Cover Image: Winter, White and Wicked

Winter, White and Wicked

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Member Reviews

Love it! The writing, characters, and plot are fabulous and edgy! This is going in the library for sure!
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Summary:
A YA Fantasy that tells a story about a young rig driver, Sylver Quine, a twice orphaned that loves to haul merchandise to different places and keeps a low profile. Until then, her sister, Lenore, leaves to join the rebellion is when Sylvi works with Mars, Kyn, and Hyla to haul for Mars and get Lenore back.  Throughout the journey, Sylvi begins to find out more of her past: her relationship with Winter (an icy spirit that helped her since she was young(, getting to know her three companions, and among other things.  There will be a time where she will have to decide whether she will try to keep a low profile and live the life she has been living, continue to favor Winter, or begin a whole new chapter in her. life that will change so many lives forever. 

Review:
This is a great read for those that love fantasy and a good YA read.  Throughout the book, the suspense of not knowing the main characters past and is slowly unraveling has the reader curious to know more.  Providing uniqur words in the story with good understanding of them helps a lot (Rhyme) and I enjoyed knowing them without any diversions from the story.  Looking forward to reading more about Sylvi and how she will help others fight their freedom.
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When I read that it was being compared to mad max meets frozen I was sold. I never thought I would ever see a book like that but I did this book was amazing I loved the story line and the characters also the cover is absolutely beautiful I’m obsessed I recommend any YA lovers pick up this book you won’t regret it
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Thank you to NetGalley and ABRAMS Kids for providing a free copy for review.

First, let me say that this cover grabbed me immediately.  The book description sold the deal, but I could not pass up the stunning artwork and I’m glad I didn’t.  Winter, White and Wicked is a daring ride that will get your heart pumping and give you chills at the same time.

Dittemore has created a complex fantasy world imbued with diverse peoples, treacherous magic, and enchanting legends.  Unfortunately, the initial “data dump” in the prologue failed to convey the elaborate histories in a clear and concise manner.  It would have been far more successful to pick up bits and pieces throughout the story as the truth was uncovered.  Needless to say, I could have done without the entire prologue and this might have been a five star read for me.

At the start of Chapter One, the catalyst has already occurred and we are thrown (a bit jarringly) right into the journey.  Aside from this abrupt beginning, the pacing of this book is great.  There are just enough heart-warming, soul-searching, calm-in-the-storm moments between the action scenes for readers to catch their breath.  Just as I’d begin to relax, another adventure would begin.  By the end of the journey, I felt like I’d run the whole route rather than merely tagging along in the Sylver Dragon with Sylvi and the gang.

The MC Sylvi is exactly the kind of YA protagonist I love: a take-no-shit, independent young woman, who pushes through hard times and comes out stronger on the other side.  Her connection to Winter is beautiful in it’s simplicity.  It is fascinating to see the development of this relationship through memories and the transformation brought on by outside sources.

I was immediately drawn to Mars Dresden and the gang.  Though each was vastly different from the others, I could feel the kinship of their team from the very beginning.  Mars drove me nuts in the best way.  His stubborn refusal to play nice with Winter was both frustrating and comical.  Hyla is the best femme warrior ever and I want her on my team.  Her straight-forward attitude made her instantly likeable and her foreigner’s naivete provided many welcome opportunities for clarification.  At first, I found Kyn to be too happy-go-lucky.  I’m glad that we got a deeper look into his emotions.  By the end, I was just as connected to Kyn as I was to Sylvi.

There are so many ups and downs on this journey.  It’s grungy, beautiful, tragic, and funny.  There’s violence, but there is also love.  This story touches on many different themes including overcoming prejudices and blind belief and discovering self worth and responsibility.  Winter, White and Wicked is sure to appeal to many YA fantasy readers and highly recommend it to those seeking an exciting new series.  I eagerly await the next installment.
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Such a cool story! I loved the winter aspect, the dialogue, the story! I connected especially to the characters!
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Thank you so much to net galley for sending me a copy of this book. I really enjoyed it and would definitely recommend.. even if it doesn’t sound like you’ll like it I know you’ll love it
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The story gripped me from the very first page, and I never wanted to put it down!  The story is pretty fast-paced, and every page had me on the edge of my seat. It lives up to the expectations of Mad Max meeting Frozen  There are so many unexpected twists and turns. There are also many emotional moments. The main character was highly engaging and it was see her development throughout the book.
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This was a lot darker than I was expecting it to be. Even if it was pitched as a Mad Max type book. There is gore, tough subjects, and lots of dangerous driving. Romance is basically non existent and instead you spend the journey getting to know the companions. 
While I enjoyed the premise I just didn't care of the gore.
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Our protagonist is a teenage girl who has a deep personal relationship with Winter and she's basically trained to be on Ice Road Truckers.  What's not to love?  Slyvie is on a mission to rescue her best friend, but that means she's going to have the let three people she really doesn't like ride in her rig with her.  Along the way, Sylvie learns that the world may not be the place that she thinks it is.

