Rating: 4/5 stars
warning: Not for the fainthearted
When the last page was flipped, I needed to make sure my surroundings were okay – no lurking shadows, eerie voices or anything. It’s been a while since I read some reality-altering novel like this.
In a gist, this novel is about an outpost of a fur business in an isolated winter wonderland and how a certain demon infested it with a cannibalistic disease. It’s about how characters of the past and the present got their lives tangled because of the tragedies they faced. Tribes, priests, police, investigators, murderers, diseases and demons. Stomach-churning, reality-altering, not exactly for the fainthearted and people with vivid imaginations who aren’t fond of horror.
T0 be honest, these types of novels aren’t my cup of tea. I was never particularly fond of tribal technicalities and historical-centered plots involving some realistic factual events like the trading industry and all that but this novel was too interesting to allow personal biases to get in the way. I’ve been too preoccupied with paranormal romance, urban fantasy, young adult, etc etc. that I’ve forgotten how real people act in given situations. I’ve encountered a lot of courageous fictional characters who face demons and tragedy with their heads held high but in Brian Moreland’s novel, the characters are portrayed realistically. I mean, when faced with an actual demon, who wouldn’t pee in their pants, right?
To the last two books I’ve reviewed prior to this, I kept on stressing out and pointing at the details of the novels. Indeed, their works’ details were very vivid and thus forming a clearer picture in the minds of the readers but this novel, in particular, nearly creates the actual scenario in your head. The details for certain places are very well-explained and when certain gory scenarios arise, well, let’s just say you can’t eat while reading the novel at the same time.
I admire the kind of research done behind the novel and the kind of hard work that was put into it in order to maintain accuracy. I like how religion plays a part and how demons are portrayed as the true monsters that they are. I admit, I absolutely love how some urban fantasy novels portray demons differently or, rather, not as horrifying as they truly are but once in a while, it’s nice to have a some sort of reality-check.
I love how Brian actually showed human weakness. Again, the characters are portrayed so realistically that in the real world, no one’s perfect. Some novels miss out on that part and thus their characters are quite far from how a real person is but the characters of Dead of Winter were very human. Men fall for the temptation of alcohol and women, even the strongest people sink into depression upon the death of a loved one, priests falling for the temptation of luxury and lust, etc etc. The point is, they’re all human in the novel. Brian stayed true to the human nature and kept his characters real.
In the end, despite the countless mishaps, bloodshed, killing, and losses, the novel ended quite happily with an unforeseen twist. I love unforeseen twists and in this novel, I must say, I really didn’t see that twist coming.
All in all, it’s a 4 / 5 stars for me. Great novel, Brian! Also, I would personally like to thank Brian for the patience. I’ve been too preoccupied with NaNoWriMo and my school work which took me away from my book reviews. Such a kind man, he is! An amazing author too! Don’t forget to check out his website and follow him on twitter!