Written by Mikayla Elliot
Review written by Diana Iozzia
“Snow” is a fantasy novel about a twenty-five to thirty-year-old woman who has been turned into a vampire, after a very important noble in her country, betrays her. She is turned in order to save her life, and then she is launched into this brand-new world. Neva is a beautiful woman who is very kind and cares about her family deeply. When she learns she is taken under the wing of the handsome, regal Thedryk, she is informed of the battle between the good vampires and the evil demons, who all have a mysterious origin story connecting to God and the Devil.
Neva learns many different things about vampirism. Many of this story is told to the readers, by Neva, after she learns herself. Neva is a very special person, similar to “the chosen one” trope. She is a magical person who reincarnates after death, and she can actually undo the curse of immortality. The main rivalry in this story is the good vampires protecting Neva and the evil demons and evil vampires who want to stop Neva from undoing immortality, for many reasons that if I mentioned, I think I’d accidentally leave some spoilers. Zachariah is the leader of the not so nice vampires, and my God, he is a good villain.
The book begins with a fantastic first part. The first few chapters are terribly intriguing. This reminds me of “Beauty and the Beast” where Thedryk is the wise, regal Beast who lets Belle / Neva live in his castle. I’m not sure if the author intended for these parallels, but I thought the similarities were very nice and pretty. This book is very pretty in general. The dialogue isn’t cheesy or overdone. It does seem to me that the descriptions are the best parts of the book. Mostly every character is described well, leaving me with a clear picture in my mind. I also enjoyed part two. The main focus seems to be the set up of future sequels, and there is a fantastic “battle sequence” in both parts. Also, the last chapter is a brilliant cliffhanger, and I’m so curious to find out if / when there is going to be a sequel. I think this is the best YA / fantasy book I’ve read in a very long time. I was apprehensive going into this, because I haven’t read vampire fantasy in quite some time. This book was incredibly better than I suspected.
In my reviews, I’d also like to include the information I’ve tagged and book marked, which can help me leave further constructive criticism. I’ve tried very hard not to include spoilers, but if you think you may be spoiled in just the slightest, please read the book, and then come back to my review.
1. The first paragraph. What a hook. Like I said the first chapter and part are fantastically interesting, but I particularly love a great first paragraph.
2. There are a few historical inaccuracies, like a certain dress fabric, catchphrases, words, or some expressions. The book is said to take place in 1287, however, there isn’t anything specific that ties the era to the date. It seems hard to understand which terms and expressions would have been used then.
3. I really like the interesting aspects and characteristics vampires exhibit in this book. They don’t feel too cliched, and I haven’t read many vampire fiction novels that have the same characteristics. They include: better insight, eating human food, vision-like dreams, the reactions to sunlight. In many vampire fictions, vampires drink animal blood as a second option, a consolation prize, but the good vampires in “Snow” happily drink animal blood to sustain themselves. They often mix it in food and wine. I also like that vampires were not created to be against humans, they’re to live in harmony.
4. I like the writing style that the first chapter begins already in motion, in media res. We instantly are thrown into a fighting sequence and Neva’s eventual turn into a vampire.
5. Because it appears this book will be open for future sequels, there are some unopened questions about vampirism I don’t understand. They aren’t related to the plot, for example: Neva mentions that humans that have a mark are predestined to be turned into a vampire, but we didn’t learn much of this. There are some other aspects I’d like further explanation on: the origin story of the creation of vampires and demons, auras,
6. I’d love to explore Thedryk’s relationship with Neva in the sequel.
7. I’m not usually happy with YA / fantasy, when it falls under the trope of the main character unable to have a relationship with their family.
8. Zachariah is a fantastic, creepy, and haunting villain. He’s charming, funny, and he makes your skin crawl. It’s great.
9. Portals to the future??? What. No thank you. At points, I worry this novel is biting off more than it can chew. I really love it, but maybe this is too much.
10. There are a few skills and powers that vampires have that make me very uncomfortable. (Page 156). They do not bode for healthy relationships with others.
11. The ways to kill vampires are confusing to me. I think. I think they can be killed in conventional ways, but it appears to take more effort. I’m not sure on this.
In conclusion, I really enjoyed this book. It surpassed my expectations, and has become a new favorite in my fantasy collection. I don’t usually keep advanced or complementary reader copies into my collection, but this one is a true keeper. I’d like to pass this on to some friends, I have a few who enjoy vampire fiction. I can’t wait for a sequel!