Winterborne (Universe Unbound #1) by Augusta Blythe

Winterborne (Universe Unbound #1) by Augusta BlytheWinterborne (Universe Unbound, #1) by Augusta Blythe
on April 24, 2011
Pages: 301

First off I’m going to be completely honest. The synopsis for Winterborne mildly perked my interest and therefore it was truly the cover that sold me. Don’t get me wrong, I love YA books that feature power-wielding teens, trying to navigate their way through basins of lies and secrets–leading to dangerous escapades. However, sometimes I need an extra nudge in order to give a book a chance. There’s just something about the cover that drew my quizzical brow and kept my eyes glued to the screen. The bird image is so simple but yet, complex as well, in an artistic way. With only four colors, white, black, red, and grey, the cover comes off sleek and clean, as well as visually appealing. Okay, enough about my cover-induced drool. I wasn’t entirely sure what I was expecting when I first began Winterborne. Like any book, I take a leap of faith, hoping to at least like it. I’m happy to say that the stakes rose and my like jumped to love.

From the get-go Winterborne spun a surprising twist. You read the synopsis and the first thing you see is a description of a girl named Mia whose expecting a dose of awesome powers come her seventeenth birthday. Then there comes a small blurb about Mia’s best friend, Loie who’s described as a “eternal sidekick extraordinaire”. I don’t know about you but I figured that the narrator would be Mia because as far as the synopsis goes, she seemed like the more-interesting girl within the duo. Wrong! In what I referred to as a “surprising twist” Loie is the girl who navigates us through Winterborne through her narration. Just because Mia is the one who’s to inherit mad-gifts, doesn’t mean Loie misses out on the action. Like two peas in a pod, Loie and Mia are together through thick and thin, even when “vertically-inclined Irish men” i.e. Leprechauns attempt to hijack Mia out of her bedroom in the middle of the night. Loie, although powerless, is right there fighting to protect Mia. One of the things I loved most about Winterborne was the deep and true friendship between Mia and Loie. There’s plenty of situations and people who come between Mia and Loie but in the end they come out together, in some cases, even stronger than they were going in.

Winterborne is a refreshing read. It takes some usual elements and plots, whisks them up, and serves them in new, delicious ways. It’s easy to the follow along and keep up with the storyline. There’s a great mixture of characters. Loie and Mia are amazing and real while Andreas is just as smoldering as a British hottie is expected to be.

Although I eventually got thoroughly-engrossed within the story, with the bait, it took quite while for me to bite. Maybe around page 80 or so I was really hooked. This in turn, kind of bummed me out because that’s almost half the book. Another small tidbit that rubbed me the wrong way was the references to Mia’s impending powers as “mutant” ability. Once again, don’t get me wrong, I do love me some x-genes but half the time the book talked about magical powers and the other half mutant. I feel like these are two different domains when it comes to extraordinary gifts and therefore I would have liked it to be one or the other.

When I finished Winterborne I had a mixture of feelings floating around in my head. On one hand I was thrilled with the turnout because the book delivered an ending I in no way was expecting. There was a major cliffhanger so of course I was anxious to get my hands on book two. Also, although I found some faults with book one I had a huge feeling of confidence that book two could rise up and be even better than it’s predecessor. I give Winterborne a 3.5/5 rating.