I now blog over at The Eyre Guide! This blog is an archive of my past posts.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Review: The Orphan, The Soulcatcher, and the Black Blizzard

The Orphan, The Soulcatcher, and the Black Blizzard
by Kimberlee Ann Bastian

Plot Summary:
Most of his life, Charlie Reese has been surrounded by a loving family and all the comforts of home. But when a house fire claims them, he and his cousin, Jimmy are sent to an orphanage in the heart of ‘Depression Era’ Chicago. A year later, Charlie’s life is shaken by yet another tragedy and with it comes the mysterious introduction of a secretive runaway, named Bartholomew. As Charlie begins to discover more about his new companion, he unknowingly becomes a participant in a two-hundred year old secret. Come the morning of the Black Blizzard, Charlie finds he must make a choice - flee the destiny laden at his feet or take on his responsibility and follow a path full of supernatural wonders.

Expectations:  The cover is stark and mysterious, setting up expectations for a serious, atmospheric tale, and with the title, I expect something of a new, mysterious mythology.  

This book was a very quick read for me - only a couple days - which says something for the narrative pace.  There is a lot that happens in this story (it is the setup for a planned series) and with that the characters are solidly established and the mythology backstory is hinted at and slowly revealed.  Not completely however so there are many questions left to be answered.  In a way I felt that that hindered the story as I wanted more of what was at stake to be revealed so I could understand what the characters were up against and become more invested in their story.  The story overall could have used more fleshing out in my opinion, with additional details about the mythology giving the story more of an epic feel and adding more suspense.  The characters were all very well drawn, however, and I admired the backbone and strength of character in Charlie and the sincerity and loyalty in Bartholomew.

The mythology is something pretty new to me, and intriguing in how it seems to mix the feel of Old World tales and American tall tales. The setting of Depression Era Chicago was almost it's own character, given how well researched it was and how vividly the author brought the realities of the Depression to life.  The speech and attitudes of the people at the time was fascinating.  This book has a solid story and an interesting premise, leaving plenty of questions unanswered in anticipation of the next in the series.

review copy kindly provided by the author in connection with Young Adult Novel Reader Blog Tours

Links: Amazon (kindle)  ◊ Amazon (Paperback)  ◊ GoodReads  ◊ Author Website ◊  Author's Twitter  ◊  Facebook Fan Page

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  1. Charlene, thanks for a honest review and I am glad you enjoyed it. I promise the mythology will come to the forefront in the sequel and the blending of old world and American tall tales will only get more interesting:) Thank you for being apart of the book tour and for being my last stop. I'm so happy I get to end on a high note with you:) Have a marvelous summer! ~ KAB Oh, and PS, I love your name:)

    1. Thank you for commenting Kimberlee! And thank you for the opportunity to read your book! I really enjoyed reading your guest posts as well on the other book bloggers sites. Have a great summer yourself, and don't work too hard! :D And thanks, I love that you spell your name differently! Really cool. :)

    2. Thanks. I'll have to tell my mom. After all she gets all the credit for naming me, haha:)

    3. LOL same for me! My Mom will be pleased. :)

  2. Great blog! Thanks for visiting mine. I'm now following you.
    SIK Book Reviews