February 6, 2013

Midwinterblood - Marcus Sedgwick (+ Giveaway)

Midwinterblood Marcus Sedgwick book cover
Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Publication Date: February 5, 2013
Source/Format: Publisher (Thanks Ksenia!) || ARC
[I received this book from the publisher. This in no way affects the thoughts expressed in my review.]

Seven stories of passion and love separated by centuries but mysteriously intertwined—this is a tale of horror and beauty, tenderness and sacrifice.

An archaeologist who unearths a mysterious artifact, an airman who finds himself far from home, a painter, a ghost, a vampire, and a Viking: the seven stories in this compelling novel all take place on the remote Scandinavian island of Blessed where a curiously powerful plant that resembles a dragon grows. What binds these stories together? What secrets lurk beneath the surface of this idyllic countryside? And what might be powerful enough to break the cycle of midwinterblood? (from Goodreads)

Midwinterblood is definitely… something. As I type out this review, I’m not sure exactly what the right term for this book is. I liked it way more than I expected I would, but I’m still not sure what word it is that would be a definitive description of this novel. With the author’s adept hand at weaving multiple stories together, I found this book to be thought-provoking, slightly eerie and very interesting indeed.

There are seven stories that intertwine in this novel, and the book is cleverly broken up into separate sections for each story. In each story, the situations shift and so do the eras. I thought this was very clever indeed, as it kept my attention focused on the book and intent on finding out what connected these stories together. Plus, it allowed the author to explore different kinds of characters and different situations. This made each story seem full and complete despite their short length.

The stories are told from future to past, which took a bit of getting used to. Once I was adjusted however, I thought it was a very clever way to tell the tale. It made for an interesting thought process as I cycled back through the years the more the book progressed. There’s actually a very good reason for this – although I’m not going to say anything more about it.

Any reader will be able to note the similarities between the stories – the names and the symbols, particularly. Seeing these repeating motifs is slightly eerie, and I felt deeply disturbed how they seemed to keep popping up over and over again. I couldn’t piece together how all these stories were related, until I reached the ending and everything suddenly fell into place. It’s clever, really, how these stories are connected. The author did a great job keeping the circumstances mysterious, while still writing an engaging story.

Midwinterblood certainly had moments that made the hairs at the back of my neck stand up, but it wasn’t creepy to the point where I couldn’t sleep at night. The creepiness factor of this book lies in the feeling that there’s something off about the stories you’re reading, and not being able to figure out what it is until the very end. I thoroughly enjoyed trying to piece it together though, and in the end, that’s the greatest draw of this book: the clever method of telling this story.

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This review was posted as part of the Midwinterblood Blog Tour.
For more info about the tour and the other stops, click here.


  1. I totally agree with you on the creepiness. It wasn't scary, necessarily, it was just a little off kilter. Great review!

  2. The book was definitely cleverly constructed, and the description of things being just slightly "off" is just right. I'm glad you liked it!

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  3. Ooh this does sound intriguing and creepy! I have heard of the author's name but haven't read anything by him - maybe I will start with this!

  4. This book sounds really awesome. I've heard some great things about it. I love when stories intertwine with each other. It makes for a very interesting read!

  5. I've been seeing this book everywhere! Can't wait to read it! I love a subtly creepy book.

  6. This looks like a really good book and it's pretty neat that it consists of seven interrelated stories.

  7. I have never read any other books by Marcus Sedgwick, but after reading this one, I'll be checking out the rest of his back catalogue in the future. This book was well written and each story flowed beautifully. I highly recommend this book if you love thrillers.

    Irene Jennings (Plano Divorce Attorney)


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