September 25, 2017

REVIEW| A Shiver of Snow and Sky

A Shiver of Snow and Sky (Untitled #1)
Lisa Lueddecke

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Release Date: 5th October, 2017

UK Publisher: Scholastic Children's Books


Red, red, the lights glow red
Beware the dangers up ahead…

On the frozen island of Skane, the sky speaks. Beautiful lights appear on clear nights, and their colours have meaning: Green means all is well, and the Goddess is happy. Blue means a snowstorm is on the way.

And then there’s red. Red is rare. A warning.

Seventeen years ago, the sky turned red just as Ósa was born, unleashing a plague that claimed the lives of hundreds of villagers, including her own mother. This time, when the night sky once again bleeds crimson, she must discover what it means before so many lives are lost again.


The Cover

This cover isn't too different to the one that Scholastic had designed for the ARCs, nor to the one that was used at the Scholastic booth at YALC 2017. 

It speaks of being a winter tale, with a heavy emphasis on the star-filled sky. Filling 95% of the cover. The colour scheme of  black, white and red is a safe one, but one that fits perfectly. Even if I feel that I am always picking out when publishers do use it. In it's final form, it has two types of foiling and is so beautiful that I have to keep wiping the drool from my copy.

The Content
"Here, two of the most powerful forces in the world seemed to collide: the sea and the sky."
For a book with a heavy focus on stars and astronomy in it's encompassing world building, it's the writing that really shines and makes this the book that it is. When reading the press release for this book it is being likened for readers who enjoy Laini Taylor and Leigh Bardugo's writing and I can see why. 

Set in a Nordic-inspired fantasy, A Shiver of Snow and Sky was beautiful, atmospheric and wintry. A perfect read, as the British weather falls back into decline, calling for our sweaters and those leaves that crunch beneath out footfalls every Autumnal season.

The world building was slightly lacking. Two-thirds of the novel is built around magic and myth of the stars, these people's Goddess and the raw magic of the old stories that Ósa retells in her narrative. It wasn't that the world building it was missing was something that was needed, but rather something that when I closed the book for the final time I just wanted more. I had questions that itched for an answer (this is what the sequel is for, I hope). 

Ósa was a good lead character, with her own internal conflicts as a teen protagonist, that was explored throughout the story. Brave, in a way that is believable and relatable. That made her likeable and up there with all our usual heroines. Although, I am a conflicted on how I feel about the love interest- Ivan- was adorable, if a bit piney. 

Overall, I still recommend for a quick, winter read. This book still remains like and unlike any book I have read. I enjoyed it greatly. And look forward to the sequel.

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