I recently read Winter, the latest book from the talented Sarah Remy. It’s a YA tale of urban street kids, intricate subway systems, a murderer on the run, and exiled people of the Fae. Oh, and it has an awesome talking mouse.
There is a host of varied characters and the setting is wholly tangible. As with The House on the Creek, it was easy to become immersed in this world, and for a while there I was a virtual Washington, D.C. resident as I raced about its streets with the book’s characters. There’s plenty of action and adventure along with a gradually unfurling backstory of betrayal and banishment. There’s magic and nasty monsters alongside the more human baddies.
I should probably admit that fairy lore isn’t one of my favourite themes. I enjoy it well enough, but it’s not a trope that’s ever completely captured me. It’s possibly part of the reason I didn’t engage as entirely with this book as with other works by Sarah Remy – but then, it’s also aimed at a younger market which may have had some impact too.
Don’t get me wrong – this was an enjoyable read, with unusual themes and characters and some speedy page-turning moments. My only criticism would be that I found it hard to really engage with any one character, possibly because there are several points of view used repeatedly throughout the book. I couldn’t quite latch onto one. My favourite was definitely the POV of Winter, the protagonist of the title, but he is sadly given a mere two chapters to himself. He’s superbly written and I found myself wishing for more time in his head. That said, I do understand the need for multiple viewpoints, especially when several crucial events are taking place for different characters in different places. And, judging by the cliffhangy ending, I’m guessing we’ll be seeing more through Winter’s eyes in the follow-up, Summer.
All in all, this was a fun read that I’d definitely recommend to younger readers and anyone who enjoys tales of the Fae.
You can read more about the series here: The Manhattan Exiles.
Or buy the book here: Winter (Book One of The Manhattan Exiles).