Author: Sharon Gosling
Published: February 9th 2017
Publisher: Stripes Publishing
Genre: Young Adult, Horror, Thriller
Length: 384 pages
Source: Paperback from Publisher
Book Blurb (via Goodreads):
We are the trees. We are the snow.
We are the winter.
We are the peace. We are the rage.
Cut off from civilization by the harsh winter of northern Sweden, the Stromberg family shelter in their old plantation house. There are figures lurking in the ancient pine forests and they’re closing in. With nothing but four walls between the Strombergs and the evil that’s outside, they watch and wait for the snows to melt.
But in the face of signs that there’s an even greater danger waiting to strike, it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish reality from illusion. All they’ve got to do is stay sane and survive the winter…
I always love a story with a sinister twist, a little darkness to keep you on your toes. The Red Eye series has, so far, always given me a good fright or thrill when reading and I was excited to read the newest book in this series.
The Stromberg family move from the city of Stockholm, Sweden to a northern plantation where they aim to work the forest. But when winter comes sooner than expected, they find themselves cut off from civilisation with just they’re creepy housekeeper for company. When unexplainable things start happening, they wonder if they’re losing their minds. The forest seems more alive than they thought.
There’s a lot to like about this book if you’re into creepy, atmospheric stories that give you chills. The isolation that builds while the family is forced to remain on the plantation as the winter storm rolls in really gives an oppressive feeling while reading. I’d highly recommend reading this on a snowy day just to get the absolute perfect atmosphere!
While I loved the atmosphere, the folk lore, the creepy housekeeper… there were a lot of things that bothered me about this book. First, that I didn’t connect with the family. At all. The dad annoyed me, the mother seemed flat and the kid – whose name I don’t remember being mentioned, but I totally realise why this was done and it is oh so very clever! – was just a big ball of angst that didn’t seem to mature.
While I didn’t care for the family, I did find the events they were going through fascinating. The housekeeper was my favourite. She seemed to be the most fleshed out and she was seriously creepy. The way she just appeared, the things that she said, she was just the best character by far.
The other thing that I really enjoyed was trying to figure out just what the heck was going on. There’s a ghostly tale, there’s folk lore about wolves, there’s mysterious goings on. I thoroughly enjoyed trying to work it all out.
The ending was a little disappointing. If you like your endings tied up in neat bows, this might not be the one for you. It ends rather abruptly and then there are little extras at the end that add a little more but still never fully satisfied me on the conclusion.
As with all the Red Eye books, this one is sure to give you chills for days and weeks after. While this one wasn’t a home run for me, I loved the story enough to forgive the character foibles.
About the Author
Sharon Gosling began her career in entertainment journalism, writing for magazines in the science fiction and fantasy genre, before moving on to write tie-in books for TV shows such as “Stargate” and the ‘reimagined’ “Battlestar Galactica.”
*Picture and Biography from Goodreads