Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Winterkill #1


Rate this book
Where Emmeline lives, you cannot love and you cannot leave...

The Council's rules are strict, but they're for the good of the settlement in which Emmeline lives. Everyone knows there is nothing but danger the other side of the Wall, and the community must prepare for the freezing winterkill that comes every year.

But Emmeline struggles to be obedient under the Council's suffocating embrace - especially when she discovers that a Council leader intends to snatch her hand in marriage.

Then Emmeline begins to hear the call of the trees beyond the Wall...

323 pages, Hardcover

First published September 2, 2014

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Kate A. Boorman

11 books234 followers
Kate is a freelance writer and artist from the often-frozen Canadian prairies. She has a nice family and a well-indulged travel bug. She also has an irrational fear of birds, so when you visit, please leave your bird at home. But do visit.


Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
398 (17%)
4 stars
776 (33%)
3 stars
777 (33%)
2 stars
254 (11%)
1 star
84 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 406 reviews
Profile Image for Mia Nauca.
124 reviews3,833 followers
March 26, 2016
2.5 estrellas... Empezó bien pero luego la protagonista se volvió insoportable... Tomaba mala decisión tras mala decisión.
Y la historia no fue lo suficientemente atrapante para mi gusto, bastante predecible.
Profile Image for Tanja (Tanychy).
588 reviews252 followers
February 14, 2015
Review also posted at Ja čitam, a ti?

Sometimes you just have to trust your gut. Here is the thing. I have seen the cover for this book a while ago and fell in love with it. This book has been on my wishlist for a long time, but then I started seeing some not-that-nice reviews for it and I cooled off. But my gut is something I always trust and it told me to go for it. I did and surprise, surprise it was totally worth it!

Firstly, I'm glad that this book haven't got labeled as retelling as I'm not sure I'd put it there. The cover gives of a vibe like this is a story about Red Riding Hood, but in reality it's not that much. This is actually something I have no idea where to put. Depending on your interpretation it can be either historical story or dystopia, but for me it works both ways.

Now, this is a story about Emmeline (Em for short), who grew up in settlement. It's the world she and people living there know about. The woods around them are scary and full of malmaci who are their worst nightmare. But Em is a very curious young girl and wondering in the woods is what she often does. But, it's what she discovers there is what will change her.

I have no idea why, but I always liked stories which give off a very old fashioned vibe. I have got a feeling like I'm in 17th century and somewhere in area of today's Canada (be prepared for lots of French here, tho) and I loved it. Besides the setting, Em and I connected right away. She is not your extraordinary, kick ass girl, but rather common but at the same time easy to approach. That leads us to the love interest here, which almost melted me! I made that weird squee whenever the two of them met. What can I tell you, I have a thing for first/sort of forbidden love deal.

Lastly, what made me fully enjoy this story is actually the writing. It was really nicely written and very readable. I couldn't stop reading once I started. The only issue I had with this book, is that some elements here seemed unnecessary. Maybe we'll get the point in the sequel. Well, let's hope.
Profile Image for AH.
2,005 reviews370 followers
September 16, 2014
Oh, where to start?

After reading about 20 pages of this book, I was ready to throw in the towel. I made myself read up to page 100 to see if things changed and the story did improve, but not enough for me to rate this book any higher than one star.

I found the writing distracting. The book is set in a village where people speak English or French. Since I live in a city where people speak both languages and sometimes do not notice which language they are speaking, I found that the way this book was written did not seem realistic. I felt as if I were reading a covert French lesson rather than a story. It also felt repetitive since I did understand the French.

Then there are other language issues. Mayhap? Using the word mayhap would make more sense had I a better idea of the time frame of this book. Also there were some inconsistencies as to how people were addressed - Brother, Sister, Soeur, etc. Soeur Manon because she spoke mostly French, but Brother Andre also spoke mostly French and he was addressed as Brother.

Then there's the detail as to the kind of berries. Come on, Saskatoon berries? So I Googled them and found out that they are similar to blueberries and they grow in the prairies. In the US, they are referred to June Berries because, let's just say, it's easier to say and spell June.

I had a feeling that I read this book before. It reminded me of the movie The Village.

I also had difficulty relating to any of the characters. Emmeline is "stained," meaning that she is shunned for the sins of her family, yet she really isn't ostracized or anything. Again, that felt kind of wishy-washy.

For the record, I did finish the book though it was a slog.

Thank you to NetGalley and Amulet Books for a review copy of this book.
Profile Image for Bekah.
745 reviews979 followers
August 14, 2014
Um...WOW! Read this in one sitting. It was THAT GOOD. I didn't know what to really expect from this book and as I started reading it I thought it was going to be a remake of the movie The Village by M. Night Shyamalan but I was wrong! I was completely hooked by the end of paige one. Then I thought please don't let it be like the book The Forest of Hands and Teeth because I hated that book but I read on intrigued and wondering where this author might take this story.

