Friday, September 7, 2012

Review: The Dead of Winter - Chris Priestley

The Dead of Winter by Chris Priestley
Genre: YA, historical fiction, mystery, supernatural
Published on January 31, 2012
Published by Bloomsbury
Pages: 218
Read From: 8.5.12 - 8.6.12

Cover Blurb: It’s properly creepy, with the skull buried in the snow and the bold title font.

What I Liked: I have nothing negative to say about this story. It scared me, I love the writing style, and the characters, and the time period, and how isolated it feels. It reminded me of Edgar Allen Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher. I kept picturing Michael’s guardian, Sir Stephen, looking like Vincent Price.

What I Disliked: Nothing.

Believability: Not really applicable. The time period is ideal, and the dialogue feels authentic, as well as the narration voice.

Writing Style: This books is getting a 5-star rating largely because of the writing style and the fact that it actually scared me to the point that I slept with my light on. The writing style fits the time period exact; it very much echoes Edgar Allen Poe and the classic Gothic novel. The minimum dialogue lent to the feel of a Poe-esque short story. The story has the perfect isolated tone, the chilling “what’s around the corner” feel, and I could clearly hear Michael narrating the story as a young man, looking back on his childhood.

Content: None.

Conclusion: I absolutely loved the ending; it’s very Poe-esque. I was pleased that the story’s twist involved the psychological instability of one of the characters, and the supernatural element was merely the “messenger” that warns Michael of what’s going on.

Recommended Audience: Edgar Allen Poe fans will eat this up. It’s a guy-and-girl read, and though there’s nothing in it, I would definitely say that this is for an older audience simply because of the scariness factor. It will make you afraid to sleep without a light on, and the slightest noise in the middle of the night will wake you up.

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