I want to tell you that I loved this book with all of my heart, but there were some slow parts.  I did love the premise and the world created.  I also thought that Sylvie was an absolute savage.
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An interesting take on a fairy-tale about a trucker wanting to retrieve her friend from a choice of joining a rebellion rather than living a life of servitude. Is the harder path worth standing up for? That becomes the question as the story unfolds for both girls.
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This books plot was so interesting! I was so intrigued as soon as I started reading this so I finished it in a day. The main characters was one I could relate to which makes me more connected to a book. I will be purchasing this book for my libraries YA collection.
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This is one of those titles that tires to do too much all at once.  Within 50 pages you are thrown a ton of information and just dumped with all of it at once.  I think that it was just way too fast. This book is almost 400 pages long and I totally believe it would have been a massive hit if it would have given us information as a preface or better yet in small tidbits throughout the story.  Information that we need for a story is so hard to get right. And this one failed to do that.  Although I did enjoy the characters and the story at large. I wished that more time and care would have been taken with the much needed information.
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This was a highly anticipated read for me so I was excited to get an early copy. The plot, setting and characters were highly original, one could feel the cold right down to the bone from the author's evocative storytelling. Unfortunately, a trucker/fairytale mashup ended up feeling disjointed and I struggled to stay focused on the story.
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Unfortunately, I found this book to be just ok. It didn't quite capture me from the first attempt, but I did come back to it to finish later. Definitely some great action scenes, but just couldn't get behind the main character.
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I saw this cover a couple times on Instagram and I knew I wanted to read it based on the cover alone. Quickly, I went to add it to Goodreads and the blurb just sounded so original! Then, it showed up on NetGalley and I have never hit request so quickly in my life. I'm glad I had the opportunity to read it early but I did have a few issues with it.

Sylvi is loyal to the people she cares about. She doesn't care what it takes to make sure her friend is safe. I admired her for that because what she had to go through was definitely not a walk in the park.

I was intrigued by her powers and the Winter voice inside her. Besides Frozen, there isn't anything that resembles something like this. The author did make this wintry power her own which I give her props for! I was a bit confused as to why Sylvi had this power and as you continue to read on some things are kind of explained but it's still very vague as to why people want to use her for her powers. I'm sure more things will be explained in the next book but I just would have liked a few more answers, especially from the rebel camp.

There is a group of people that are traveling with Sylvi throughout the book. There are also other characters that pop up along the way. I didn't feel anything for them because some of the characters just fell flat. I know there were times I was supposed to feel something for the characters but it's hard when you really know nothing about them. This can also be said for the relationship that seems to be forming between Sylvi and another character. I just didn't feel anything that had me wanting them to be together. There also wasn't many alone moments between them or dialogue that would have me believing they would be great together.

As for the plot, it wasn't like anything I had read before. I can't say anything about it being like Mad Max because I haven't seen those movies so I am no help there. I did thought it was creative to use a rig for their adventure and have a wintry, desolate backdrop. There is action, lots of it, and I did like it but it just never blew me away. I didn't see the plot twists coming and that always makes me happy.

The one thing I didn't like about the plot (spoiler) was the child abuse that was sexual in nature. It doesn't go into details but you can understand the gist of what is going on and I just don't like reading about it even if it is a minor part.

Overall, I thought this was a good fantasy novel that had a lot of unique qualities to it and I can see a lot of people enjoying this book.
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I first encountered this title on IG as the author was sharing the cover art. I was immediately interested and jumped on the opportunity when I saw it listed on NetGalley. I was not disappointed. This title has a creative and well thought out world with characters who develop throughout the story. There is a touch of Mad Max and Frozen, but really, this story should be in it’s own category! Although I did not read it in one setting, I did read it within twenty-four hours because as soon as I put it down, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. With the twists and turns the journey with Sylvi is incredible. I look forward to the next installment!

Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for sharing this ARC with me! I highly recommend it to other readers!
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"Winter, White and Wicked's" lead character, Sylvi, drives this story.  She's dynamic and caring but just mysterious enough that you want to figure her out.  Her life has been incredibly difficult, which is part of what drives those secrets, and you can't help but cheer her on and hope that her station improves.  I wanted to know everything about her and to dig into the nuances of her interactions with the other characters to learn more.

For me, though, Sylvi was the best part of this story.  I really wanted to love it, as I've loved Dittemore's other books, but the book itself was a bit TOO mysterious for me.  Since it is a fantasy story with made-up words, languages, creatures, and setting, I wanted to understand all of that.  I wanted to know what the words meant and where things were, but Dittemore dribbles out this information throughout the story.  Normally this builds suspense and is a great thing, but for this one it fell flat for me.  Instead of leaving me wanting more, it left me wanting to close the book in confusion.  I like to feel as if I'm one with the characters and am a part of the story, but in order for that to happen, I need to understand fully the place and the language.  The details and backstory of the characters - the information that drives them - can come out in pieces, but words without full meanings and an imaginary land where you don't know the rules isn't fun - it's frustrating.  Dittemore uses creative spelling and symbolism to help you understand much of these elements, and over time I felt as if I had inferred what most things meant, but I wanted to know - and I never really reached that comfort level.  The book would benefit greatly from a 'word list' in the front, where you can look up the words specific to this book, and a map, so the reader can trace Sylvi's journey throughout the story.

