Thursday, June 23, 2011

Winterborne by Augusta Blythe

Winterborne is the first book I review at the request of an author. I avoided accepting books for review before this - what if I didn't like the book and I'd have to write a negative review? What if I didn't have time to read the book at all? What if I started it and couldn't get myself to finish it? But when Augusta Blythe contacted me to review Winterborne, I had a good feeling. An urban fantasy YA novel about a teen waiting for superpowers to kick in? Just my thing.

Am I glad I trusted my instinct on this one! I could have easily missed out on an amazing book. I read it back in May, but still remember the strange feeling of wanting to read faster to find out what happens, but at the same time wanting to read slower because I didn't want it to end. Like watching Buffy for the first time. ;-)

Here's the plot, as summarised by the author:

Sixteen-year old Mia Winterborne is destined to be special.  Details are sketchy, though, as her dad disappeared with all the answers when she was five.  Mia only knows that she’ll inherit her kickass superpowers on her seventeenth birthday.  Helping Mia prepare for her anticipated ascendancy is Loie (rhymes with Joey) Bryce, her best friend and eternal sidekick extraordinaire.  The girls’ intense friendship has never wavered until now, when Andreas arrives in Salcey Ridge.  They both fall hard for the British hottie, who quickly becomes a fixture in their lives.  When they discover that Andreas is not who he appears to be, the frightening reality of Mia’s powers finally hits home.  The nearer Mia’s birthday draws, the more the danger escalates and long-buried lies are exposed, putting the girls on a path that they never expected. 
It's a good story. As an urban fantasy fan and a Buffy fan, I couldn't not like it. But I think that it's very easy to ruin a story like this one with poor characters or mundane style. Augusta Blythe did the opposite, she made the story a million times better. The main characters, Mia and Loie, are strong and intelligent female leads. They're best friends and they won't let stuff come between them. Many books introduce boys or other distractions to ruin friendships, but in this case the friendship got stronger and stronger. Finally, we have two teen best friends who are smart enough to recognise that what they have is special. I loved that.
I also loved the language and the style. Very witty and engaging.
All in all, this book is a winner. I can't wait for the next installment in the series. I hope that some of you will take a chance on an unknown author and that you'll be as happy with your choice as I am.
Winterborne is available via Amazon.


Alex (The Sleepless Reader) said...

I looked for it on Goodreads and the reviews are raving there as well. Will added it to my wishlist. Thanks for flagging it (and accepting the review!).

Larissa said...

I'm adding it to my wishlist right away!
As a Buffy fan, how could I not after your review... so thanks.

Larissa said...

Actually on Amazon there's only the Kindle edition...?!?
So I might end up asking you if I can borrow it ;-)

anothercookiecrumbles said...

This sounds quite good - think I'd really enjoy reading it!

Nina said...

Great review. I got a copy of this book too, and now i cannot wait to start reading it. ;) Sounds like a fantastic read and so up my alley. ;)

wella said...

I really like young adult stories.. I can relate a lot.. I'd put this book on my book wish list..:)

joanna said...

Alex - I think you'll like it!

Larissa - I'm sure you'll love it! ;-) I'll see if I can find a different version, what would you need?

anothercookie - I really hope that more bloggers read and enjoy it!

Nina - Looking forward to your review!

Wella - I relate well to young adult lit too, sometimes I'm not sure that's a good thing! :-)

Larissa said...

I would just like the regular book ;-)
Don't understand why they only have the Kindle edition and not the book...