“A winter dystopian western, The Girl From Shadow Springs‘ landscape is the driving force of this story.”Cecelia Beckman, Sheaf & Ink
The Girl From Shadow Springs is about a young girl named Jorie who knows the peril of crossing the Flats.
But when her sister is kidnapped by a scavenger, Jorie is forced to face the unknown territory.
Though, not alone.
With the help of a boy named Cody, whose uncle was murdered by the man who took Jorie’s sister. Both Jorie and Cody find truths they never thought possible and an unrelenting element, besides the weather, that they didn’t think existed.
My Review: The Girl From Shadow Springs
What originally drew me to The Girl From Shadow Springs was the idea of a winter dystopia.
Normally, when I think of dystopia’s my mind gravitates to these bleak terrains: dessert and drought that has everyone desperate and willing to do anything to survive.
Think Mad Max.
So when faced with a different landscape I was intrigued.
I found the setting to be the strongest feature of the book. Replete with ice and snow and every danger of surviving in a world of unending frost, Ellie Cypher’s descriptions and details in this frozen world was solid.
However, for the story itself, I had some concerns.
The beginning of the narrative started off strong. Chypher solidifies with great detail in her world building and the main character, Jorie’s challenges in surviving.
But as the story progresses, the narrative begins to lose momentum and focus. Jorie’s attention in finding her sister tends to be placed on the back burner throughout most of the story. There is this lack of urgency when days start to drag by with little to no progress in the development of where she is going and a solid plan if and when Jorie finds her sister.
Then, there is the Winter Witch element of the story. The fantasy elements. We know early on there’s something not right about this permanent frost. Further, there’s this fable, legend like mythology that’s touched on in the beginning about a Winter Witch. What was becoming most apperant as I read on was how the survival aspect of the story wasn’t flowing smoothly and in succession with the fantasy of the Winter Witch.
It felt like I was reading two separate stories.
As though the idea of this story were like dominos: lined up in polished rows, making perfect sense. But a gale of wind comes through, the dominos scatter, leaving an image of disorder and a narrative jumbled together, and incongruous. Where the genre’s of survival and fantasy didn’t entirely integrate to make for a fulfilling narrative.
One Last Thought
After setting the novel aside several times, I came to the conclusion this novel was not for me. I did come back to it with fresh eyes and a newfound hope, but sadly, I found myself distracted. That the book wasn’t fully holding my attention.
The Girl From Winter Springs potential lay in its world-building and its rich atmospheric descriptions, though these should not be the only driving aspects for a survival, action, and adventure debut.
Happy Reading ̴ Cece
RATING: – Adequately Inked
Author: Ellie Cypher
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Paperback Publication Date: February, 2021
Audience: 12 and up
Jacket Illustration/Photography: Lente Scura
Jacket Design: Krista Vossen
You can find The Girl From Shadow Springs at Simon & Schuster
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