Cover Image: Winter, White and Wicked

Winter, White and Wicked

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Member Reviews

The worldbuilding of this book was very unique. It was a  fast-paced fantasy.  Though it wasn'T the perfect book I did enjoy it.
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I tried really hard multiple times to get into this book and I just never could.  I could never get a connection with the characters and I wasn't super interested in the story.  I did like the concept I just couldn't get into it.
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Fun idea and story line.  The writing is solid, the characters distinct and compelling, and the blend of technology. mythology and magic kept me wondering what strange turns Sylvi's ice road of adventure would take
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A very mixed bag for took me a long time to get into this and even once I'd got past my initial confusion about the background setting and history, I still didn't really care about any of the characters until about 70% of the way through. Even then it was only a few of them and Sylvi was definetely not one of them. 

It was pretty slow going in places and difficult to grasp what was always going on but despite this, I ended up weirdly enjoying it overall. And not very helpfully for a review, I can't quite put my finger on what it was that kept me going til the end and will probably see me read the sequel when it comes out. 

Now that some of the information that I felt so overloaded with earlier on has soaked in, I can appreciate how interesting the premise is and unique too, I've certainly never read another book like it before.

Although I had mixed feelings about this book I think it would be perfect for alot of people and would definetely recommend it. 

Thank you NetGalley and Abrams Kids for providing me with a free digital copy in exchange for an honest review.
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I now have a finished copy of this gorgeous title, and will provide my retail sites review based on that copy.
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I was drawn in by the comp titles - mad max meets frozen? Yes! I loved the snowy setting and the dramatic plot.
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I'm shocked and disappointed in myself to realize I hadn't reviewed this book earlier -- I thought I had. I've certainly been talking enthusiastically about it on Instagram since I read it, and even interviewed the author in a live IG chat back in September.

In any case, WINTER, WHITE AND WICKED is a breath of fresh (if chilly!) air in modern YA fantasy, with a unique and fascinating premise and world-building setup. The writing is solid, the characters distinct and compelling, and the blend of technology. mythology and magic kept me wondering what strange turns Sylvi's ice road of adventure would take. I'm excited to hear that this book has been contracted for a sequel, and eager to read more about Sylvi and her world!
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I loved this book! Amazing imagery and I was lost in the descriptions and story. 

Can’t wait for more from Shannon!
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This title is wrong. It should have been Book, Slow and Cliche.

This reads like it's written by a tween who thought Mad Max: Fury Road and Frozen should be an AU crossover fic. And that crossover element is what initially got me excited about the book . . . until I started reading.

One of the first things that irked me about this book was that it tried too hard to match the Fury Road vibes The only thing that comes close to them is that there are rigs, a big-ass road, and they never seem to stop driving. But it also tries to throw some Frozen elements, which, Fury Road but ICY?? I can get with that and it sounds great, doesn't it??

AND YET IT WAS WRITTEN SO BADLY AND SO CLICHE IT INVENTED A NEW GENRE OF TROPES starting with how weirdly things were spelled. No, you do NOT need all those P's and L's and Y's to make names sound interesting.

Also, literally everything about this book was confusing, badly developed, rushed, and made about 0.001% in relation to story coherence. I could literally feel my brain cells flaking away as I stubbornly continued to read this because, surely, it would at least get a little better? BUt no, it did not get better . . . only worse.

Worldbuilding? This book knows no such thing. It's a haphazard tangle of tales and jumbled conversations IN THE MIDDLE OF BATTLE MOMENTS that is either zombified tropes or silly madeup words. Look, I enjoy "silly" made up words in fantasy . . . when it's done proper. This just reads like it was written on the fly and wasn't cleaned up much after. It's the worldbuilding and lack of characterization and lack of, well, anything worthy of publishing that makes me question HOW this even got published in the first place.

This is something I would expect from a fanfic, not a published book. The type of fanfic you read late at night, scraping the bottom of the fandom barrel because you're bored/desperate/feeling the insomnia.

So, overall, I was HIGHLY disappointed in this . . . and maybe a little bit disappointed in the publishing community for giving hype to something totally unworthy of hype?? The only thing this book has for itself is that it's a mostly "clean" read but, if there's nothing beyond that, what is even the point???

