Review: Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on February 14, 2020 | 0 Comments

Review: Winterwood by Shea ErnshawWinterwood by Shea Ernshaw
Published by Simon Pulse (11.5.2019)
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover, 323 pages
Source: Library

3.5 Stars

Be careful of the dark, dark wood…

Especially the woods surrounding the town of Fir Haven. Some say these woods are magical. Haunted, even.

Rumored to be a witch, only Nora Walker knows the truth. She and the Walker women before her have always shared a special connection with the woods. And it’s this special connection that leads Nora to Oliver Huntsman—the same boy who disappeared from the Camp for Wayward Boys weeks ago—and in the middle of the worst snowstorm in years. He should be dead, but here he is alive, and left in the woods with no memory of the time he’d been missing.

But Nora can feel an uneasy shift in the woods at Oliver’s presence. And it’s not too long after that Nora realizes she has no choice but to unearth the truth behind how the boy she has come to care so deeply about survived his time in the forest, and what led him there in the first place. What Nora doesn’t know, though, is that Oliver has secrets of his own—secrets he’ll do anything to keep buried, because as it turns out, he wasn’t the only one to have gone missing on that fateful night all those weeks ago.

For as long as there have been fairy tales, we have been warned to fear what lies within the dark, dark woods and in Winterwood, New York Times bestselling author Shea Ernshaw, shows us why.

My thoughts

We are daughters of the wood.

It’s hard to review this one, because I loved the concept but I felt quite indifferent about it in general. I was excited to read it because I loved The Wicked Deep, but this one fell short.

My main issue was complete apathy. I didn’t care about what was happening, I didn’t care about the characters, nothing. The magic and mystery were intriguing, though, and that’s what kept me going. I saw a few people describe this book as “quiet” and it’s rather perfect because it kind of felt like a cold, snowy, winter day; if that makes sense. It’s very atmospheric (one of the few things it has in common with Wicked Deep). The idea of a magical forest that keeps things was fantastic! I love that Nora comes from a long line of witches, tied to the forest, and they each have their own shade, or special power.

I was interested to see where the story went despite feeling rather disconnected from the characters. There was an air of mystery surrounding the town and Oliver, the boy that Nora found in the woods. View Spoiler »

Overall, I was disappointed in this one, which makes me super sad because The Wicked Deep was amazing. I just couldn’t connect to the characters, they felt rather flat to me. But the writing was beautiful and the world was intriguing, so it was still worth the read!

Overall Assessment

Plot: 4/5
Premise: 5/5
Writing style: 4/5
Originality: 4/5
Characters: 2/5
World-building: 4/5
Pace: 3.5/5
Feels: 1/5
Cover: 3.5/5
Overall rating: 3.5/5

Jessi (Geo)

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