This book is dark, creepy, romantic, thrilling, mysterious and adventurous everything you need to enjoy a well written story.

It's the story of Emmeline who lives in a settlement isolated from anything beyond their compound. Here those who live in this settlement barely have enough to survive. Where curiosity is good as long as it doesn't out stretch the boundaries set by the Council, men who watch over this settlement and keep the peace by pounding in everybody head virtues that are smiled upon, and those evil thoughts, feelings, and doings that could lead you to your own death. Emmeline keeps herself apart from everybody around her as she is "stained" and crippled. She is the granddaughter of a woman who became "wayward" and went beyond the boundaries of their settlement which lead to the Council taking her to a place called "The crossroads" where she was put to death. Because of that the decadents of those "wayward" people are always thought of by others to be tainted and not worthy of certain virtues. However Emmiline feels like she is "wayward" because she can't help her curiosity for the unknown and can't help herself when she finds a path beyond the boundaries where she's allowed to go. You can't help but sit at the edge of your seat gripping this book and cheering Emmeline on! When Emmeline turns 16 she has now come of age to be "bonded" AKA married. She catches the eye of the settlement leader who asks for her hand in marriage. This is a great opportunity to wash away the stain of previous actions of her grandmother as she has been found worth to be the wife of the settlement leader.

However she can't help but explore that path that she knows is forbidden to her and which could result in her death. And when she does she finds the very thing her grandmother found which someone killed to keep secret.

I completely loved everything about this story from each of the characters, to the twist at the end that I didn't see coming. The undecided feelings I had for two of the male characters. The excitement and thrill I felt for each part of Emmeline's story and how it all unfolded. This was WAY better than I imagined.

Sexual Content: mild (some kissing)
Langauge: none
Violence: mild
Drugs/Alcohol: mild
Profile Image for Bells.
325 reviews42 followers
December 18, 2015
un 3.5 en realidad.
me ha gustado aunque la historia se me hizo algo lenta.
pero al llegar a la mitad del libro queria resolver todo y no pude parar de leer
Profile Image for Rayne.
862 reviews287 followers
June 24, 2014
2.5 stars

The Village meets The Forest of Hands and Teeth meets The Hallowed Ones.

Winterkill is a very atmospheric and lovely-written story that, though it has plenty of tension and suspense, feels long-winded and loses its effect halfway through the book because of the slow progression of the few events that take place in the novel. Ultimately, although it does have a couple of interesting new aspects to it, Winterkill is basically just like every other standard YA dystopian novel out there.

All the technical aspects of Winterkill are impressively well-crafted. The author managed to infuse the novel with a very oppressive atmosphere,a sort of dreamy quality into the world and even a couple of well-written exhilarating scenes of suspense. The author did a wonderful job at setting the world, but there's very little in the way of explanations and backstory. The story of this world is made up of vague myths, which works in favor of the mysticism surrounding the village, but leaves a lot to be desired in terms of world-building. You don't know where this village is, you don't even know what period it is. You don't know anything about it, if it's an average Amish-like community in modern times, or if it's a post-apocalyptic refuge, or even if all this takes place in the past. It does lend a lot of mystery to the village, but I kept expecting a bit more, mostly because since the nature of this community is not the mystery, all of that gets pointedly ignored.

This novel is extremely slow story in general. I normally wouldn't mind so much, but most of the events in the novel go in a sort of repetitive loop and it isn't until the end that the chain breaks and something else, something interesting, finally happens. By then, at least to me, it was a bit too late. This is not a particularly long novel, but it feels far longer due to the slightly stagnant plot of the first two thirds of the novel. The general plot is also extremely familiar and follows the safe, pre-established path of almost every single generic dystopia out there.

I had a very hard time engaging with Emmeline, mostly due to the fact that she was familiar in every single aspect. She's the typical Mary Sue special snowflake YA heroine that allows people to push her and mistreat her - to which she does have a reason, but then she would selectively show a backbone only when she didn't need it or to people who didn't deserve it and that excuse would fall through -, a girl who goes thinking about a gorgeous guy she just met all the time and waits around for a guy to save her. The best Emmeline had going for her was her curiosity and her thoughtful nature, but her narrative style gets repetitive after a while and is wasted on the insta-love. She does grow in the novel, that much is true, and she learns to be brave, but with the slightly anti-climactic events at the end, all that's sort of moot point.

