book review, Christmas, fantasy, young adult

12 Days of Christmas: Snowbound & Snowed by Maria Alexander

Two books! The second and third books in the Bloodline of Yule trilogy brings a close to the 12 days of Christmas for another year.

Happy feast of the Epiphany!

A very different book to its predecessor, Snowbound ramps the magic and the action all the way up to eleven.

Set several months after the end of Snowed, Snowbound starts with our heroes – son of Santa, Aiden, and girl genius, Charity – in very different places to where we left them.

Aiden is once more imprisoned and tortured in his father’s fortress, but all is not as it seems, while Charity has got a job in a top secret robotics company so that she can use her government contacts to sneak to the North Pole and rescue Aiden.

However, has the course of ancient myths or young love ever run smooth?

I loved this book. It built upon all the aspects I liked so much in the first book – the new, non Christian related entity of Santa with a dark heart, the intelligent teenage girl, the sweet love that blossomed between two very different teens – and extended them in fascinating and unexpected ways.

This time around, half the book is told from Aiden’s point of view and half from Charity’s. I loved learning more about Aiden’s life. Alexander has taken old stories and made them new and entirely her own. I chuckled at the references to other things while enthralled by how she adapted them.

Charity is just as much the intelligent, hard working lovable character she was in the first book, and while I was surprised by the lengths her character took to rescue Aiden, I love her loyalty and determination. I want to both be like her and have her as a friend.

With an epic cliffhanger ending, I can’t wait to read what Alexander has in store for these characters in book three.

I award Snowbound

Snowbound is available for $3.12 ebook and $13.99 print book on Amazon.

The trilogy ends not with a bang but with a whimper.

The narrative is divided among four characters this time.

Beth, former classmate of Charity, who is looking to abort her baby.

Michael, Charity’s best friend, who falls in lust with a fae.

Charity, who goes on a mission to a place called the Withering.

Aiden, who has to protect his ice fortress from invaders.

I was so disappointed in this book. It took all the elements from the first two books that I liked about the series and stomped them into the ground.

I’m not a fan of Santa stories, and one of the reasons I enjoyed Snowed so much was because it said yes, Santa is real and lives in the North Pole, but he’s nothing to do with Christianity or Christmas. He’s magic, ancient and bound to the earth and he’s also mean as hell.

However, despite everything that happens in Snowblind to paint Aiden in a bad light, the end message is Santa is real and he’s a sweetie, kids.

Despite two books detailing how the Klaas had links to mythology and that the truth was different to the stories, Snowblind brings in multiple references to Christianity that seems to contradict what went before and brings to light lots of holes in the story that I was willing to overlook before. For example, if The List is so important to life on earth, why does removal from it give you magical powers rather than killing you or erasing you from creation?

One of the things I loved about the first two books was the magic. It’s so imaginative and interesting, yet this book plainly states that magic is cool but reason is better.

I’m not one for romance stories, but I was taken with the blossoming love between Charity and Aiden in Snowed, which turned into something almost desperate in Snowbound, but which the author seems to regret and want to distance herself from in Snowblind. Turns out, they’re only physically attracted to each other and a long distance relationship isn’t going to work. In fact all the loving relationships from the other books are upended.

It’s as if Alexander suddenly remembered she was writing about seventeen year olds and regretted Charity’s belief stretching stint in a top secret think tank, because now she’s going back to school. It’s like meeting up with your internet love interest and realizing the chemistry isn’t there. You can’t get away from them fast enough.

While there was darkness in the other books, they were also extremely entertaining, but my overall impression of this book was one of depression. It’s a big downer. I liked the mention of Frau Pertcha (thanks to Secret Santa, I’d heard of the Perchten before), but the Withering fails to capture the imagination like Niflhel and Charity’s mission seems pointless.

I was also greatly disappointed in Aiden’s half siblings. I expected something epic after the cliff hanger ending of Snowbound, but they were rather pathetic, bickering Dick Dastardlies who just stopped short of mustache twirling.

I award Snowblind

Snowblind is available for $3.24 ebook and $13.99 print book on Amazon.

Click here to read my review of the first book in the Bloodline of Yule trilogy, Snowed.

3 thoughts on “12 Days of Christmas: Snowbound & Snowed by Maria Alexander”

  1. What a disappointing end to the trilogy! Snowed is on my TBR list and Snowbound sounds so good – I know good endings are hard to write and I have often been disappointed, but this sounds worse than not living up to expectations 😦


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