Winterkill, by Kate A. Boorman | Book Review #171

Emmeline knows she’s not supposed to explore the woods outside her settlement. The enemy that 20702025wiped out half her people lurks there, attacking at night and keeping them isolated in an unfamiliar land with merciless winters. Living with the shame of her grandmother’s insubordination, Emmeline has learned to keep her head down and her quick tongue silent.When the settlement leader asks for her hand in marriage, it’s an opportunity for Emmeline to wash the family slate clean—even if she has eyes for another. But before she’s forced into an impossible decision, her dreams urge her into the woods, where she uncovers a path she can’t help but follow. The trail leads to a secret that someone in the village will kill to protect. Her grandmother followed the same path and paid the price. If Emmeline isn’t careful, she will be next.

Trigger Warnings: Rape Mention, Attempted Murder, Murder, and Suicide.

I don’t normally read books that involve ‘settlements,’ or ‘encampments.’ I loathe the types of the books that do have the encampments. Especially the ones that have the people of that encampment living in fear. Fear or the unknown, or fear of the known. I just hate that they have their people living like that when the people could obviously live better lives. Anyway — I decided to risk reading Winterkill because the synopsis was just too good for me to ignore.

I ended up borrowing Winterkill from the library and read it. This book tells a story of how one girl manages to save her people by bringing the truth to their village. Emmeline, or Em, is a girl who has a physical disability that labels her as a Stain within her village. There was also something that Emmeline’s grandmother did that made her family have a different kind of burden upon them. And the rest of their village treats them poorly.

Throughout the book I saw quite a few similarities between this world in Winterkill and our society in this world. I was quite angry at that, but really, it’s not something that I can see authors not writing about.

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

That’s the beginning sentence to the novel and I have to say that this opening line has got to be one of my favourites. Whenever I read that sentence and put myself in the book, in that scene, I just feel haunted.

‘That night I pull my feet from the forest floor. I wiggle my perfect toes, rock back onto my heels. I lean forward, feel the soil and spruce needles soft under my skin. To wind stirs my hair. This time, there is no hawk and La Prise doesn’t come. This time the sound is quiet, a soft cry. A young girls voice.
Find us, it calls.
I take a deep breath of the velvet air, and then I run.’

I honestly love when books have these types of chapter endings. And while the above was one of the few chapters that ended in that manner, to me it just says that there’s way more to the story that meets the eye. When I first read that, I was very happy. The way that the chapter ended, honestly make me feel like a breath of fresh air was coming along.

I liked some how of the chapters ended in Winterkill. Which is probably a weird thing to say, I know, but it’s completely true. I love chapters that end in a way that could be the end of the book, but they’re not.

Speaking of endings! I liked how Winterkill ends as well. The bad guys dead and/or outcasted. …But that ultimately leaves the next book with an unknown enemy and I’m not ready to handle that!!!! I don’t want these people to suffer than they already have to!!! Noo!!! Nevertheless though.. I’m intrigued as to what happens in Darkthaw; the second book in the Winterkill trilogy.

In my opinion, one could most definitely leave Winterkill to be a standalone, and just hope for the best for the characters. I mean, I believe I done that before.


I ended up giving Winterkill 2 of 5 stars of Goodreads.

Happy Reading!

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