Moreover, Emmeline was unbelievably, outstandingly, appallingly selfish and did a lot of things out of absolute self-interest. Even towards the end, when she learns the truth behind her community, when she realizes what's at stake, it all comes down to her and what she wants and how, if she doesn't do this or someone doesn't help her, she won't get what she wants. She reminded me way too much of Mary from The Forest of Hands and Teeth, except that Mary had no problem admitting and embracing her selfishness, whereas Emmeline is constantly portrayed as a selfless martyr. Emmeline used the people around her, the people she claimed to love, and forced them to help her with her stupid plans or to keep dangerous secrets with very little explanation, but then pouted and whined when they, very reasonably, told her that it just couldn't be done. She wasn't irritating, but her voice and the way she did things so impulsively got tiring very soon.

Most of the characters in the book were there to be used as props by Emmeline and lacked characterization beyond what they could provide to Emmeline and her needs. The main love interest is included in his group. He's the generic, gorgeous, understanding but mysterious boy from every book ever who falls for the main character for no discernible reason. Lust, certainly that I could believe between those two, but the degree of love they claimed to feel for each other? Personally, I never saw it there because they were never shown to share any particularly deep connection over anything, not for lack of trying on the author's part. Another characterization that bothered me a bit was Emmeline's best friend who happened to be gay. I completely understand that in as isolated and pious a community as Emmeline's, she would try to understand her friend's situation in whatever way was easier for her, but I didn't feel particularly comfortable with her saying that he was gay because he had two souls and that it was his woman soul making him love men. The connotations behind that are slightly problematic.

Winterkill is undeniably well-written and atmospheric, but a slow moving plot and a main character I could not connect with made it really hard for me to engage with any aspect of the story. It's a lovely book, really, but if I cannot care for it in any way, then the best writing in the world cannot make up for that.
Profile Image for Monica.
527 reviews163 followers
April 9, 2023
Great random YA pick from the library! Reminded me of a mix from Hunger Games and The Village (which I’m sure is also a book, but I’ve only seen the movie).

There were several nice twists that made it hard to figure out who to trust. Only negative was the conclusion… I needed more information on the outcome - maybe a sequel? I could definitely read more of these characters!
Profile Image for Agustina.
108 reviews13 followers
April 13, 2021
In general it is a very good mistery but for me it feels odd. Thing happen quickly and when we receive the answers for our questions it is not satisfactory.
Everything in the book is just ok but something feels strange and when i finished this book i just felt nothing.
Profile Image for Beth  (YA Books Central).
415 reviews115 followers
August 8, 2014

"They are isolated....but not alone..."

So I will have to admit that the first thing that grabbed my attention towards this book.....was the cover. I mean what a seriously wicked, creepy cover. Winterkill is written in stakes in replace of fence posts, there is snow covering an entire village, and a young girl with a red robe running through it. Yep...I had to have this one.

Winterkill is about the journey of a young girl named Emmeline that is determined to discover the truth about her village. Of course this synopsis immediately reminded me of "The Village by M. Night Shyamalan" but let me assure you that it is very different. Emmeline's settlement has been slowly deteriorating and her people are disappearing. The villagers blame these occurrences on the "malmaci" which are the creatures that haunt the woods surrounding the village.

"Out here, I can feel the dead in the trees. The Lost People rustle the leaves, muddy the shafts of light through the branches, whisper in my ear. They creep dusty fingers along my neck,tug at my braid, pull strands from my plait to tickle my face. Or mayhap its the wind....."

Emmeline's grandmother was shamed from their village and cast out and when this happens the descendants of her family are all branded as "stained." Em never really understands why her grandmother was cast out and she is determined to discover the truth. She has dreams that call her into the woods and forces her to break the rules of her village but Em's journey to discover the truth may end up causing her death.

Each chapter of this book was so fascinating and I was completely absorbed in the story. Every time I thought I had the mystery uncovered....I was so wrong. There are so many twists in this book and I loved every one of them!!!

The only thing that I will say confused me a little with this book was the language. There were certain parts where characters spoke a different language and it was not exactly explained what they were saying so to me that was a little confusing. I tried to make sense of the sentences by the writing around it but sometimes I just couldn't figure it out and it threw me off the story at times.

Another aspect of the story that I really enjoyed was the romance. The romance between Kane and Em was so young and sweet. The setting of the story reminds me of the ways of the Amish in that their traditions are very similar. Em and Kane are so innocent and yet so in love. It was a perfect addition to this story.

