My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Author: Shea Ernshaw
Format: Hardcover (owned)
Categories: Witches, Mystery, Romance, Young Adult
Be careful of the dark, dark wood…
Especially the woods surrounding the town of Fir Haven. Some say these woods are magical. Haunted, even.
Rumored to be a witch, only Nora Walker knows the truth. She and the Walker women before her have always shared a special connection with the woods. And it’s this special connection that leads Nora to Oliver Huntsman—the same boy who disappeared from the Camp for Wayward Boys weeks ago—and in the middle of the worst snowstorm in years. He should be dead, but here he is alive, and left in the woods with no memory of the time he’d been missing.
But Nora can feel an uneasy shift in the woods at Oliver’s presence. And it’s not too long after that Nora realizes she has no choice but to unearth the truth behind how the boy she has come to care so deeply about survived his time in the forest, and what led him there in the first place. What Nora doesn’t know, though, is that Oliver has secrets of his own—secrets he’ll do anything to keep buried, because as it turns out, he wasn’t the only one to have gone missing on that fateful night all those weeks ago.
For as long as there have been fairy tales, we have been warned to fear what lies within the dark, dark woods and in Winterwood, New York Times bestselling author Shea Ernshaw, shows us why.
I am a fan of Shea Ernshaw’s books. This is now the second book I’ve read from her and I have to say I love how she writes these witchy stories. By coincidence I always start reading them near a full moon and not even by choice…it just happens that way! If that isn’t magical, I don’t know what is.
Nora Walker is a “Walker”, she is descended from witches. She lives in the town of Fir Haven which is surrounded by woods. There is a boys camp, called the Camp for Wayward boys near her home and a boy went missing in a snowstorm. Nora finds the boy in the woods and she learns how he came to be lost, but it’s not what she expected at all.
- The author has a distinct style to her writing. Once I read the first sentence, my world disappears and I’m in the world she has created. I love that both books I’ve read now have been about witches, she’s very good at it. Her writing is atmospheric. I felt the creepiness of the Wicker Woods especially when Nora explains things about the woods like how you can only take things from the woods during a full moon when the trees don’t see you do it! 😳 The trees are watching. This story is told like a magical, haunting, supernatural, eerie, fairy tale.
- I love the setting of the story: a town that is alive in the summer because of lake life, and dead in the winter because the cold is fierce. Nora lives for the winters and the isolation it brings and when I say she is alone, she is ALONE. Her mom left the town, and her grandmother has died. I can’t even imagine living in a place like that all by myself. But just the vibe of the story comes through in the writing: the eerie town, the scary woods, the isolated feeling Nora experiences and a sinister event taking place at the boy’s camp was a recipe for making my spine tingle.
- I kind of had an idea where the story was headed with Oliver and the dead boy at camp. There is a mystery that Nora is trying to uncover. I liked that this mystery was tied to these boys at camp and it brought the feeling of danger to the story, at least danger around Nora. I enjoyed trying to guess at what happened.
- Nora is a Walker and all Walker women are witches. I absolutely adored the black pages dedicated to a Walker woman between some chapters. I thought it was done beautifully because it was a family tree and spell book at the same time. And we get to see Nora’s entry. 😍
- That ending with Oliver and Nora. ❤️
- Also I have to mention the book cover is beautiful (I have the white OwlCrate version), the naked cover is gorgeous, the pages that are black with the branches…I love all the little details. 😍
- Some things were a bit repetitive, like Nora saying there was a dead boy. Also she said she was a Walker, a lot. Haha…we know Nora! You Walker women are pretty amazing.
- The romance is a slow burn almost to the point it felt a little forced to me when they let their attraction take over. But it still made me enjoy the twist at the end – actually that twist made my heart just thump a bit harder.
- Triggers: drowning
I’m in love with Shea Ernshaw’s writing. She just knows how to set the mood perfectly for a full moon, witchy, reading night and what a coincidence that I’ve read her books on these nights! Winterwood is haunting and it wove its spell around me. I look forward to reading more books from this author!