White Winter by D.J. Bodden

It’s release day for White Winter! Jonas’s life explodes when an ancient power sets out to destroy the world, and he’s the one who has to keep everyone together.

White WinterTitleWhite Winter
Author D.J. Bodden
Series: The Black Year Saga Book 02
Publish Date:  March 10, 2016
Genre:  Urban Fantasy
Source: provided by the author

Publisher’s DescriptionWhite Winter picks up 5 days after Black Fall ended. Now a probationary enforcer with the Agency, Jonas can finally take time to process what happened to him and get back to being a regular teenager.

Just kidding. It’s the end of the world and Jonas is in the driver’s seat. More rogues, more bullets, more explosions, and more dog jokes. Gunplay and swordplay. A grudge-match 4000 years in the making. Follow Jonas, Kieran, Eve, and the rest of the team as they put down a supernatural insurgency and pave the way to the Balance in ash, blood, and bone.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.

Nervous_Nellie_100Nervous Nellie says…

First of all, this is an urban fantasy with a young crowd, but not a YA. No sex, plenty of death but not graphic and no cliffhanger, but a lead towards the next book.

I like the characters in this world. I like the idea of the world and the Agency, Foundation and the werewolf clan. The magic is pretty cool too. Jonas has to save the world again but he has a prophecy that shows he destroys the world. It’s a pretty daunting task for a 16-17 year old whose mother is a manipulative vampire.

A lot of things happen in this story that stressed me out. The characters are living through trials of their own and it’s a hard life lesson. Their world is not soft or fluffy. These kids are thrown into circumstances that no kid should really be thrown into. The more I think about it, the more I realize that the descriptor of daunting is conservative.

badge3v4I had some trouble following the story in some spots. I’ve discussed my problems with the author and he was gracious enough to explain the big picture. I’m not as enamored with this book as the first story, Black Fall, but it was interesting nonetheless.

ivana 100Invested Ivana says…

My first reaction to White Winter is… HOLY COW! This book blows the doors wide open on Jonas’s world. Not only is he dealing with being part human and part vampire, being a werewolf clan leader, getting a new job and a new girlfriend, and watching his mom be this scary leader, now he has to worry about trusting his own mind AND watching ancient powers destroy the world. How much can one poor kid take?

Bodden’s Black Year saga is really unique. The premise, the culture, the rules of the world are very different than anything I’ve ever read. It’s clever, too, and I really like it. I care about all the characters and really hope most of them can survive the next book. 😉

badge3v4I might suggest that this isn’t a book you read lightly, though. There are a lot of characters and a lot happening, some of which is hinted at early in the book, but won’t really make sense until later. I wouldn’t consider White Winter a “popcorn” book — one you read lightly just to entertain your brain. This is more of a “steak and potatoes” book — one that’s going to challenge your thinking and keep you pondering for a while.

Luna_Lovebooks_100Luna Lovebooks says…

Jonas and the gang are back at it again and I enjoyed this novel almost as much as the first. There were a few surprises I didn’t see coming like a new werewolf joining the Macready pack and the introduction of Sorcerers.

I still love all of the characters. I was a bit saddened to see the friendship of Jonas, Eve, Kieran, and Amelia strained to the point of almost breaking them, but it is to be expected with their world being turned upside down. I like that we get to know Alice better and how much of a bad ass manipulator she is.

badge3v4The only problem for me was that at first the book jumps around a lot and it can be kind of confusing. As the story progresses however, we find out why it jumps around a lot and some of the questions are answered.

Kat_Mandu_100Kat Mandu says…

There’s a lot going on in this story – and that makes it action-packed.

Jonas is getting the hang of not only being a vampire, but also being a vampire capable of controlling magic. He’s the “clan leader” of Kieran’s clan, and Kieran is bound by oath to do literally whatever Jonas wants. He and Eve are getting closer, especially mentally as they share their individual missions through telepathic imagery. There’s a new trainer named Damien who’s trying to get Jonas to learn magic, swordplay, and new fighting skills. He and his mother are still searching for his lost father while also dealing with Fangston. Jonas’s brain and “barrier” might be turning against him due to an accidental spirit that’s tagged along in his head named Phillip (who is Kieran’s father and the one that had to die). There’s a bad prophecy involving a lot of death that a priest delivers, a prophecy that Jonas apparently fulfills. The agency Jonas works for is trying to bring the balance up between good and evil, while simultaneously slowly bringing the existence of supernatural creatures and magic into the open – an idea that fails when a lot of bad things happen and the city of New York is destroyed. All kinds of werewolves are running rampant through the city, turning or killing anyone in their path. And the Cull, led by an ancient Sorcerer, brings Winter Wolves and a plot to destroy the world into Jonas’s already full plate. Not to mention Amelia gets turned into a werewolf and really, really hates Jonas.

I know I just rambled a lot… but that’s my point. As much as I enjoy the adventures of Jonas and his sometimes-friends, sometimes-enemies, it’s too much. Right there is ELEVEN different plotlines that all occur in one book. And I’m pretty sure I’ve missed a couple. Not because they’re not important…but because there’s so much going on that you forget half the things that are going on. And although all those things give the book a really action-packed feel to it, it has to jump around a lot in order to get everything worked out. That’s where it gets confusing.

A lot of times… I didn’t know what was even going on. I honest-to-goodness could not follow the story very well. And there would be times when I’d have to put the story away because I was going to bed or headed to work, where I’d come back to it the next day and I’d have to read the whole chapter over because I still was lost on what was happening.

My advice to the author? You have a great thing going here. But make sure readers know what the MAIN PLOT is here. You can have your subplots. But make sure those don’t overwhelm the main plot so that said main plot gets lost in translation.

Something else I’ve been wondering about – the series is supposed to have four main books, all respectively named after seasons and colors. I wonder if the author has ever thought about using novellas to help take the edge off all those plots. He could do soulstices, holidays, and equinoxes after all. It would give a little more flow to the books if they were less packed-full of individual plotlines.

With all this being said, I did not hate this book. Jonas is young still, and there’s a lot he needs to learn. He and Kieran have his moments where they act like best friends, but Kieran still hides a deep hatred for Jonas and what he’s done. I enjoy the tension between these two throughout the book. The whole Amelia thing only adds to that. There are quite a few funny lines between Eve and Jonas, as they explore their relationship and are able to tease each other a lot more.

badge3v4And I actually love some of the action-scenes. I particularly love when Jonas tracks down one of the Order baddies and tackles her in the street, using his vampire “blur” powers and then burning his blood by venting out through his shoulders, so that it looks like fire wings are coming out of his back.

Also, I’d like to read the next one. I read a little teaser about Red Spring and now it seems like we’ll be adding Angels into the mix. Interesting!

Our reviews in this series…

Other reviews…

If you like this book…

…you might try the Odd Thomas series by Dean Koontz, the Boundary Magic series by Melissa F. Olson, or the Redneck Apocalypse series by eden Hudson



About Invested Ivana

I'm currently a freelance line editor, a book blogger at One Book Two, and lifetime reader. I like geeky things. All opinions expressed on this site are my own and do not reflect the opinions of Red Adept Editing or any of my clients, the other reviewers on this site, or this site as a whole.

Posted on March 10, 2016, in Review and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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