Winterkill is full of suspense, atmosphere, secrets, romance, and a spell-binding mystery. Fans of Young Adult will devour this book. Kate Boorman is definitely going on my favorite authors list. She is an amazing story-teller and weaves a story that keeps you guessing until the last page is turned.
Profile Image for Océano de libros.
747 reviews75 followers
November 1, 2017
Emmeline vive en una aldea separada del mundo por un muro, un muro que los protege a ella y a sus habitantes del temido malmaci. Pero Em es una chica inquieta que no se conforma con eso y quiere saber qué hay más allá. Su insurrección puede costarle la vida pero ella está convencida de sus sueños.
Hacía tiempo que no me daba por el género distópico más que nada porque no quiero empezar trilogías que después se queden a medio publicar pero este libro fue un regalo así que… no ha sido una sorpresa pero tampoco un fracaso.
Una de las cosas que para mí puntúan en negativo es el exceso de descripciones y aquí la autora no se priva de ellas, nuestra protagonista nos muestra sus pensamientos y miedos muy a menudo en detrimento de diálogos en los que yo creo que hubiese sido bueno una mayor interacción entre personajes. Y es que es difícil hacerse a la idea de cómo es un personaje si su intercambio dura un suspiro, así ha sido con Kane, la relación de la protagonista con este chico me ha resultado trillada, irreal incluso porque con tan pocos momentos en el libro lo parece.
Otra de las cosas que no me han gustado pues es esa frases en francés o términos a lo largo de todo el libro, vale es interesante pero a mí me hace desconectar de la lectura pues hay veces (pocas eso sí) en que no le dan traducción y eso me molesta.
La historia en sí es entretenida, pero no se separa de lo acostumbrado en el género distópico, no me ha sorprendido nada a estas alturas pero sí que me ha gustado que tenga un par de personajes que den juego como Tom y el Hermano Stockham, éste último me tuvo en un sinvivir entre el amor y el odio.
En definitiva, espero que mejore en la siguiente parte y nos dé más vidilla porque si no pasará sin pena ni gloria por mi lista de lecturas.
Profile Image for Tammie.
1,324 reviews155 followers
October 1, 2017
"Emmeline knows she’s not supposed to explore the woods outside her settlement. The enemy that wiped out half her people lurks there, attacking at night and keeping them isolated in an unfamiliar land with merciless winters."

That part of the book description is what really made me want to read Winterkill. What was it that was lurking out there in the forbidden woods? The answer wasn't really all that surprising.

I liked this book, but I didn't love it. I got annoyed with Emmeline a few times because I thought she made some stupid choices and couldn't see who she should obviously have been able to trust and who she obviously should not have been able to trust. Also the romance was a bit too insta-love for me because there wasn't enough build up to it. And while I thought the characters were ok, none of them really stood out in any special way to me.

This book also reminded me a lot of another book series, The Frost Chronicles by Kate Avery Ellison. That one, while not perfect either, surprised me more and had a creepier feel to it so I liked it better over-all.

When I chose to read this for some reason I thought it was a stand-alone, but it is the first book in a trilogy. There were no cliff-hangers, and the main mystery is wrapped up. It looks like the next book explores new territory and while it advances the plot-line of what Emmeline found out in the woods, I'm happy to leave it where it is and consider it a stand-alone. If I had loved it more I would continue, but there was just something missing for me.

Review also posted at Writings of a Reader
Profile Image for Zoe and the Edge.
674 reviews64 followers
February 21, 2015
I find dystopians in which religion is heavily involved extremely creepy.
This book takes a while to warm up. I wasn't a big fan of the colonial setting and their slang and way of talking.
What I did appreciate was the mystery and Emmaline's bad leg. The author does some really marvelous work on that.
Emmaline is on the outside of the community. Her grandma did something bad and she carries the village people's rejection. Although it would seem that she is more concerned about it than most people.
I like a romance where action speaks louder than words and I don't mean physical affection.
Kane is a good hero with plenty of casual with a good dose of edge. I like him because he likes Emmaline but doesn't feel the need to make a show about it or boast about the acts of bravery he commits for her sake. And he is brave. Maybe one of the bravest heroes. He's not afraid on many levels and I like that about him.
Stockham surprised me. Early on, I'd shoved him in a box and every time he said something unpredictable, he made me smile, which is really weird.

To be honest, I wasn't really enjoying the book until I put on some Tchaikovsky to listen to and suddenly the book became so exhilarating and beautiful and terrifying. I loved how things come together in the end.
Profile Image for Lid.
729 reviews350 followers
November 30, 2015

