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Had A Few Issues With The Story
on 17 February 2012
Winterling reminded me of The Chronicles of Narnia (not the movie tie-ins) or Faerie Wars, but in a very simplified way: a portal between worlds, children having to save the day, and an array of fantasy creatures with supernatural abilities. The storyline did not, however, have the same depth, and it's a real shame because I liked the premise.
I enjoy reading YA Fantasy, which is why I chose this book....and when I read the prologue, I thought it was a great beginning, but the first two chapters were an incredibly slow build-up that almost put me off the story completely. I refuse to review a book that I haven't read in full (all of it, every detail - not just "skimming" through), and I had an obligation to review this book, so I continued reading to the end. I'm glad I did because the story definitely improves from the third chapter onwards, but those first couple of chapters could be deal-breakers for some casual readers, especially when it comes to young readers who might get discouraged or bored.
The story was revealed by the dual POVs from Fer, the girl with ties to both sides of The Way, and Rook, a supernatural creature called a Puck, but I thought the character Puck could have been a little more developed. I'm assuming, based on the ending, that there will be a sequel (if not, the ending was too abrupt for a stand-alone, in my opinion)...in which case, I'm hoping we will learn more about the world and the creatures from the other side of The Way. For as much time as Fer was there, not much was revealed about the other world.
***possible spoiler alert***
I need the author to clarify this for me, but the ages of Fer's parents were an issue for me. I understand that time moves differently between the two worlds, and, at first, I assumed that Fer's parents must have aged to adulthood in the other world, before having Fer. However, her father left a note, shown on pg 33 that says, in reference to Fer's mother, "she's just a girl, too, just like any girl," and in the same note, "Take care of our baby." It's very disturbing to think that Fer's parents were basically kids who had a baby, especially in a YA novel.
I think that some fans of YA fantasy might like this book, but I don't think I will be recommending it to anyone.