The Girl From Shadow Springs
by Ellie Cypher
SPOILER- FREE SYNOPSIS:
The Revenant meets True Grit with a magical twist in this thrilling and atmospheric debut fantasy about two teens who must brave a frozen wasteland and the foes within it to save their loved ones and uncover a deadly secret.
Everyone in Shadow Springs knows that no one survives crossing the Flats. But the threat of a frozen death has never deterred the steady stream of treasure hunters searching for a legendary prize hidden somewhere in the vast expanse of ice. Jorie thinks they’re all fools, which makes scavenging their possessions easier. It’s how she and her sister, Brenna, survive.
Then Jorie scavenges off the wrong body. When the dead man’s enemy believes Jorie took something valuable from the body, he kidnaps Brenna as collateral. He tells Jorie that if she wants her sister back, she’ll have to trade her for the item he thinks she stole. But how can Jorie make a trade when she doesn’t even know what she’s looking for?
Her only source of information is Cody, the dead man’s nephew and a scholar from the South who’s never been hardened by the harsh conditions of the North. Though Jorie’s reluctant to bring a city boy out onto the Flats with her, she’ll do whatever it takes to save her sister. But anything can happen out on the ice, and soon Jorie and Cody find they need one another more than they ever imagined—and they’ll have to trust each other to survive threats beyond their darkest nightmares.
There are many people who deserve to live, the love interest is a waste of that.
RATING: 🌟🌟🌟🌟⭐ 3.8
WARNING! WARNING! WARNING! ABORT IF YOU HAVEN'T READ IT YET!
Everything could've been better.
Without the humanoid mosquito.
In honor of my ruined childhood, I'll let Dora take the stage for a while. *clears throat*
Amigos! Can you say, el idiota? *stares*
No? Well, can you help me find, el inutil? *stares some more*
Oh! I see you already did, next to la manzana. *hand flourish*
In the dang snow blizzard.
Surrounded by rabid dogs.
BECAUSE HE IS THAT IMBECILIC OF A BEING.
This story follows the main character, Jorie, who's a scavenger for money in dead bodies and such. One day, after she recollects a body, she finds her sister who doesn't seem to be alone. Sister gets kidnapped. MC searches for said sister. That made me feel absolutely nothing. MC meets a moronic guy, feels something akin to attraction for him (I- I don't even know HOW). They never ever get together. In the 'journey' they meet human-like wolf monsters, magical creatures (which are never explained), an Ice Witch (which again, could've been so much better), hunters (which were led by a woman called Bass and um... they were there) and tra la la la, the Witch is defeated. Happily ever after.
-Booksy's synopsis ended
Let me touch on the things that I loved (since describing every character is not useful in a book in which the only person that I cared for was the MC and the rest of the characters were just blank, flat, snowy space without any purpose. And like, I don't want to completely roast this book because half of it was REALLY good, then turned just good, and finished decently)
One of the first things that struck me as OHMYPORKTHISISGOOD was the writing. It was lyrical, poetical and so vicious in its descriptions, it left nothing to be desired. Apart from less use of metaphors, which at times, drowned me like my real-time responsibilities. *snort* They were somewhat confusing to unravel, and I think that tiny aspect of it sucked me out of the story more than once. Which is unfortunate, since I would need all the good things I could absorb from this book, to fight against the slump that would later attack me because of one measly character. But I'm getting too ahead of myself (like always. You know where I DON'T get ahead? My life *smile through the pain*)
“The girl’s already cracked heart. They were lucky. They stole the seven pieces, bound them in the Witch’s own blood, and hid them away. Piece by missing piece, the Witch grew too weak to fight back. Until there was not enough of her left to hold together. The villagers tricked what was left of her into a prison of ice. Sealed the way with bones and silver, not dead but no longer living. The villagers bound themselves to the prison. Pledged to watch over her always. Just as trapped by the ice as the Witch, who was left injured and raging inside.…”
(how the witch was imprisoned)
That is dang good writing, if I do say so myself. *cleans tears* Unto the next subject matter porfavor~
The main character was a merciful respite from the past idiotic disgusting MC's I've had the privilege of being traumatized by. Jorie was strong and unwilling to give up, a queen in the survival department, absolutely amazing in the personality headquarters. But you know what they forgot to add to her? When they were making her in the Female MC Factory? Good choice making skills. Which I don't have, but still, I'm going to judge her for it. Because I'm pretty sure I would never do something as stupid and dumb as having feelings for a piece of spoiled, rotten, useless, ewness of a love interest. However, I will call out that the way she handled things, aka basically her entire journey across the expanse of the snowy mountains represented in this book, was very good! I would've frozen to death before stepping a foot out into the cold expanse of icy hell. (people who live with snow, please don't attack me, I have never seen it. My eyebrows are sweating, I need it)
Now, pfft... I'm going to have so much fun with this.
