A striking and unique story about an isolated village, its strict rules, and one girl daring enough to defy them — Winterkill by Kate A. Boorman is a seductive read filled with tension and possibility.
Emmeline knows she’s not supposed to explore the woods outside her settlement. The enemy that wiped out half her people lurks there, attacking at night and keeping them isolated in an unfamiliar land with merciless winters. Living with the shame of her grandmother’s insubordination, Emmeline has learned to keep her head down and her quick tongue silent.
When the settlement leader asks for her hand in marriage, it’s an opportunity for Emmeline to wash the family slate clean—even if she has eyes for another. But before she’s forced into an impossible decision, her dreams urge her into the woods, where she uncovers a path she can’t help but follow. The trail leads to a secret that someone in the village will kill to protect. Her grandmother followed the same path and paid the price. If Emmeline isn’t careful, she will be next.
Others have compared Winterkill to the M. Night Shyamalan movie The Village — and rightly so. The two have many similarities, although Boorman’s novel is by no means a copycat story. The similarities are in the setting and mood — but Winterkill has its own unique and shocking plot twists, and plenty of tension to keep the reader on the edge of the seat with every page turn.
Though perhaps a word of caution: this book, so filled with tension and the potential for scares, which takes place in an isolated community in the wilderness … may not be the best choice for midnight reading material by flashlight at a campsite. Just saying. From personal experience.
But it IS a worthy reading experience. I loved the creepy, gothic mood of the story and the question of what was really going on in this bizarre community. And it’s so unlike anything else in YA right now — it doesn’t fit neatly into any one genre.
Winterkill is in stores September 9th.