Title: Winter, White and Wicked
Author: Shannon Dittemore
Publisher: Abrahams Books
Release date: October 13th, 2020
Page count: 384
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Book links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository | Indigo
Mad Max: Fury Road meets Frozen in this striking YA fantasy about a rig driver’s journey to save her friend
Twice-orphaned Sylvi has chipped out a niche for herself on Layce, an island cursed by eternal winter. Alone in her truck, she takes comfort in two things: the solitude of the roads and the favor of Winter, an icy spirit who has protected her since she was a child.
Sylvi likes the road, where no one asks who her parents were or what she thinks of the rebels in the north. But when her best friend, Lenore, runs off with the rebels, Sylvi must make a haul too late in the season for a smuggler she wouldn’t normally work with, the infamous Mars Dresden. Alongside his team—Hyla, a giant warrior woman and Kyn, a boy with skin like stone—Sylvi will do whatever it takes to save her friend.
But when the time comes, she’ll have to choose: safety, anonymity, and the favor of Winter—or the future of the island that she calls home.
First of all, thank you so much to ABRAHAMs Books and TBR and Beyond Tours for providing me an eARC of this book in exchange of an honest review and the chance to be part of this blog tour. As always, all thoughts stated are my own. You can find the full tour schedule here.
The worldbuilding of this book is definitely very unique. Sylvi, the main character, lives in an island with a very messed up political system and rules. There’s a dystopian vibe, with all the monsters and strange beings that appear throughout the story. But what makes this book stand out from others is the presence of Winter, the season-turned-spirit that talks to Sylvi in the story. Their interactions were something very interesting to read.
One of the things I enjoyed the most about this book is the author’s writing style. Dittemore’s writing is beautiful and inmersive, her prose
Winter White and Wicked is full of action. There are many fight scenes and you barely get time to process what’s happening. Though I like action-packed books, I think the author should have given the reader a little more time to adjust to this original and very unique worldbuilding, to familiarize with the characters and terminology, before diving into the action. It can get a bit confusing because you’re just thrown into lots of fights and dramatic scenes right away.
Sadly, Sylvi wasn’t a character I could connect with. I think there’s a lack of emotion in the way she was developed, she was missing this fire and determination I’m used to see in female protagonists, especially in fantasy. Despite feeling that I didn’t get to know and understand her as I wanted to, I believe her character has the potential to be better and more complex in a sequel.
With vivid descriptions of a very messed up world, rebels, alliances and battles included, I think this book could be categorized as Dystopian, and it’s amazing to see authors bringing the genre back with a more complex twist. Winter White and Wicked is such an original piece of work, where the Winter has a voice of its own and the cold is more unforgiving than we anticipate. Dittemore did an amazing job at building a scary and icy world where some legends might be true after all…
“Kindness does not make me weak. It allows others to be strong as well.”
“That’s how I first heard Winter. Her words fell lightly into my head as I lay there, soft and enchanting like the snow gathering just outside on the ground.”
“We’d freeze to death if we stood still long enough to figure out where we’ve been.”
“The rebels need you.”
“There is no yesterday , they say, only a thousand tomorrows.”
“She dreamed aloud of boarding a ship and sailing away from Layce to a land where the skies were always blue and the unveiled sun turned faces warmed and brown.”
“Look,” Shyne says. “Why?” I ask, his exhaustion the catching kind. “Because it happened. Because looking the past in the eye is the respectful thing to do.”
“A voice slips through the crack in the pane, tugging curls from my snarled white braids. COME OUT AND PLAY, she says.”
Shannon Dittemore is a young adult author, conference speaker, and mentor. Her books include the Angel Eyes novels (Thomas Nelson Fiction) and the forthcoming Winter, White and Wicked, to be published by Abrams Books in the fall of 2020. Since 2013, Shannon has taught mentoring tracks at a local school where she provides junior high and high school students with an introduction to writing and the publishing industry. She writes weekly for Go Teen Writers, a blog recognized by Writer’s Digest three years running as a “101 Best Websites for Writers” selection. Shannon’s stories often feature strong female leads grappling with fear and faith as they venture into the wilds of the unknown. In many ways, she’s writing her own life story.
Find Shannon in her website, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads and Facebook.