Midwinterblood

Sedgwick, Marcus

Book - 2013
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Midwinterblood
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"Seven linked vignettes unfold on a Scandinavian island inhabited--throughout various time periods--by Vikings, vampires, ghosts, and a curiously powerful plant"--Provided by publisher.

Published: New York : Roaring Brook Press, 2013.
Edition: 1st American ed.
ISBN: 1596438002
9781596438002
Branch Call Number: YA SED
Characteristics: 262 p. ;,22 cm.
Alternate Title: Midwinter blood

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Mar 31, 2015
  • LPL_MollyW rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Midwinterblood is a series of interconnected short stories set on an isolated island that blends elements of historical fiction with fantasy and paranormal elements. With a somber tone, Sedgwick explores sacrifice, tragic love, the cost of immortality, and the imprecise nature of memory, leaving the reader wondering if time is cyclical, if fate is immutable, or if redemption is possible. Readers looking for a thought-provoking read laced with equal parts horror and beauty should not miss this Printz award winning novel.

Jan 26, 2015
  • forbesrachel rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Journalist Eric Sevens seeks to uncover the mystery of Blessed Island, but before he can come to understand what he's discovered...Thus begins a tale of two love-bound souls, reborn over and over again. Throughout Eric's and Merle's lifetimes, love comes in many forms, including one between a parent and child, lesbian lovers, and siblings. As the story progresses we travel further into the past, delving deeper into this island's dark secrets, as well as discovering all the connections between lifetimes. While trying to connect the dots is quite engaging, the significance of repeating names, lines, objects, and events often eludes us until the appropriate moment. Even with reoccurring elements, Midwinterblood never feels repetitious. Each story has a different tone binding us to that particular experience; we get the tale of a pilot from World War II, a ghost story, and the facts behind legends. As for the whole, there is a great deal of tragedy, but it never overwhelms thanks to the hope created by such a strong bond. The author's interesting approach to the themes blessing and sacrifice is also worth noting. Over such a large swath of time, the island goes through many changes: language morphs, the spellings of names differ, and while new structures are built, the space retains its function throughout. Midwinterblood is singular in the variety of its storytelling, beautiful in its descriptive language, and deeply satisfying in its interconnected tale of eternal love.

Nov 14, 2014
  • Chapel_Hill_StephenA rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This one won the Printz so it isn't exactly flying under the radar, but it definitely deserved the award. These seven stories are creepy and strange and come together in a wonderful way.

Feb 27, 2014
  • tapelibrary rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

It was okay, but I really question the marketing of it to teens. Not because of content but because of the characters and situations. It just didn't seem like YA to me.

Feb 10, 2014
  • BarbLB rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Pay close attention as you read this novel. There are so many threads to connect, you will be sorry when you get to the end if you didn't! This Printz winner is beautifully written, moves along at a fast pace and has characters you immediately care about, even though you are introduced to them quickly in each of seven short segments that take place on the same island, but years and even centuries apart. It is all tied up in the end, but not so neatly that it doesn't leave you thinking....Worth a re-read to take it all in.

Jan 09, 2014
  • librarygirl_6 rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

a good read with seven linking stories; fantasy with mystery.

Nov 11, 2013
  • seaigoto16 rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Very good book i would recommend this to fantasy/ romance lovers the love story at the end is very sad but touching.

Jun 08, 2013
  • JCLChrisK rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Nearly ten years ago there was a morning I was feeling unwell, though I suspect it was the physical manifestation of emotional weariness and tapped energy reserves. I decided the best treatment was a bit of solitary spoiling, so I grabbed a book and went out for a relaxing brunch. The book I grabbed happened to be Marcus Sedgwick's The Dark Horse, and it cast a spell over me. Instead of an hour-long meal with a book for company, I spent four hours in that restaurant devouring the tale in one sitting. Reading it meant descending into a darkly atmospheric realm of mythical power, being enveloped in a compelling mystery of vague time and place sitting upon a deep sense of unease and impending doom. I had no desire to break the spell until it was complete, and emerged from the experience feeling much better than when I started. --- I haven't read everything Sedgwick has written since--the timing must be right for getting drawn into the type of delightfully dark mood he creates--but I notice all of them and have dove into some. Most recently, I was driving my elderly father for hours and offered him the audio of Revolver. His usual fare was escapist adult espionage thrillers and suspense, so I wasn't sure if he would take to it. I needn't have worried. What I describe as "a taut survival story, horrific coming-of-age action moment, and harrowing mystery of greed and lust" in my review captivated us both. No magic or fantasy in that one, yet it was again characterized by chilling atmosphere and tension. --- Even with those two experiences setting high expectations, Midwinterblood did not disappoint. The same descriptions I use for the his previous novels apply to this one--as you might guess from its title--and once I'd read the first few pages I knew I needed to find a solid block of time to read the rest in one sitting, which I satisfyingly did. The structure of this tale is a little bit Cloud Atlas, if you know that book or movie: seven connected stories set in different generations. Saying too much would spoil the connections, but patterns of names, themes, dialogue, and plot begin to emerge as the layers of stories build, each moving further backwards in time. The setting is an isolated northern island named Blessed, an apparent paradise, yet from the opening lines there are ominous vague hints and dark, strange undertones. The spiraling journey to their discovery is a compelling one, and I'm delighted at how much more meaning I find rereading the first page now that I know all of its secrets. --- My only hesitation in assigning a rating to this book is that I didn't have quite as much emotional, empathetic engagement with the characters as I would have liked--I didn't feel the power of their emotions as strongly as they did--but I'm still waffling between four and five stars. It's a definite 4.5 that might go up on further reflection.

May 13, 2013
  • sportsbookspce rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A good book. It was interesting to see how Eric and Merle's lives would be intertwined in each life. I thought the author did a very good job of connecting the time periods and wrote each section very well. However, at times the book could be confusing but overall I enjoyed the book.

Apr 01, 2013

"In 2073, journalist Erik Seven travels to a remote island in northern Norway to investigate a rare orchid believed to stop the aging process. Instead, he discovers a deep connection with a young island woman named Merle. The source of his intense fascination is revealed in six subsequent vignettes: Erik and Merle have lived and loved throughout history, all the way back to Time Unknown. As the mystery surrounding both their relationship and the island itself is slowly revealed, readers will be riveted - and horrified." April 2013 Teen Scene newsletter http://www.nextreads.com/Display2.aspx?SID=5acc8fc1-4e91-4ebe-906d-f8fc5e82a8e0&N=618274

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Nov 11, 2013
  • seaigoto16 rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

seaigoto16 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Mar 07, 2013

SPL_Childrens thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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Jun 08, 2013
  • JCLChrisK rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midvinterblot

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