The Bitter Snow Series: A modern-day story of myth, magic and the power of love, based on Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen”
Volume Two: Dark Solstice
Demons have taken over Gilly Breslin’s town—and she’s the only one who knows.
On St. Nicholas’s Eve, the festival of Bellsnichol, Gilly opened her door to an ancient evil. A demon queen, who’s slowly destroying Gilly’s best friend Kai—the only guy she’s ever loved. But it’s not just Kai. Every guy who falls in love with the Snow Queen turns evil—and every guy who sees her falls in love with her. Except one.
Niko Bremer is one of the hereditary guardians of Bremerton—and he has eyes only for Gilly, even though he knows her heart belongs to Kai. Gilly learns that Niko and his grandfather may hold the key to banishing the Snow Queen and her minions. But with the town erupting in violence and the demons’ power increasing as the winter nights grow longer, Gilly and Niko may not be able to stop them before Kai—and Bremerton—are destroyed forever.
This book is a novella - about 100 pages (35,000 words)
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It was one tiny little mistake, but it cost Gilly everything she held dear. In her efforts to thwart the Snow Queen Perchta, Gillian inadvertently is tricked into opening the door to evil. Now her entire town, the entire world is at risk. After witnessing the horrifying ritual that turned Kai into Perchta’s slave, Gilly is determined to fix her mistake. Fortunately for Gilly, a handsome dark stranger Bran has also moved to town and seems intent on protecting her and winning her heart. Who is he and how is he connected to the evil running rampant in the streets? Can she trust Bran, who seems to have way more information than he’s letting on? Her friends Niko and Annabell don’t think so and they’re determined to help Gilly get to the bottom of Perchta’s plans to take over the world and stop her without any supernatural help. Gilly thinks that they’re being dangerously stubborn until she sees the blue sparks fly from Niko’s hands. Who knew her dearest friends were magical? Did she have her own magic that she could call on? Gilly decides to get her red dress cleaned and repaired and take on Perchta and her minions with her friends at her side.
It was either a wild party or an attack by an evil goddess. Gilly doesn’t know which. What she does know, though, is that her house was trashed, her best friend/crush has suddenly lost all interest in her, and very strange things are happening in her town. It’s as if some evil force took up residence the night of Bellsnichol. Exactly. In this modern retelling of The Snow Queen, a mysterious and dangerous girl has tricked her way into Gilly’s home, gaining her entrance into the small town of Bremerton. But she’s not just a girl, and joining the ranks of high school students, where the boys clamor to bask in her beauty makes her stand out even more — at least to Gilly. No one else, it seems, can see the evil radiating off her. The stories said that the Snow Queen seduced young men and whisked them off to her castle at the North Pole. Obviously she wasn’t doing that at the moment — she was still here in Bremerton. Enrolled in high school. That was the part I couldn’t get my head around. Why would an evil goddess go to high school? The more she sees the strange “girl” and her oddly robotic but beautiful “brothers,” Gilly knows something isn’t right. And the more she sees, the more she remembers of the night that until now seemed to have escaped her memory. Fortune (and maybe plain old dumb luck) takes Gilly to Niko’s house, where she learns that she’s not the only one who knows something terrible is happening. Niko and his grandfather are well acquainted with the dark fairy tales that seem to be coming to life in Bremerton, and maybe with their help she’ll be able to save her best friend Kai from the clutches of winter. But... Well, you know from my previous reviews that I’m not a fan of the serial novella format. Just when I started really getting into the story, the closing credits rolled, and now I have to find something else to keep me occupied until the next one in the series is available. The Verdict... I honestly didn’t know whether I’d like the book or hate it. I have a tough time getting into stories that deal with the supernatural and paranormal, generally because so many of them are so entirely unoriginal that I quickly become bored. However this story really surprised me! While the supernatural seemed to turn up at every corner, Dark Solstice introduced each new aspect perfectly. I didn’t feel like I’d been thrown into a world filled with magic that I couldn’t understand. Rather, I was right there in Gilly’s mind, seeing strange events and wondering just what the hell was going on! From the odd glow around the Snow Queen to the shocking cloven hoof prints in the snow, every new mysterious piece of the puzzle had me just as freaked out, confused, and fascinated as Gilly was. Whereas usually I’m able to figure out the next plot twist way in advance, thanks to overdone foreshadowing and formulaic turns, this book had me on the edge of my seat. Dark Solstice is an exciting and fresh take on the legend of the Snow Queen, seamlessly introducing dark fairy tale magic into a contemporary world, and no doubt I’ll be lined up and waiting when Twelfth Night is released!