After reading the My Swordhand is Singing omnibus and Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick, I decided that I wanted to read everything he has ever written so when I found this a few months ago in a charity shop I just had to pick it up, even though I knew nothing about it.
This whole book has a distinctly creepy feeling, that kind of feeling you get when you think someone might be watching you, where the hairs on the back of your neck stand. I won’t say anything about the actual story just because I think it is something that you need to discover for yourself but I will talk about the feel of the novel and the writing.
The writing itself was beautiful and poetic in parts, as I have found with other Sedgwick novels, and the narrative style was really interesting and kept me on edge. There are three points of view told in this book; one is a first person account of a priest in 1798, the second is a third person look at Rebecca, a modern city girl who is spending time in Winterfold, and the third is a first person account from Ferelith’s point of view.
These different perspectives really added to the atmosphere and kept me reading on. This is one of the creepiest books I’ve ever read; it really kept me on the edge of my seat, and the fact that it is inspired slightly by real experiments is all the more chilling. I really find cults and religious fanaticism to be a really scary subject and this book explores that and the idea of the afterlife in an interesting way.
However, although I sped through this book and couldn’t put it down, I found the ending to be a little disappointing and, to be honest, confusing.
Overall, I would recommend this book to those of you who are looking for some YA horror but I still definitely prefer the other two novels of Sedgwick’s that I have read so far.