In 2073 on the remote and secretive island of Blessed, where rumour has it that no one ages and no children are born, a visiting journalist, Eric Seven, and a young local woman known as Merle are ritually slain. Their deaths echo a moment ten centuries before, when, in the dark of the moon, a king was slain, tragically torn from his queen. Their souls search to be reunited, and as mother and son, artist and child, forbidden lovers, victims of a vampire they come close to finding what they've lost. In a novel comprising seven parts, each influenced by a moon - the flower moon, the harvest moon, the hunter's moon, the blood moon - this is the story of Eric and Merle whose souls have been searching for each other since their untimely parting. (Goodreads)
Reviewed by Jessica Day George: author and Bookshop Talk host
This was the 2014 Printz Award Winner, and I had never heard of it. Several other books had been bandied about as possible candidates, and when I heard this one announced my reaction was, basically, “What?” But I was in a mood to do some online shopping, so I went ahead and ordered all the award winners, but actually preordered this one in paperback, because I quite frankly hated the cover, and the soon-to-be-released paperback had a great cover. So I went on with my life and then a few weeks later my book came with its fancy new cover with a shiny gold medal sticker on it, and I thought, Well, isn’t that nice?
Then I read it.
And my reaction was, once again, “What?” Only it was because I was thinking, What are people thinking, not reading this book? Why is everyone not raving about this book? MIDWINTERBLOOD is amazing! It’s actually seven books, or stories, in one. Each story is set in a different time and is a different style. There’s future sci fi, WWII thriller, gothic horror, even a vampire story, but they all tie together as the same souls are born and reborn, and try to find each other. Who were they, originally? Why were they separated? The stories go back in time until the last story, which is also the first, which may have been my favorite, though I loved them all. The book is beautifully written, I mean, just beautiful. Absolutely a work of art. And so gripping that I after I finished it I realized that I had been sitting in an awkward position on the couch for so long one of my knees had locked up, and I had one shoe on and one off… I just couldn’t stop! If I ever made a movie, it would be based on this book. I want to see it done with a small cast, less than a dozen actors, and they’d all rotate around to the different parts in each story. Read it, you’ll see what I mean!
Market: YA, but really anyone
Adult themes: Human sacrifice. Ghosts. Vampires. Hallucinogens. None of this is graphic.