Winterkill by Kate A. Boorman

Rating: 1.5 Stars ★★☆☆☆

Out here, I can feel the dead in the trees.


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…


Can we talk about this cover for a second? Because it is gorgeous. Unfortunately, the book didn’t match it. We got a walled-in city, ruled over by a Council inforcing strict rules, surrounded by woods noone gets out of alive. And a rebellious teenage girl.

Could have been really interesting, right? Unfortunately, it really, really wasn’t.

The first annoying thing about this book was the style. It was just so incredibly annoying. I thought it would get better but no.

I gather for her poultices and rubs: horehound for birthings, sage for belly upsets, spring beauty root for bone setting and such. Thanks be, she stull has a dusty old book she’s guarded for years that has little pictures of the roots and herbs I’m to gather; otherwise I’d be bringing back every plant on Almighty’s green earth, trying to match up what she describes in her hurried French.

Then we have Emmeline, who, to be frank is just plain annoying. She’s not even rebellious, she is just fucking annoying. She breaks the rules, but she’s not smart about it. And then she whines, and whines and whines.

Tom weighs my words a long time.

“You don’t have to be scared,” he says finally. I wait for him to tell me no one will ever know. “You can stop.”

I draw back. “Stop?”

He holds my gaze, his jaw tight.

“I can’t control what I dream, Tom.”

“I don’t mean your dreams.” he says. “I mean all of this.” He tilts his head. “I think you do these things on purpose.”

“Beg pardon?”

“You mean to do it.”

I frown. “Why would I mean to be Wayward?”

The plot was also lacklustre. It could have been cut down to just about a hundred pages. Emmeline has weird dreams. Emmeline breaks the rules and walks into the woods. The head of the council proposes to Emmeline. But Emmeline loves another. Emmeline finds other people in the woods.

It’s all already there in the book’s description and frankly, it doesn’t read much more interesting than that.


Could have been interesting, but was too long-winded and the style is weird.

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