Ha sido muy distinto a lo que esperaba. La historia transcurre de forma lenta, hay poca acción, el romance me parece pésimo y los personajes no han hecho mucha mella en mi. Pero a pesar de todo ha conseguido sorprenderme y engancharme. Sin duda alguna el punto fuerte es la ambientación y la forma en la que de viven. Me ha parecido sumamente curioso y he disfrutado bastante de ello.
Le ha faltado algo pero tiene algo que me sigue atrayendo.
Profile Image for Ligaro.
507 reviews10 followers
August 17, 2020
3'5 ⭐
Comencé el libro sin saber nada de él, con decir que creía que era una novela negra 😂. Antes de hablar sobre el contenido, señalar que la portada me parece preciosa y que me ha sorprendido que la autora nació en Nepal, después fue criada en Canadá, pero es originaria de ese pequeño país asiático.
La historia me ha gustado. Me parece que hay tres partes: comienza bien, luego repite demasiado lo mismo y termina interesante. Es decir, es de esas veces que puedo decir que le falta algo de acción, algo más.
Sobre la ambientación en la que se centra esta novela distópica, decir que me parece que el lugar en el que viven creo que está genial descrito. Sin embargo, me hubiera gustado saber algo más y de forma más comprensible sobre lo que les llevo a estar en esa situación.
En cuanto a los personajes, sé que es curioso, pero la prota sin más. En cambio, me encantan Tom y André, dos personajes secundarios que me han transmitido mucho más que el resto.
Seguiré con la trilogía, por supuesto; pese a no ser de las mejores distopías que he leído, sigo queriendo saber qué pasa a continuación
Profile Image for Alicia Batista (Addicted Readers).
256 reviews505 followers
August 6, 2014

4 Stars

Wow, what a surprisingly thrilling ride WINTERKILL was!! I was sure WINTERKILL was not going to be "My kinda book" but WHOA, my mind was changed pretty quickly! I highly enjoyed WINTERKILL, but I wasn't sure on how I was going to feel after it started. It was kinda slow, and dragged in the beginning. It felt like nothing was really happening besides a girl wanting to go out in the woods beyond. But it changed quickly after the first 15-20%, then I was in full flow of in engagement! I was swept into a world full of lies, secrets, deception, mystery, and.... murder. Yeah, it's definitely got the qualities of my "Kinda Book!"


Deep in the mysterious woods, lies a forgotten village, secluded with ancient legends and whispers of beast that roam the woods, searching and preying, taking and claiming the lives of the people long ago, which are now remembered as, The Lost People.

What people have survived, remain in their walled village in the woods, trying to keep the peace and survive. They've bounded together for years, abiding by the Council and Leader's every word. To not abide, would be considered a wayward act, and being branded as a wayward is a serious crime, with serious consequences. As being deemed a wayward is risking the communities survival, and thus ruled unfit to remain in the community, and then are sentenced to the crossroads, to die...

At almost the age of sixteen, Emmeline is officially becoming of age. Which means she is just about the age of eligibility to be offered the opportunity to become bound to a man of binding age. She's never really given binding to a man too much thought, as she is looked down upon, and shunned for her grandmothers waywardness when she was a young girl in the village, and was sent to the crossroads, to die. So Em is marked, labeled a high risk for waywardness, and has been paying the price since birth.

Em fills her days helping in the village by gathering herbs, plants, and other useful flora she can find in the gathering areas. But she yearns for more. She desires to leave the boundaries of their village which is forbidden, and considered an act of waywardness that could land her a one way trip to the crossroads. But the desire is there, and it is strong, with reacquiring dreams that are calling to her. Telling her to find them, luring her to the woods beyond the boundaries of their save haven. And one day, the pull is too much for Em, and she gives in, and that's when everything changes...

Em explores the woods outside her world hoping to find what has been calling her. And that's when she finds... lies, secrets, betrayals, mystery, murder, and The Lost People. But she's playing on very dangerous ground, and if caught, not only her world, but the ones she loves, could come crumbling down.


Em will have to uncover who or what is calling to her, and just what do they really want? As the boundaries between friend and foe start to blend, and too many lines crossed, Em will have to decide what is worth fighting for, and just how far she's willing to go to set things right.

Em will have to make the ultimate choice, make the unknown, known, or leave it as it is. Which could be worse? Em's about to find out in this epic adventure as one girl fights for what she believes in.

Overall, WINTERKILL was an intensely great read, which I devoured as the mystery unfolded, and the pieces of the puzzle started fitting into place. By the end of the book I found myself really engaged, and dying to know what was going to happen next to these awesome characters that I've slowly grown to care for. It's definitely worthy the read, and I highly recommended it, even with it's slowwwww start!!! ;)

NOTE: I received a physical ARC from Amulet Books for reviewing purposes! All opinions express are my own and are not influenced in any way!
Profile Image for Soumi.
Author 1 book378 followers
September 12, 2014

"They are isolated....but not alone..."

Winterkill is basically a rip-off of the movie “The Village.”

Let me tell you the resemblances.

Both, the book and the movie, were set in a walled village/town in middle of nowhere, surrounded by deep forest where mysterious creature roams; the beings are called here “malmaci” and in The Village they were called "Those We Don't Speak Of."

