which I thoroughly appreciate, and it has left an impression on me to the point that I I keep thinking about it. This story is part love, part mystery, part folk tale, part horror, and all completely dark and intriguing. It really is an odd book with an oddly fascinating story.
The only reason Midwinterblood lost 1/2 a point is due to the fact that it didn't leave me with a WOW and a desire to recommend this book to anyone and everyone. I think many many people will find this book as fascinating and interesting as I did, but I don't think the dark and mysterious story is for everyone.
The story is told as seven short stories inter-related; the stories begin in July of 2073 and go in reverse chronological order until ancient times. Each story takes place on an isolated northern island named Blessed that has quite the history.
Eric and Merle are the main characters that show up in all seven stories, and all the stories weave the beautifully complicated story together. I really appreciate how well written this story is. Sedgwick masterfully immerses you into the book and the story with his writing.
In each and every short story I found myself wanting more. I very much wish Sedgwick would have written just a teeny tiny bit more, but I completely realize and understand why he did not. Sedgwick purposely left the reader wanting more to keep this story dark, mysterious, intriguing, and absolutely fascinating.
Amazon had the following book review from Booklist:
" In the year 2073, a reporter named Eric is sent to Blessed Island to research a rare flower called the Dragon Orchid. There he finds an insular community of mysterious villagers, a delicious tea that has him losing days at a time, and a beguiling girl named Merle. In just 50 pages, we reach a shattering conclusion—and then start anew in 2011. An archaeologist is digging on Blessed Island, where he meets a quiet boy named Eric and his mother, Merle. So begins this graceful, confounding, and stirring seven-part suite about two characters whose identities shift as they are reborn throughout the ages. Sedgwick tells the story in reverse, introducing us to a stranded WWII pilot, a painter trying to resurrect his career in 1901, two children being told a ghost story in 1848, and more, all the way back to a king and queen in a Time Unknown. It is a wildly chancy gambit with little in the way of a solid throughline, but Sedgwick handles each story with such stylistic control that interest is not just renewed each time but intensified. Part love story, part mystery, part horror, this is as much about the twisting hand of fate as it is about the mutability of folktales. Its strange spell will capture you. Grades 9-12. --Daniel Kraus"
Happy reading! As always, I love to hear your thoughts.