Monday, April 13, 2015

Review: Winter Shadows

Winter Shadows is a dystopian novel I was given the opportunity to review by the Facebook group Band of Dystopian Authors and Fans. I had been following the group for a little while and was excited for the chance to review one of the books they offered. Being picky about the kind of books I read, I was relieved to find a Christian book among the choices. I enjoyed it, though it was not quite what I was used to in a dystopian book. I hope you will enjoy a peek at it.


Winter Shadows
Casey L. Bond

A coming of age story following Claire, a young lady struggling to find her place in the world after losing her mother to cancer. After a corrupt American government declares a pandemic and forces residents into quarantine encampments, Claire and her father, along with other members of their Church and community, go into hiding in a cave system in rural West Virginia. While coping with the losses of her mother, home, friends, sense of safety and normalcy, Claire begins to pick up the pieces of her past, finding a new normal despite the darkness surrounding her. 

While adjusting to a new environment, and the group of people she finds herself surrounded by, Claire is faced with several important decisions that will influence the path her life will take. Who can she trust? Who should she love? How can she survive? Forced to choose between Ethan's steadfast, mature love and the love of mysterious and dangerous Colin who appears. Claire learns the difference between infatuation and love. She becomes self-reliant and strong. Despite her newfound confidence, and the isolation in which she resides, evil is able to find her. While fighting against it, she reestablishes her faith in God and opens her heart to the possibility of love. 


In Winter Shadows, by Casey L. Bond, Claire and her father move into a network of caves with several families from their church after an epidemic caused the American government to take extreme measures against the people to stop the spread of disease. As she grows to accept the changes her life has taken, Claire feels herself drawn to two young men—a fellow cave-dweller and a mysterious boy who saved her life outside the caves.

When I began to read Winter Shadows, I was not all that impressed. However, I grew to enjoy the book the more I read it. There is little action, at least, compared to other dystopian books. The story has other merits.

This is definitely a coming of age book. Claire grew in wisdom, faith, and maturity through the things she experienced within the book. She made several bad decisions regarding the two young men and the group, but she grew and changed because of those mistakes. Even though hard things that happened to Claire, she became a better person because of them.

Each of the point of view characters were told in first person. That said, the author, Casey, did a very good job of identifying when the point of view changed within the first few sentences.

There were a couple demon-possessed characters in Winter Shadows who tried to hurt Claire and her friends. At one point, the story goes into the mind of one of these characters. Be forewarned. However, it is not too dark or frightening for the reader. This aspect of the story shows that redemption can come for the people who are possessed, even after they have or have tried to kill others.

I am glad I read Winter Shadows. Seeing Claire’s growth and experiencing a coming of age dystopian was worth the time I devoted to it.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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