Aside from the similarities with the movie, the Setting is vague. A very little history behind how the village came to existence is given. Two types of groups were told to survive from the old-world; the people who speak French and those who speak English, which led me to question, what happened to other democracies? How the Old World Kingdom (world as we know it now), met its end?

Sadly no explanation.

Speaking of the Characters, Emmeline, our protagonist is a Strained who bears the shame of her grandmother’s insubordination. She is also a cripple, pushed on an axe at a very young age by the villagers and broke her leg. Although, given her situation, I found her frail traits quite believable, but at times her reticence to speak up and wussy nature annoyed me. I liked her eagerness for knowledge and curiosity to discover the mystery outside village walls. Which ultimately led to her family history and secrets she never thought could exist.

Adding further to the list of similarities with The Village, a triangle between the MC, Kane—the boy she had a crush on and the village leader is introduced in the book.

However, the Romance between Em and Kane were sweet and well-developed. Kane was understanding and gorgeous and despite he lied to Em, given the reason behind it, he was easily forgivable. Gabriel, the mysterious young village most women swoon over, suddenly began showing interest in Em for no apparent reason. I have to admit I was misled by his sincerity and his impression of love. That loving someone doesn't mean the person you love will love you back. I liked the way Gabriel’s character was crafted, layer by layer, complex and psychotic.

For the Writing, had it been any other story I would've called the writing choppy (though not as choppy as Half Bad), but considering the MC is illiterate, and so are most of the people in the town, her voice felt absolutely suitable for her persona, somehow reminded me of Willo from After the Snow.

As final verdict, I’d say: Readers, give this book a chance. If not anything, I found it engaging. Though I already guessed the big reveal from a half book away, I kept reading and honestly one or two twist near the end I didn't see coming. Trust me, despite its flaws and holes, Winterkill is truly not a terrible book by any means.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
951 reviews38 followers
April 16, 2015
Originally review for an Author Spotlight here.

Winterkill is one of those books where no matter how long I make my review I still wont be able to get my entire point across. There aren't enough words in the English language to represent how much I enjoyed this book. I have been sitting on this review for almost a week and I am still at a loss for words but I am going to try to form the review this book deserves.

I ADORED Emmaline's character. She was so strong and brave. Her grandma'am has put a stain over their family but Em was hell bent on trying to make her Pa's and her life better. She wasn't Wayward. She was CURIOUS. You cannot contain people in a small village and not expect them to be come curious. I was actually shocked that more people didn't question everything. But then again, they were safe, fed(barely) and in a community of loved ones so I guess most of them didn't feel like anything should be questioned. Some people don't want MORE. Some people are fine with just living.

Brother Stockham kind of creeped me out. He seemed nice and kind at first but after a few scenes with him trying to get close to Emmaline he became too obsessive and I could just tell there was something wrong with him. He ended up freaking out on Emmaline and proved that there was definitely a few screws loose.

Tom was so cute. He had a HUGE secret that could get him send to the gibbets but he keeps his secret and so does Em. It sucks that he can't live life how he wants to but then again it's 2015 and people still can't live how they want.

Kane! Oh, Almighty, Kane. He was so swoon-worthy. He put his life at risk just to watch over Em. I was soooo rooting for him the entire book. Him and Em kept ending up in this impossible situations and I just thought it was so funny. They were always thrown together and I think that helped them get feelings for each other

The entire book just had me on edge all the time. I never knew when someone was going to die because of Wayward acts or if Em was about to get caught exploring the woods. But after Em found the truth out about her Grandma'am I was sitting here telling Em to do bad things! The book was definitely very interactive for me. I was talking to characters so much.

The Lost People was such a cool concept. Obviously other people had to exist, right? The fortification couldn't hold the last of the human race, right? Well, most of the people thought they were the last. It is so sad how easily people will follow the leader.

In the end I found Winterkill to be a breath-taking book. There were so many ups and downs. So many shocks and draw dropping moments. I found myself hoping for certain things to happen and then something else entirely happened. But I am glad it ended the way it did. I was rooting for Kane so much, as I previously said. I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book!

Overall, I gave the book 5/5 stars.
Profile Image for Emma.
205 reviews118 followers
August 4, 2014
This book has already drawn instant comparisons with M Night Shyamalan's highly-disparaged film The Village. However, I am one of those nuts who absolutely ADORES The Village despite critical consensus, so that was nothing but a selling point for me, and you know what? Winterkill absolutely lived up to the creepy beautiful gothic vibe that was the main thing I adored about The Village. But that alone wouldn't make it a good book, and this was a REALLY GOOD BOOK. It was scary and tense. It was original. It was wonderfully plotted and paced. It was really well-written. It was emotionally and moral complex. The characters were great, and so was the depiction of the setting--I live on the prairies, like the author, and she turned it into this vivid, unforgiving, beautiful-rendered landscape that was really arresting and compelling.

