oliviasbooks's Reviews > Winter's Child: A Retelling of "The Snow Queen" (Once Upon a Time)

Winter's Child by Cameron Dokey
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My almost completed review just disappeared with an uncontrolled flick of my finger and I am too frustrated to start afresh. So, I am just going to sprout some random points that explain why I do not recommend the book and why I won't try to read anything else by the author in the future:

- The book is really short (that is reason why I finished reading the book after all), even for a fairytale retelling. Unfortunately that does not mean that the arc of suspense is higher angled. No. This story has no real climax and almost no plotline to speak of. Can somebody tell me why the North Wind sent the Winter Child to Grace and Kai? Who was the one with the ice splinter? Both? Grace? And when is it removed? Were Kai and Grace Deidre's last stop - or what?

- The book is fairytale-like in the original sense: a lot of moral finger-waggling in front of the reader's face and even more perpetual output of sayings and wise surmises about life and happiness and wishes and curses and whatnot - you know, the stuff that usually belongs on a hand-stiched kitchen towel.

- The book is one slim volume of a larger series. And in my opinion it shows. It had an unpleasant off-the-rack bytaste. I felt like the author had the assignment to complete one fairytale retelling each fortnight.

- The book has no real romance. Everyone gets his or her happily-ever-after - completely out of the blue. There weren't even the stars of a fairy's magic wand to be admired. "Poof - I am your prince. Poof - tell her you love her, but be quick about it. Kneel, all of you who want to be married. A five minute slot has just been opened for you."

- The book is poorly researched. I do know that this is a fairytale retelling and no real-world place is actually mentioned by name, but I hate half-hearted pseudo-researchers. If you are not sure, dear author, place your plot into a fantasy world and use plain English, okay? Grace and Kai have Scandinavian surnames, which fits the Danish origin. But "Grace", Grace is no Scandinavian name. If you did not like Gertrud, Mrs. Dokey, you could have searched for a softer sounding Danish name. I assure you, there are plenty. Grace speaks of her grandmother as her "oma". Oma is a German word. In Danish and Norwegian it should be "bedstemor", in Swedish it's "mormor". Well. And one last thing that came back up sour was that Kai's father worked in the coal mines and dies there. There is almost nothing to mine in Danmark apart from some clay, some minerals and a bit of oil in the North Sea. It would have been possible to shift the story to Germany, but then some other adaptions would have been necessary. The random mix annoyed me a lot.

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Reading Progress

12/02/2011 "I'll start tonight."
52.0% "Kind of preachy, isn't it?" 1 comment
12/27/2016 marked as: read
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Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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~Tina~ Your quick! I haven't started this yet.

Arlene Yeah she's quick! I'm only on page 15!!

oliviasbooks I am sorry. I started yesterday and thought you both were already a day in. It was a quick novella-like read and I was kind of glad to be done with it. The ending felt rushed / dumped at me, too. Maybe I should take a star off Yes, I better do that. You know, I had this feeling -in spite of all the good advice to the reader sprinkled in - that the author was writing the retelling as a weekly assignment. I am curious about your impressions.

message 4: by Arlene (last edited Dec 03, 2011 10:47PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Arlene Don't be sorry! I got distracted with another Christmas story, but I'm more than half way through this one now. The story must lose most of its stars at the end because so far it feels like a 4 star for me. It's almost 11pm and I should go to bed but I want to see how this ends.

~Tina~ What Arlene said, no need to be sorry. I've been busy playing with my Kobo:p
I too am enjoying it so far, I'm on page 62...

oliviasbooks ~Tina~ wrote: "I've been busy playing with my Kobo:p
I too am enjoying it so far, I'm on page 62..."

Oh! Well, congratulations, Tina!!! Have fun with your ereader!!!!

message 7: by joy (last edited Dec 04, 2011 09:13AM) (new) - added it

joy *the clean-reader extraordinaire* i believe the target audience for this series is tween girls -- like 10-12. it's definitely what i would classify as "commercial" fiction. these are pleasant and safe, but i totally agree about the feeling that the author must've completed one per fortnight!
pretty cover, though.

message 8: by oliviasbooks (last edited Dec 04, 2011 11:02AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

oliviasbooks Joy, you might be right about the middle-grade target group. But even as a ten year old I resented plot-holes and endings that were rushed from out of nowhere. And certainly I loved romantic awww-moments in books even before I reached puberty (I have to re-read my favorite Bille-und-Zottel volume (a German horsie-series for girls). I remember reading about Simon confessing to Bille for the first time as a nine-year-old and how I melted when they knocked their noses together.)

~Tina~ oliviasbooks wrote: "~Tina~ wrote: "I've been busy playing with my Kobo:p
I too am enjoying it so far, I'm on page 62..."

Oh! Well, congratulations, Tina!!! Have fun with your ereader!!!!"


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