I can’t remember where I heard about this book, but it was on my to-read list on my account with the library, and since it was there I figured why not! And this was an interesting experience of a book for sure. I was referring to it as back-half-Cloud-Altas but that’s not quite right…
Midwinterblood is essentially a series of seven little vignettes or short stories that are all connected in some way, and all take place on the same small island with its many mysteries and magic. We begin with a journalist, Eric, coming to the island in search of the truth behind a rumor that the inhabitants of the island do not age. While here, however, Eric can’t help but feel something familiar about the place and its history; in particular, a young woman named Merle sparks something in him. However, we are soon thrust to a stage of the past that inevitably led to this future, if in a seemingly disconnected and mysterious way.
As the novel goes on, you see more and more threads tying the stories together. Individually, each of the sections is an engaging story, though they do seem a bit rushed through at times in order to get through them all. As a whole, it works well, and the conclusion is a satisfying one, yet at the end felt like it was maybe working a little bit too hard to explain itself when some of the mystery could be left for the readers to figure out. There are enough symbols, imagery, and thematic ties to get into and weave the truth of what has happened over time.
All in all, Midwinterblood was a very quick book to get through, as each piece of the story seems to zip by on its own, and then on to the next and the next, etc. It was certainly founded on a core idea that I like, and while maybe not perfect, definitely worth the read.