That said, I was all set to take issue with Boorman's treatment of the pioneer context. This where I'm coming from: Patricia C Wrede. Who came under a lot of fire for what she did with her Thirteenth Child series, an alternative history of the American West with magic and megafauna but no Native Americans, as they had all been wiped out by the aforementioned megafauna. From what I understand, she didn't want to write indigenous people as villains or simply an obstacle for the colonisers, as they're so often treated in western fiction, and that's totally understandable... but instead, she erased them completely. While Winterkill certainly did not go to such extremes--the pioneer settlement in which the novel is set is composed of mixed English, French, and Métis populations who have moved to this new frontier from the already-settled east, but there are no First Peoples left on the land, having presumably been slaughtered by the malmaci, who are the boogeyman of Winterkill--I couldn't help but worry that this book was pulling a Thirteenth Child all over again. The First Peoples were allowed with some narrative presence, but only as ghosts, as the Lost People, who haunt the heroine's dreams and leave behind artifacts and art, but are given no stake in the story. For about the first three-quarters of the book, I was really fretting over this! But then--

WELL. I'm not going to talk about it in any detail, but... suffice it to say that Boorman not only laid those fears to rest, but also turned the issue into something much more complicated and interesting. I'm very excited to see where the rest of the series goes, and I'm VERY excited to keep an eye on my new favourite Canadian author.
Profile Image for Karenina González.
82 reviews25 followers
January 21, 2016
OMG! ¿Por dónde empezar?
Este libro me llamó demasiado la atención desde el primer momento en que leí la sinopsis pero no fue sino hasta hace unos días que me animé a ponerle las manos encima. Me sorprendió encontrarme con una narrativa muy fluida desde el inicio y, como es de esperarse del primer libro de una serie, es algo introductorio al principio pero gracias a esa maravillosa narrativa las primeras 100 páginas pasan volando y cuando menos lo esperas estás enganchadísimo a la historia y no puedes parar de leer.
Amé a muchísimos personajes y odie a otros tantos. En lo personal, no podía parar de reír cada que a la protagonista se le alborataban las hormonas. XD
Lloré como Magdalena al final, he de admitirlo, y, de no haber sido por un detalle en el último capítulo, este libro bien podría ser autoconclusivo. La verdad es que no me siento ansiosa por leer el segundo libro de esta trilogía pero eso no significa que el libro me haya encantado menos.
5* bien merecidas.
Profile Image for A.
103 reviews
August 27, 2015
I loved this book as well. I stayed up until 2:45am reading it. At first it's a bit slow but when you get in to the middle it's so a really awesome book. Some bits are in French but the writer has translated it in a way which I really like and I can't describes and I would really like there to have been a second and third book. But unfortunately there isn't.
Profile Image for Lejlika.
86 reviews4 followers
April 15, 2018
Pôvodne to mala byť len jedna hviezdička ale ku koncu to malo svetlé stránky no nie dosť, aby som sa pre tú knihu nadchla. Celý ten námet bol fajn avšak obsahovo to nesplnilo moje očakávania. Popisy síce boli dôkladné ale nekonečné. Takže sa v podstate toho moc neudialo a moju pozornosť to neustále strácalo, čím sa moje čítanie stalo nudné a unavujúce 😐
Profile Image for Zaskya Benítez.
778 reviews25 followers
March 2, 2019
Abandonado 01-03-2019
Comencé este libro pensando que era de otro género ya que desde que lo añadí a la lista no había visto de que iba y al darme cuenta de que en lugar de novela negra, policíaca o thriller, era un libro de fantasía me chocó mucho. Desde entonces no pude conectar con la historia, además todo esto del muro me recuerda a game of thrones y no consigo meterme en la trama, pues a cada rato espero que pase algo relacionado a la serie. Honestamente no creo que sea un mal libro, simplemente no es un libro adecuado para mi, en este momento.
Profile Image for Andria Potter.
Author 2 books52 followers
June 27, 2021
I went into this book blind and finished it in less less than two hours. 5 ⭐❤️💜❤️
Profile Image for Maria Dimitrova.
744 reviews139 followers
April 2, 2016
I picked Wintekill expecting it to be a fantasy novel and up until to last few chapters I was convinced it was. But by the time it was revealed what the malmaci is I was so caught up in the story that I no longer cared! I liked everything about this book (well almost everything) even though there was nothing exceptional - the story itself is quite familiar and I found it easy to slip into that world. There wasn't enough world building in my opinion but considering the setting it can be expected. Some of the themes reflect our present day problems with religious fanatism, blind obedience to authority, self-image, wrestling with your sexuality (yes there's a gay character and no it was not his defining feature), etc. (sorry I was too caught up in the story to remember them all it just made an impression on me). By the end I was thinking on rating this one 5 stars but the sloppy cliffhanger at the end of chapter 32 and the substitution of some common words like marriage and sin with synonyms as well as the untranslated French took away from the allure of this novel. Honestly if I had noticed all that French before buying it I would have most likely left it on the shelf. Don't get me wrong I have nothing agaisnt French I just don't know it so I had to either try to grasp what's been said based on context alone or constantly search for the translation. Since I read mainly while commuting on the subway juggling the book and my phone to translate that sentence and then the one a couple of pages after it was not an option. However, after reading it i'm glad I didn't see that little quirk ^_^. I can't wait for the sequel and hopefully it won't dissappoint.
Profile Image for Megan.
18 reviews17 followers
September 9, 2014
Winterkill: Follow the Wayward Path by Kate Boorman was one of the best books I've read in a long time. I got the book free through a First Reads giveaway on GoodReads.com. Boorman is a fantastic writer! The characters, the time, & the setting seem so real. As I kept reading the book, I kept imagining something like an Amish or Puritan society. The main character is a 16 year old woman named Emmeline. She struggles with the stigma of being "stained", of having to bare the weight or her grandmother's "waywardness" for which she was executed. Her bad foot only seems like a reminder that she's stained, not good enough, not worthy. Boorman has created a whole new vocabulary for these characters that only serves to emerse you deeper into this world. I loved it, up until the very last sentence & then it was just "done." The End....wait, I went to the author's website..OMG! Winterkill is only the beginning..there will be 2 other books in this trilolgy, yippee! So have no fear, you WILL find out what happens to our characters we've grown so attached to once this story is complete.
Profile Image for Jmorenocidoncha.
52 reviews34 followers
November 8, 2015
Cuando uno va saltando de libro en libro, buscando infructuosamente una lectura que realmente haga estremecer la fibra sensible, solo tiene que leer la primera página de "Invierno asesino" para saber que se encuentra ante algo distinto y valioso. Hay escritores que necesitan una carrera para hallar su estilo, su madurez, pero Kate Boorman es uno de esos extraños casos en los que parece que internamente ha ido curtiendo durante toda su vida lo que luego ha dado forma a través de la escritura. Y sin embargo también hay espacio para que siga mejorando en las siguientes entregas.
El planteamiento es muy original. Los escenarios y la amenaza invisible son creíbles y angustiantes. Y en suma, la lectura de esta primera parte de la trilogía, solo nos deja con ganas de esperar las siguientes.
Profile Image for Teresa V..
176 reviews29 followers
December 27, 2015

