It was either a wild party or an attack by an evil goddess. Gilly doesn't know which. What she does know, though, is that her house was trashed, her best friend/crush has suddenly lost all interest in her, and very strange things are happening in her town. It's as if some evil force took up residence the night of Bellsnichol. Exactly.
In this modern retelling of The Snow Queen, a mysterious and dangerous girl has tricked her way into Gilly's home, gaining her entrance into the small town of Bremerton. But she's not just a girl, and joining the ranks of high school students, where the boys clamor to bask in her beauty makes her stand out even more -- at least to Gilly. No one else, it seems, can see the evil radiating off her.
The stories said that the Snow Queen seduced young men and whisked them off to her castle at the North Pole. Obviously she wasn't doing that at the moment -- she was still here in Bremerton. Enrolled in high school. That was the part I couldn't get my head around. Why would an evil goddess go to high school?
The more she sees the strange "girl" and her oddly robotic but beautiful "brothers," Gilly knows something isn't right. And the more she sees, the more she remembers of the night that until now seemed to have escaped her memory. Fortune (and maybe plain old dumb luck) takes Gilly to Niko's house, where she learns that she's not the only one who knows something terrible is happening. Niko and his grandfather are well acquainted with the dark fairy tales that seem to be coming to life in Bremerton, and maybe with their help she'll be able to save her best friend Kai from the clutches of winter.
Well, you know from my previous reviews that I'm not a fan of the serial novella format. Just when I started really getting into the story, the closing credits rolled, and now I have to find something else to keep me occupied until the next one in the series is available.
I honestly didn't know whether I'd like the book or hate it. I have a tough time getting into stories that deal with the supernatural and paranormal, generally because so many of them are so entirely unoriginal that I quickly become bored. However this story really surprised me!
While the supernatural seemed to turn up at every corner, Dark Solstice introduced each new aspect perfectly. I didn't feel like I'd been thrown into a world filled with magic that I couldn't understand. Rather, I was right there in Gilly's mind, seeing strange events and wondering just what the hell was going on! From the odd glow around the Snow Queen to the shocking cloven hoof prints in the snow, every new mysterious piece of the puzzle had me just as freaked out, confused, and fascinated as Gilly was. Whereas usually I'm able to figure out the next plot twist way in advance, thanks to overdone forshadowing and formulaic turns, this book had me on the edge of my seat.
Dark Solstice is an exciting and fresh take on the legend of the Snow Queen, seamlessly introducing dark fairy tale magic into a contemporary world, and no doubt I'll be lined up and waiting when Twelfth Night is released!