Monday, November 9, 2015

Book Review: Darkthaw by Kate A. Boorman

Title: Darkthaw (Winterkill #2)
Author: Kate A. Boorman
Publication Date: October 13, 2015 
Publisher: Amulet Books
Pages: 336
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Review for book 1

//I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review//

For as long as Emmeline can remember, she’s longed to leave the isolated world of the settlement and explore the wilderness that calls to her in her dreams. And now that the Council has fallen, she will finally, finally get that chance. With First Peoples guide Matisa at her side, Emmeline rallies a brave group to join her on her quest into the unknown, including her beloved Kane and his two younger brothers.

But the journey soon proves far more dangerous than Emmeline anticipated—with warring clans, slavers, colonists, disease, and natural disasters seemingly at every turn. After putting so many lives in danger, she starts to doubt everything she once knew. Did she make the right choice to leave the settlement—and can her relationship with Kane survive the ordeal? Matisa insists that to set things right and to fight the evil that is bringing all this danger and turmoil to the forest, Emmeline must journey to Matisa’s people—even if that means leaving Kane behind.

Winterkill, the first in this series, was one of my favorite books of 2014! I loved the "Village" vibes it gave off and even enjoyed the uncertainty of the setting. Darkthaw picks up right where Winterkill left off, with Em and Kane planning their future and being generally confused about most things. This was a sequel I have really been looking forward to and I hoped to feel the same about book two as I did about book one. Unfortunately, this one didn't quite do it for me.

I'm not sure what changed before books one and two, but I felt like I had a hard time connecting to Emmeline this time around. I know that people are probably inherently selfish, but she made some decisions in the first half of the book that I had a hard time accepting. I did really enjoy Matisa, however! She was a fantastic character who honestly didn't seem to have a flaw whatsoever. Kane remained one of my favorite characters also and I really felt for him as he tried to find his path in life.

I did really enjoy the new world that opened up in this installment. Emmeline and Kane decide to leave their settlement when they learn that there's much more out there than they'd originally known. The introduction of other settlers really upped the tension and mystery and continued this series as extremely unique. I feel like I was able to place the location a little better this go round - I'm guessing somewhere in Eastern Canada.

My main issue with this book was the writing. The author has used a really strange dialect which, on the one hand, makes it unique, but also makes it really laborious to get through at times. The story was also quite slow, which is why this book took me sooooo much longer to get through than the first. I feel like book one had a very quick series of events that progressed easily, while this one was a lot of traveling, horseback riding, and talking.

Darkthaw definitely had its ups and downs. I really appreciated the original story and the new characters, but the writing and unsympathetic main character made it less great than Winterkill. I'd recommend this to someone looking for a very unique dystopian who's read everything else!