Sunday, December 18, 2011

Winter's Shadow by M.J. Hearle

Release Date: 1st June, 2011

Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia

Pages: 432pgs

The Story

Blake Duchamp . . .

He's all that Winter Adam can think of. Ever since their fateful meeting at Pilgrim's Lament. Ever since he looked at her with those emerald eyes. Ever since he saved her life.

But Blake isn't all that he seems. There is a strangeness about him, something dark and otherworldly. Something dangerous. In his attic is a secret he would kill to defend, but Winter seems to have a special ability to make him forget his duty. And he is her only protection against the darkness.

The only problem is, to protect Winter, Blake must risk exposing her to an even greater danger. Himself.

The Review

I was a bit reluctant in reading this book because of the cliches within its summary storyline. You know how it goes . . . Girl meets boy. Boy hides secret. Girl is determined to find out that secret. But then the secret is found out and trouble follows. Then the boy tries to stay away from girl for no good reason. But then the girl can't seem to stay away from that boy. So then the boy decides he needs to save the girl. And well . . . I guess you get the point from here. So when my mother bought this book for me on a whim and thought I might be interested in giving it a go, I read it and surprisingly . . . I kind of loved it. A lot in fact.

Winter Adams is a teenage girl whose life has recently changed after the death of her parents, but nothing is stranger than her mere encounter with Blake Duchamp. But unlike most boys she knows, this mysterious but handsome stranger, Blake, hides a very dark secret and despite his attempts in staying away from Winter, he can't seem to do it and so comes many dire consequences in them spending time together.

First of all, I love the name Winter. And secondly, wow what an amazing concept. WINTER'S SHADOW is such an interesting, unique and a dark Gothic-like storyline and it surprised me in many ways that I thought weren't possible. Some may say the story was predictable - and in some cases yes it was at times - but it's not about predictably here, it's about the creativeness and development which I found M.J. Hearle did an amazing job at. The story itself ran very smoothly across three perspectives that the story was told in - Winter's, Blake's and Madeleine's - and with the novel set up against the backdrop of an abandoned house, hidden amongst the mountains and trees, I'm quite glad to have had the opportunity to read this novel and I wished I didn't doubt it.

Blake on the other hand was my favourite character in the book. As well as Winter of course. Their interactions with one another didn't distract me from the initial storyline - not even the quickly-formed romance shared between the two of them. But once you learn the secrets of Blake and even Winter's, it was an interesting turn point for the book and I loved every moment of it. Unfortunately I won't give anything away because I want you all to go out and pick this book up, and to enjoy it for yourself. But be warned there is a cliffhanger - what book doesn't have one - and I have to say there's was nothing predictable about it, so it'll be interesting how the author writes out the sequel . . . there are so many directions he could go in.

Overall I thought WINTER'S SHADOW was a fantastic debut novel for M.J. Hearle. With a new and refreshing storyline, and with mystical beings entangled into the threads of this paranormal read, readers will thoroughly enjoy this book as much as I did and I'll be looking forward to the next book in this YA series.

The Rating

4/5 stars


  1. I agree that this does sound like your typical YA book, but I'm so glad that you ended up loving it. I have to say that the cover is gorgeous and the concept does sound really good. Thanks for the review. :D

  2. This book sounds fantastic! But it's not published in the US yet, so I am very disappointed. Thanks for the review. Can't wait to be able to read it.

  3. Glad this was better than you expected it to be! I think I would have felt the same way to start, but it's nice that you enjoyed it. I really love the name Winter too! Definitely putting this one on my to-read list - great review! :).

  4. So glad you enjoyed this book! And yes Blake and WInter were my fave. I heard this is going to be a movie but not sure yet. Great review Erin!


  5. I am so glad your mum bought this for you, Erin! I felt the same way as you and I loved the suspense and mythology. So refreshing compared to most paranormal we're used to these days. I cannot wait to see what M.J Hearle has in store for us with Winter's Light, which thankfully isn't tooooo long away :) Awesome review!

  6. Great review, Erin. I haven't read this book yet but it sounds really interesting.

    I'm new to your blog! Thanks for visiting mine. :)
    A lot of your favorite books are some of mine, too. :)

  7. Hi Erin,
    Thanks for the great review. I'm thrilled you enjoyed my book so much. Rest assured the sequel, Winter's Light, strikes out in much more original territory. I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts in May.

    M. J.


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