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Midwinterblood

Midwinterblood - Marcus Sedgwick I had not heard much about MIDWINTERBLOOD before I picked it up one day on a whim. I had heard good things from a few of my favorite bloggers, and I thought, “Why not?” It’s a story combining the past, the present, and the future, intricately linked in mysterious ways by an island with a very mysterious history. My first reaction was to think of CLOUD ATLAS, but the more I read this story, the more I found myself racing through the pages, I began to realize it was something else entirely.REINCARNATION THROUGH SEVEN CYCLESMIDWINTERBLOOD is not a story like any that is told in young adult fiction often. In fact, in a sense, it isn’t truly just young adult fiction – it is young adult, it is middle grades, it is adult. It has a crossover appeal that will draw in older teens and adults instantly with its variety of characters ranging from archaeologists to journalists to children. On top of this, MIDWINTERBLOOD is a story that begins with the end. And it ends with the end. But the way that Sedgwick intricately entwines the threads of plot was something that immediately called to me.The story is complex, revolving around characters known mostly through the years as Eric and Merle – a changing cast of ages, times, and once gender (sort of) that all comes back to the fact that Erik and Merle are the spirits of two people wrapped in an ancient love, tied to Blessed Island. CREEPY, CHILLINGIt might not be a traditional horror movie of axe-wielding psychopaths, but at its core, MIDWINTERBLOOD is a story of, well, blood. It’s very bloody, based on the back of an event many centuries ago that resulted in bloodshed. In fact, the seven stories inside its pages revolve around death and include monsters, myths, witches, ghosts, and bombs. Creepy kids are also another major player here.Once I got about 50 pages into MIDWINTERBLOOD, I was hooked and read the rest of the book – it’s rather short, just so you know – in one sitting. I flipped the pages compulsively until I reached the ending and went, “Wow.” It’s a circuitous book that makes sense only if you read the entire book from beginning to end, taking note of every instance of their lives, especially noting the very last vignette and the happenings of the beginning (well, it is the beginning – the beginning is the end is the beginning is the end is a Smashing Pumpkins song with some more endings).But there are issues. One, I was never sure how this was truly a young adult novel. Most of the characters we find are adults, with a few exceptions. Even our main characters in various stories are adults. The narration style was another hang up for me. The way the story was told was somewhat odd and different, and not something I ever truly meshed it. It was always noticeable, especially in the one vignette that was told in first person (maybe it was noticeable because it was the only time the present-tense style ever seemed to fit). But other than this, the story was amazing and almost perfect.VERDICT: An unexpected book, but not without a few issues, MIDWINTERBLOOD is a chilling but enthralling story that pulls you in with ghosts, vampires, and murder, and refuses to let you go until you realize that every word makes sense in the great scheme of things. Definitely check this one out.