Getting through the first third was hard, and I kept going only because of my obligation to review it. However, the last one-third was a much more exciting read.  The entire book is full of action sequences and fight scenes, and by the end I felt as if I understood enough of what was happening that I was able to enter the action.  Had that feeling been present throughout the entire story, it would have been amazing.

Sylvi's backstory is cool and not completely unexpected, but fun nonetheless.  I think that Dittemore is stating some important things in this story, but they often get lost in the fantasy world.  I'd love to see those elements cleared up in the exposition so that it's easier to enjoy the story.  

If you're a fan of mysterious fantasy, give this a try.  Otherwise, go for Dittemore's other books.
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4.5/ 5 and I HAVE A LOT TO UNPACK HERE. This was described as Mad Max meets Frozen. That's still true if you add drugs, smugglers, buddy team adventures and found family nonsense, and...monsters made out of body parts of other people(?) Right. Remember what I said? We are unpacking a lot.

Is Winter, White and Wicked perfect? Not by a long shot. For about 4.5 hours I was taken an on absolute fever dream where nothing made sense and everything made sense at the same time.

We follow a lot of people with more Y's in the middle of their names than the children of middle class white people.

Sylvi is a long haul trucker living a modest life driving her big rig across an island of eternal winter. She has the ear of the winter spirit that dominates the land. Her life is changed when her best friend runs away with a group of rebels fighting against the oppressive late stage capitalist ruling class that dominates the land.

Mars Dresden is a black eyed smuggler that has learned to enslave the spirit of winter to his will, and he needs Sylvi and her truck for a long and dangerous journey. Our story follows Sylvi, Mars, and his small team across a desert of ice. They face sociopathic rangers, vicious wildlife, island natives, and winter's fury on their journey.

What sets this apart to me is the incredible amount of gore and violence for what I believe is technically considered a YA novel- Winter White and Wicked does not hold back in it's viciousness. I would go so far to argue that the book has actually carved out a whole new genre of YA Grimdark, pushing the limits of what would normally be considered acceptable for a teen audience. No character is safe from immeasurable suffering.

At it's core, One could argue that "Winter" is about deconstructing belief and the foundation of belief- as we are introduced to several impactful moments of radical faith (bot religious and political) Whether it's Sylvi's unrelenting belief in the spirit that haunts her, the numerous island based faiths that drive the brutal lifestyles of their inhabitance, or warring political parties that use humans as slave labor. The absolute truths believed by almost every character they meet swell into a dark and cold world of violence that makes driving a truck turn into a death sentence.

Unlike many YA novels of today, "Winter" does not focus much on things like romance, instead investing deeply into the powerful growing bond between Sylvi and the smugglers that she is driving. The character driven warmth of this book carries you through the darkness of this world and keeps you invested until the end.
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I struggled to stay focused with this more than I would have liked. 

**trigger warning for sexual assault of a minor** 

“Winter, White and Wicked” tells the story of an island plagued by an eternal winter and when rig driver Sylvia takes on a new haul to bring her friend home she begins to wonder if the stories she knew and the history she had with the icy spirit are true or if they’re all a ruse to keep her from looking to the sky and hoping for the sun. 

To start I felt like I was thrown into this book a solid 30 pages too early and there was a lot going on in terms of mythology, political conflicts and character introductions that I had to put it down for another day. With that being said there were a lot of elements here that I enjoyed but as a solid work I think it failed to deliver. 

The comparison to Mad Max: Fury Road is spot on and those are my favorite sections because, like the rig, the pace of these scenes were quick with the stakes high and tension thick and I felt like I was trying to keep up but in a way that had me involved in the action but it did take away from other aspects especially the political stuff which I completely forgot was an issue up until the last couple chapters. 

It’s made very clear that the final destination is a rebel camp but everything about the political struggle is lost as we follow along on this life or death journey where the sole villain is Winter itself. I feel like Winter as a threat was very well done and had that just been it and we were trying to ride the island of that entity I think I might have enjoyed this more because there was so much exposition thrown in and I’m still not clear on how it all works together especially the kol and twyl stuff and how she works between a certain duo but maybe that’s a topic for a different day. 

My biggest worry is that I don’t see how another haul can happen for the next book in the series so it will lose a lot of what makes it stand out from other books in this genre which might lead it to fall into old tropes but I think this is a series I’ll continue with until at least book 2. 

**special thanks to the publishers and netgalley for providing an arc in exchange for a fair and honest review**
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This book was amazing! Strong plot! Powerful characters! A plot that held my attention the entire time!!!! I couldn’t put it down. I needed to find out what happened next!
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