I admire people like Olga and Robbie, who make writing a wonderful review seem like child’s play. I struggle with reviews, and I feel bad, because I like supporting the authors whose work I enjoy. As anyone familiar with this blog already knows, I am a long-time fan of Teagan Geneviene. I love reading her serial stories on her blog, and I’ve bought many of her books, including the “bookized” versions of those stories. That said, I think I’ve written precisely one review (which is one more than I’ve written for most authors).
When I read good reviews, I marvel at how the writers share information and emotion without giving away too much. I find that difficult. I find it even harder for “Dead of Winter” since the epic novel is being presented in wonderful, albeit novella length monthly Journeys. I don’t how Teagan does that. Not only does she have to figure out where to make the breaks, in order to compartmentalize the story, she has to keep our interest from month to month, journey to journey – she does both with apparent ease. And, she has to create a new cover each month, but we all know how well she does that. When the times comes that I need a book cover, I know where I’m going.
Teagan is nine journeys into the adventure, and I think it’s about time that I say something.
What is it that I like most about Dead of Winter?
I like the world Teagan has created and the fact that the realm of the living is barely separated from the realm of the dead. I love the fantastic notion that the heroine can travel past that barrier – not that it’s always something she wants to do. The places, the forces of nature, the ruins and the wagons – as a woodworker, I am seriously impressed with the wagons. And Teagan hasn’t just built a world like a Hollywood prop, she knows the history of her world, and how power has moved from people to people, how buildings have been destroyed and how the dead are to be feared. I joke about the wagons, but the people whose story Teagan is sharing are on a journey of their own, and the wagons and horses are important.
What do I like about Teagan’s writing?
I so admire Teagan’s ability to describe places, things and events and I am constantly amazed at her ability to create characters that are alive to me. After eight journeys, I feel I have spent an afternoon getting to know Emlyn, Mercedes, Osabide, Tajin and Zasha and so many others.
Emlyn is the star of this story. I have feared for her safety. I have learned by her side, and I have done a virtual fist bump as she has escaped from those who would have her killed for her thoughts and dreams. Osabide, the teacher is a wonderful woman, someone I think I would trust the instant I met her. Tajin, the swordsman leaves me in awe of his prowess and makes me wonder about his past and his future. Mercedes is a font of knowledge about the past. A member of the Deae Matres – a society of women on a mission to preserve knowledge. Zasha, perhaps my favorite character. At first, I was jealous of her (on behalf of Emlyn) but I have grown to enjoy the scenes where she is featured.
Did I just say I was jealous of a character in a book?
Yes, I did. That’s how powerful Teagan’s writing is. That’s how closely I was drawn into the story.
How does this serial thing work as opposed to reading a big, long book?
It’s hard for me to answer this. The epic stories I’ve read were all assignments for a high school or college class. I can’t think of a fiction book as long as this would be that I’ve read in recent years. I think the serial process works. I love starting and finishing a new Journey each month. Teagan has left us hanging a few times, but that’s ok.
If you haven’t yet read any of the Journeys of Dead of Winter, or if you read one or two and stopped, click yourself to Amazon and get started or get caught up. You will not regret doing that.
Thanks to Teagan for supplying the images from the Journeys. To those of you in the US, I hope you’re enjoying the long Labor Day weekend.