The things I didn't appreciate or downright hated in this book.
The storyline/ plot. Please don't get me wrong, it was okay. In between 'meh' and 'hmm, I don't how to feel about it', but it had so many things that I expected to be dramatic and the whole story had the capacity of including more than one plot twist. Alas. They didn't include it. I say this only because I expected the Ice Witch to be more vicious and violent (which is what I always hope for villains in books. That notion is often obliterated because authors want to make villains more human, which I totally get, but joining the two sides is very difficult. How to make someone crave blood but also crave to be understood? How do you create a character that wants absolute destruction and pain, however, they want to have a family of their own and happiness?) The fact that they added a love interest who does absolutely nothing, fantastical animals who are not explained. Ever. And that they added a curse on top of all that, well, I can say that they had great ideas, just not the fruition I wanted to read about.
The language was mildly frustrating because of the replacement of the word 'was' with 'were'. I am not used to that, guys. It ain't built right. I get it though, since the people in this book had a twang. But did it help me understand? No, no it did not.
Love Interest, let's go LULLABY TIME. (will it rhyme? No, he doesn't deserve a rhyme. Do you know what he does deserve? Death)
He was useless, and a piece of crap.
Stupid and idiotic he was
How can we get rid of him?
Oh yes, killing him with a gosh-darned apple
Because he's the type of person to get a paper cut
Y'all probably already know how I love to break down characters I want to roast, with a single meaningful quote.
“Something massive, ivory body glittering bright as cut glass, darted between the black boughs of the trees.
“Did you see that?” Cody said, awed. “Is that what I think it is? They are real! Can we—” But whatever it were we could do was lost as he leaned out over the rail.
The sled pitched violent to the right. His weight tossing at just the same moment as the rails snagged on a ridge of snow. I’d not even the time to curse as the rails lifted dangerous off the ice and we were thrown to the side.”
That happened. Why? Well, because this guy doesn't understand the meaning of gravity or oh! Intelligence. *sigh* I am so sick of these crappy, pointless, purposeless, futile, incompetent, worthless, *searches up synonyms*, ineffective, inept, inadequate, impractical fictional men, whose sole purpose is to act like leeches.
And like, I kind of get it, you know? The author's thought process. Make the love interest look weak, so the main character ~shines~, but it actually makes HER seem weak since Cody is pretty... *insert one of the many meanings up above*
He was inconsistent.
Almost always was sleeping because he was 'cold' and 'injured', whilst Jorie was having frostbite, bruised ribs, concussions, and an ulcer, all because Cody couldn't keep his mouth shut.
Or his heart. He could've closed his heart, guys. And died.
One of the many theories I like to believe, concerning him, is that:
A. He's an assassin in disguise, this helped stop the reading slump I felt attacking me.
B. He was a trained tracker and killer.
C. He dies.
On a closing note, I believe the book had extreme potential but felt lacking due to the overused metaphors and the background characters being as empty-headed as they were. If that could've been changed, I probably would've given this a 5-star rating. Alas, not even the villain could save this for me. This is to mean no offense to the author, I just wanted to express my feelings about this book as honest as I possibly can.
The Rover dude. Um... exqueeze me??? Why did y'all have to change him?? He was brutal and savage and THAT could've ended better than it did. And how did it end? I DON'T KNOW BECAUSE THEY FELT THAT ISH OPEN. OPEN AS CODY'S BRAIN.
The pack of dogs was more helpful than Cody. Honestly, that one snowflake was better than C guy.
The writing was mostly *chef's kiss* Majestic.
Jorie was amazing. Period. She just needs to learn how to fight. And like, make better decisions.
Again, it was better than I expected but less than I hoped. So, story of my bookish expectations.
Comment your opinions below! Please don't hold on to the critiques. Let them flow like blood from a... wound.