Invierno Asesino es un libro que aunque no tiene un buen comienzo, su trama se va enroscando de tal forma que acaba atrapándote; acompañado además de unos personajes reales y bien construidos, con personalidades características que no te dejaran indiferentes. Boorman nos presenta un mundo donde el miedo siempre está presente y dónde los monstruos existen, aunque no siempre son como los esperan. Una trama llena de misterio, secretos, mentiras, valentía, amor, descubrimiento y aceptación. Un libro que aunque no ha cumplido todas mis expectativas, me ha gustado bastante y espero con ansias sus continuaciones.

Reseña completa: http://within-books.blogspot.com.es/2...
Profile Image for Steve Altier.
Author 9 books285 followers
February 9, 2016
I was fascinated by the village they lived in, I wanted to learn more what was happing with the council members. Emmeline was a very likeable character, her waywardness was a nice way of saying she didn't follow orders very well. Kate Boorman, Great job! I had a hard time putting this book down. Yes I did order the sequel. Darkthaw, 5 of 5 stars for Winterkill.
Profile Image for Vee_Bookish.
1,342 reviews303 followers
September 10, 2021
This was a much slower paced story than I expected, but what made up for it was how much I connected with Emmeline. This is a story that is a little overdone - a Christian based religious group of settlers, all living in a compound, unable to leave because of a mysterious threat - or at least so the council says. However because I connected so much with Emmeline, that made me more invested in the story as she tried to discover what the council was hiding.

This story deals with so much more than just overcovering what the council is hiding, as Emmeline struggles with the limits of her disability, as well as coming to terms with growing up, her responsibility to her father, her feelings for Kane, and her potential marriage (binding) to Brother Stockham.

I did find it strange that at end, the promised Winterkill (or La Prise) came and went within a couple of chapters after all the lead up. I didn't realise that this was a series until half way through, I think this could work very well as duology but as this is a trilogy, as was common in the early 2010s, I feel like the second book may drag as the author sets up the plot for the final book.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 406 reviews

Join the discussion

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.