{Review} Dark Solstice by Lauren Sweet

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FicCentral received a free copy of this book from Bewitching Book Tours.
{Review} Dark Solstice by Lauren SweetDark Solstice by Lauren Sweet
Series: Bitter Snow #2
December 21, 2013
Genre(s): Paranormal (YA)
Pages: 100

Our Rating

4.5 Stars
“We are the rulers of Midwinter. In the most powerful cold of the winter, in the deepest dark of the year, we hold sway, and all of your hearth fires cannot stand against us. We are the winds that howl down the chimneys and extinguish your candles. We are the northern lights and the hungry wolves; the bitter crack of ice and the killing frost. The raging blizzard and the deep, soft, final sleep of those lost forever in the snow.”
Bitter Snow is a modern retelling of the fairy tale “The Snow Queen,” in nine novellas about a girl’s quest to save her childhood friend from the evil Snow Queen, through her courage, determination, and the strength of her love for him.
***

On St. Nicholas’s Eve, the festival of Bellsnichol, Gilly Breslin opened her door to an ancient evil. A demon queen who’s slowly destroying Gilly’s best friend Kai—the only guy she’s ever loved.

But it’s not just Kai. Every guy who falls in love with the Snow Queen turns evil—and every guy who sees her falls in love with her.
Gilly’s only hope is to enlist the secret guardians of Bremerton, who may hold the key to banishing the Snow Queen and her minions. But with the town erupting in violence and the demons’ power increasing as the winter nights grow longer, she’s in a race against time to stop them before it’s too late.


ReasonsToReadIt was either a wild party or an attack by an evil goddess.  Gilly doesn’t know which.  What she does know, though, is that her house was trashed, her best friend/crush has suddenly lost all interest in her, and very strange things are happening in her town.  It’s as if some evil force took up residence the night of Bellsnichol.  Exactly.

In this modern retelling of The Snow Queen, a mysterious and dangerous girl has tricked her way into Gilly’s home, gaining her entrance into the small town of Bremerton.  But she’s not just a girl, and joining the ranks of high school students, where the boys clamor to bask in her beauty makes her stand out even more — at least to Gilly.  No one else, it seems, can see the evil radiating off her.

The stories said that the Snow Queen seduced young men and whisked them off to her castle at the North Pole.  Obviously she wasn’t doing that at the moment — she was still here in Bremerton.  Enrolled in high school.  That was the part I couldn’t get my head around.  Why would an evil goddess go to high school?

The more she sees the strange “girl” and her oddly robotic but beautiful “brothers,” Gilly knows something isn’t right.  And the more she sees, the more she remembers of the night that until now seemed to have escaped her memory.  Fortune (and maybe plain old dumb luck) takes Gilly to Niko’s house, where she learns that she’s not the only one who knows something terrible is happening.  Niko and his grandfather are well acquainted with the dark fairy tales that seem to be coming to life in Bremerton, and maybe with their help she’ll be able to save her best friend Kai from the clutches of winter.

div ButWell, you know from my previous reviews that I’m not a fan of the serial novella format.  Just when I started really getting into the story, the closing credits rolled, and now I have to find something else to keep me occupied until the next one in the series is available.
div TheVerdictI honestly didn’t know whether I’d like the book or hate it.  I have a tough time getting into stories that deal with the supernatural and paranormal, generally because so many of them are so entirely unoriginal that I quickly become bored.  However this story really surprised me!

While the supernatural seemed to turn up at every corner, Dark Solstice introduced each new aspect perfectly.  I didn’t feel like I’d been thrown into a world filled with magic that I couldn’t understand.  Rather, I was right there in Gilly’s mind, seeing strange events and wondering just what the hell was going on!  From the odd glow around the Snow Queen to the shocking cloven hoof prints in the snow, every new mysterious piece of the puzzle had me just as freaked out, confused, and fascinated as Gilly was.   Whereas usually I’m able to figure out the next plot twist way in advance, thanks to overdone foreshadowing and formulaic turns, this book had me on the edge of my seat.

Dark Solstice is an exciting and fresh take on the legend of the Snow Queen, seamlessly introducing dark fairy tale magic into a contemporary world, and no doubt I’ll be lined up and waiting when Twelfth Night is released!

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About Lauren Sweet

My love of the written word began with Go, Dog, Go and One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, and with a Little Golden Book about a goat that gets a bucket stuck on its head. When I was three and a half and no one would read me the goat book as often as I wanted, I learned to read it myself. I haven’t stopped reading since.
I guess it was inevitable that I would turn to writing, though I’ve gone through a few other jobs on the way—pizza delivery driver, dance instructor, and real estate title searcher, to name a few. After that I spent about fifteen years in business administration before moving to Alaska to get a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Alaska Anchorage. I’m currently a full-time freelance writer and editor living just outside Portland, Oregon.
My favorite genres are mystery, sci-fi and fantasy. I especially love mythic fiction: fiction which is inspired by, or uses elements of myth and folklore. Other esoteric skills include astrology, tarot card reading, figure skating, and the ability to do a perfect split.

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Author: ysar

ysar is a book, blog, and design junkie who would be lost without a mile-long to-do list. Find more of her random crap at ysar.info

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1 Comment

  1. Thanks for hosting me on your blog! And for taking the time to review the book. Glad you enjoyed it–hope your readers do too!

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