I'm just . . . tired. And upset. And salty that precious trees are wasted without taking the time to make sure what's printed on them is WORTH being printed.
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Loved this book! Shannon sweeps us away into a harsh and beautiful world. The juxtaposition of the beauty of winter beside the perilous dangers it holds are where Sylvi lives. I thoroughly enjoyed the ride with this independent, thought provoking story.
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Have you ever read a book where the plot confuses you yet attracts you? Where you have no idea what is happening, yet you can’t look away? That is how I felt when I read Winter, White, and Wicked.

The author amazingly wrote the story with lively characters. On one side, the story brims with adventure where Sylvi joins the crew to save Lenore. On the other hand, we have the mystery of how Sylvi communicates with Winter and how it connects to the rebellion. Moreover, I loved the backstory about Winter and how the war began between the two forces.  

Sylvi stands out in the lead, and I enjoyed her interactions with Hyla, Kyndel, and Mars. However, the highlight was Winter. Hats off to the author for the way she constructed Winter as a prominent, invisible character. It truly makes the story memorable. Moreover, the characters are pretty complex and surprise you. For instance, Mars has his reasons for heading the mission that made the story exciting. Also, Lenore frustrated me after everything Sylvi does for her. 

However, there were a few minor challenges I had in the book. For example, it took me a while to initially adjust to the theme. The author pushes you directly into the plot, where you familiarize yourself with the world while the action takes place. Also, I felt that there is a plethora of information in the last few chapters that the author could have evenly placed over the plot. Apart from that, this book was an adventure treat! 

Overall, this was a gripping, twisted, and slightly gory Young Adult novel with a unique premise, and I enjoyed it.
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I am heckin' surprised. As far as your "standard YA series with a chosen one saving a desolate world" books go, this one looked likely to be a stand-out, particularly from the way its setting was crafted and detailed. The author even managed to write a Young Female Loner who actually came-off as a competent loner with balanced and believable characterization. The potentially toxic elements that we're likely to find in the sequel just aren't worth subjecting myself to, however. I don't regret reading this one, but I think I'll be happier if I don't find out what happened next and just leave the story on the open-ended hopeful note of a burgeoning rebellion about to rise.

It's beautifully staged but not heavy and dry, with an engrossing plot and a complex main character that will have you sending your manicure bill to the publisher by the end of it.
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I simply loved this book and enjoyed the whole experience! I throughly enjoyed this book! 5⭐️
WW&W is chocked full of adventure, a strong heroine, a twisty/tricksy villain-ish and a tad bit of romance. Plus the world building the mythology of the book is just incredible and rich! I loved Sylvi but I think Mars may be my favorite character - he's complex and you just know there's more going on there. 

I love the whole adventure aspect of it as well - a good balance of plot and destination but also of character building and emotion. 

If you love a good YA fantasy adventure, this is your book!! ⁣
I did receive a digital ARC from the publisher but then I bought my own copy 🥰⁣
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The second I saw the comp of Frozen meets Mad Max, I knew I needed this book. But holy winter spirits I had no idea how badly I actually needed it.

Winter talks to Sylvi. Whispers to her, keeps her safe. And on an island cursed to ensure Winter eternally, having her on your side can’t be a bad thing. Especially when Sylvi drives a rig, delivering cargo and goods all across the island.

When her adopted sister runs off with the rebels, Sylvi has to make a deal with a dangerous smuggler to get her back. Except it’s late in the season, making the roads treacherous and she doesn’t trust Mars Dresden or his crew as far as she can throw them.

But the closer they get to the rebel camp, Winter’s ancient secrets threaten to come to light. And Sylvi will have to choose between the safety and favor of Winter, or the future of the people that call the island home.

There is so much to love here. Winter as an actual malignant spirit with moods and thoughts and agency all her own. Ice trucking. Rebels. Magic. Monsters. Found families and ragtag crews and tension that vibrates off the page.

From the very opening pages I was sucked into this world. And I mean fully immersed. I found myself thinking about it when I wasn’t reading it and now that I’m done, I crave going back.

The creativity of this world blew me away. I’ve mentioned Winter as a spirit, but this is an entire world of gods bringing forth the magic they wield. But the island itself is a sort of magic, made up of stone and a substance called kol that takes over people’s minds. There’s Winter’s wolves, the monstrous Abaki made up of the limbs torn apart by shipwrecks in the rocks, and the Shiv, people carved from the stone of the island who live with rock embedded in their skin.

For all the fantasy elements, this book also has a healthy helping of dystopian vibes. The island is ruled by the mysterious Majority, a group of powerful people who hold people in impossible indentured contracts to mine the kol, even while their sanity fails. They focus entirely on the future, refusing to allow history of any kind to be talked about or taught.

