Thursday, April 5, 2012

Winterborne by Augusta Blythe

Title: Winterborne
Series: Universe Unbound
Author: Augusta Blythe
Length: 2932 Kindle units
Rating: 4.5 stars

The Plot

Loie Bryce has been best friends with Mia Winterborne since they were born on the same day in the same room nearly seventeen years ago. Mia has always been the special one, and soon she is going to be even more special. Before he disappeared years ago, Mia’s father indicated that the members of his family gained special powers on their seventeenth birthdays. But as the day grows closer, and mysterious figures appear to threaten both Mia and Loie, they have to wonder if being special might not be more trouble than it is worth.

The Good

Winterborne was an excellent book filled with some great characters. I loved the way even the minor characters had depth. I think my favorite character was Mia’s mother Georgia, who, even though her husband had abandoned the family under mysterious circumstances, still managed to keep a career as a lawyer and still find time to make her daughter and her best friend costumes for their parties. Though I must say that naming two characters in the same book George and Georgia was unfortunate planning.

I’m not quite sure whether to put this under the good or the bad, but I’ll go against my usual trend and err on the side of being positive. Some people consider it a good sign when a book or movie makes them cry. My sister rewatches Buffy the Vampire Slayer every few years and looks forward to the end of season five, after which she calls me sobbing to tell me that she would jump off a building to save me too. Me, I prefer not to cry; I don’t really like being sad. But there were parts of Winterborne that had a few tear running down my face because I just felt so bad for Loie. So points for successfully communicating emotional content, but next time I’d like to feel super-happy.

The Bad

Mythologies involving evolution tend to irritate the trained behavioral scientist in me, mostly because I have to suspend my disbelief a little more than I would like. Yes, much as I love the X-Men movies, sometimes they still give me a bit of a nervous tic. So my eyebrows are definitely raised at the concept of certain families of evolved humans with a variety of supernatural powers existing alongside regular humans. And to then find out that a lot of them live in another plane that operates on a different time scale from ours? Oh, and that they are at war with a bunch of ancient fae races? Yeah, my credulity’s stretched a little far at this point. Not enough for me to stop reading, but definitely enough for an occasional “Seriously?”

Also, sometimes I really hate Mia. Though I suspect to some degree I am supposed to.

The Romance
The romance in Winterborne centers around Andreas, the new British boy who has moved to their neighborhood and who may or may not have a connection to the spooooky things going on around Mia and Loie. Since Andreas is cute and has an accent and is basically perfect in every way, both Loie and Mia are attracted to him. Beautiful, confident Mia assumes that he is interested in her, and sidekick Loie also expects that Mia will be the one to gain his affections, though that does not stop her fantasizing about him choosing her. The question, then, is which girl will capture Andreas’s heart? But in order to find out, you will have to read the book. (Or just check back in a few weeks to see my review of Ravenstoke, which will definitely be giving away this piece of intel. But you should buy the book anyway, both because it’s good and because I don’t want Augusta Blythe to hate me.)

Will I read more?

I confess that the first time I started to read Winterborne, I was unimpressed and put it aside. But when I picked it up again, I read through the whole thing quickly and bought Ravenstoke as soon as I finished it. And now here I am putting it on my quick pick list and giving it my heartiest of recommendations.

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