This is one aspect of the book I wish was explained a bit more. Who the Majority are and why they have these strange rules on forgetting history. But honestly, it’s only in the aftermath that I find myself wondering, so perhaps it isn’t really relevant to the story. It didn’t take away from my enjoyment.

And of course, we have the rebels. Here is where Dittemore’s command of the story shines. She is a master of knowing what hints to drop, how much information to give, and when to deliver a sucker punch reveal. They aren’t all unpredictable, but the tension combined with the uncertainty demands we keep turning the pages. With every mystery or clue that gets dropped, another one tangles at our feet. And this constant forward momentum makes this book a fast-paced thrilling ride.

The character dynamics are incredible. I love that Sylvi is her own person, and rather than turn her conflict with Mars into an enemies to lovers trope, Dittemore keeps their relationship platonic. The respect earned and half-truths discovered is a delicious journey, highlighting that not every difficult but attractive man needs to be swoon-worthy. Instead, we focus on the depth and complexity of how relationships build and grow. That bonds can be formed outside of romantic entanglements. Considering we will develop friendships and work-based relationships at a far greater rate than romantic ones, I appreciated the focus and vivid reality Dittemore placed on these.

Wrapped within the characters, Dittemore tackles the question of faith. There are gods and legends, histories and folklores. And in that aspect, the faith the characters struggle with is more straightforward. But she also writes the deep inner struggle many of us face regarding faith in ourselves, faith in humanity, faith in those we think we know best. It’s a complicated examination highlighted in Sylvi first and foremost, but touched on in each character in the small rebel crew she finds herself driving with. I think it’s a powerful message and is woven beautifully into both the story and the characters.

While I loved this book, and I mean LOVED, there are some trigger warnings readers should be aware of. This book is Dark––with a Capital D. It has copious amounts of violence, a heavy dose of gore, some animal violence, and non-graphic sexual assault. For readers who read a fair amount of dark fantasy, or dark fiction in general, the levels of these warnings are probably unnecessary. But as this is YA, and I often feel books are marketed under dark fantasy that aren’t dark fantasy, readers should be warned.

In all, this was an incredible rush of a read. I loved Sylvi. Loved how she grew to face her inner demons. And I loved how characters didn’t let her off the hook when she made awful decisions. It’s a lesson in boundaries. How to set them and how to respect them and I am here for all of it. I don’t know if there’s more in this world, but if there is, I’ll be first in line to read it.

Five icy stars.
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I will be honest and say that the only reason I requested this in the first place was that the comp 'Mad Max: Fury Road meets Frozen' made me laugh out loud. I was delighted to find that WINTER, WHITE AND WICKED was a swift and compelling read from a new-to-me author. I think it suffers a bit from first-in-series issues (some info-dumps, minor pacing problems), but I still enjoyed it and would certainly read any sequels.
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So much WOW. Winter, White and Wicked was so unique and so wonderful! I am blown away. I couldn't put this book down. Absolutely amazing.

Thank you NetGalley and Abrams for the ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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First, I think we need to acknowledge how beautiful this cover is. Second, when I heard that this book was being marketed as a YA frozen-Eeque novel I knew I had to read it. Winter, White, and Wicked by Shannon Dittemore is a chilling (literally and metaphorically) fantasy novel driven by the friendship between Sylvi and Layce. It is hard to find strong friendship bonds in YA novels, so I was super excited to read about Sylvi and Lace. This book exceeded my expectations and would be the perfect book to read this winter.
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Winter is my favourite season, and to have book that features a place permanently stuck in a frozen land with the addition of a high-speed adventure I knew I needed the book. Winter, White and Wicked was a fast read with a unique setting and worldbuilding. I find that if read in winter you could almost feel yourself there. Sylvi was an okay main character and I liked her but some of the things she did or wouldn’t question or deal with was quite baffling. If your looking for romance Winter white and Wicked does not have any. So, this would be good recommendation who want t break from angsty teen romances. Overall, Winter, White and Wicked was a good read but not great, I think my love for Winter(season) falsified my overall enjoyment of the book.
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I really tried to like this one but I couldn't , I was confused and couldn't understand what is happening most of it.It didn't grap my attention and I couldn't connect with the characters.Hopefully others will love it more than I did.
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An initial slow burn that became a wild ride! Sylvi had wonderful character development and the world building felt earned rather than spoon-fed,definitely the kind where you have to finish the book in order to understand everything. Looking forward to a sequel!
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