Fantasy

Seasons of the Storm: Not the Icy Blast of Fun I’d Hoped For

3/5 Stars

Author: Elle Cosimano

Publisher/Imprint: HarperTeen

Edition: Paperback ARC, 469 Pages

Hardcover Publication Date: June 23, 2020

A Spine that Shines? Partially

 

*I received a free ARC of this book from the author. Thank you also to EpicReads for sending me a free copy of the finished hardcover. These are my honest opinions. Thank you.*

Book Synopsis

Processed with VSCO with m5 presetOne cold, crisp night, Jack Sommers was faced with a choice—live forever according to the ancient, magical rules of Gaia, or die.

Jack chose to live, and in exchange, he became a Winter—an immortal physical embodiment of the season on Earth. Every year, he must hunt the Season who comes before him. Summer kills Spring. Autumn kills Summer. Winter kills Autumn. And Spring kills Winter.

Jack and Fleur, a Winter and a Spring, fall for each other against all odds. To be together, they’ll have to escape the cycle that’s been forcing them apart. But their creator won’t let them go without a fight.

Book Review

‘In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity. A perfect storm lies ahead. You can let it destroy you, or you can take control of it.’

-Elle Cosimano, Seasons of the Storm

Initial Thoughts

Hello, bookworms! I hope you are all doing well! How did your June reading go? Seasons of the Storm is the only book I was able to finish in June. I really wanted to like this book. Unfortunately, I ended up having mixed feelings. Here are some initial thoughts I had:

  • The premise itself is unique and fascinating! Teenagers are turned into immortal embodiments of the four seasons? How awesome is that?
  • I also loved the idea of a forbidden romance between a Winter and a Spring! (More on that later.)
  • There were definitely some interesting twists here and there!
  • The elemental powers that are unique to each season are really cool!
  • There are some fun, witty moments 😀
  • I loved the fluffy gray cat named Slinky!
  • The synopsis makes this book sound like an amazing high fantasy, which is why I had requested the novel. However, from the beginning, I found that the book was not what I had expected. It is actually set in our high-tech modern world, mostly in North America in the U.S. There are some cool sights we get to see – like the Library of Congress. But I had difficulty wrapping my mind around this modern setting in combination with immortal seasons and their powers. These aspects did not mesh well together for me. At first, I was quite confused about how their powers work and what the “rules” are in this world. Chronos and Gaia are figures in this setting too, and it felt odd.

‘Fear not, young lion,’ he whispers. ‘Winter’s crown may be heavy on your head. But you hold eternal spring in your heart.’

-Elle Cosimano, Seasons of the Storm

Characters & Romance

Processed with VSCO with m5 presetHere is a brief overview of the characters and romance.

  • Unfortunately, many of the characters felt flat to me. There are about eight characters, which is a lot to keep track of and flesh out backstories for. There are four seasons and each of their “handlers,” who help guide their assigned season. Jack, the main Winter, and Fleur, the main Spring, alternate narrating the story. I didn’t feel completely invested in their journey.
  • Some characters did things that felt inconsistent with their characterization. For example, a strong, confident individual suddenly decides to attempt suicide. Another character who talks so much about how he adores a certain girl has to “clench his teeth from biting her head off.”
  • The romance also fell a little flat. I didn’t really feel Jack and Fleur’s chemistry. Probably because they have already fallen “in love” even before the main story line begins. We don’t get to see the development of their feelings; we’re just told that they are in love – even though it is mentioned multiple times near the beginning that they barely know each other. In the first chunk of the book, Jack and Fleur hardly interact in person. In my opinion, their interactions with each other in the second chunk of the book sometimes feel stilted and forced, as if they are having certain conversations or arguments because the writer thought they needed to have an argument as a couple.

‘It takes more courage to love than to fight.’

-Elle Cosimano, Seasons of the Storm

Final Thoughts

The pacing and concept of time felt a bit off sometimes. Honestly, this book felt long and a bit drawn-out. Even though I loved the unique premise, it was a struggle to finish. Not much happens in the first chunk of the book. There is an imbalance in POV chapters in the first part of the book; more of the chapters are from Jack’s POV, and we don’t always have a good idea of what’s going on from Fleur’s POV. Thankfully the POVs do become more balanced in part two. When we get to the second part of the book, the pace picks up but becomes a little choppy. The characters are bouncing around from state to state quite rapidly, and sometimes significant events (such as character deaths) happen too quickly for me to fully feel the emotional impact. It almost feels as if the characters are traveling unusually fast for non-magical transportation.

But if you are a fan of fantasy set in our world, you may enjoy this book much more! It definitely had some entertaining moments, but overall it wasn’t the icy blast of fun I’d hoped for. I’m not saying it was entirely bad. It just wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. But I’m still thankful for the opportunity to read and review it! I understand that each novel is the product of an author’s hard work and effort. Happy reading, everyone 🙂

*Content Warnings: Fantasy violence; one suicide attempt; multiple uses of the f-word and s-word; kissing; one sex scene.*

Copyright © 2020 by Spines that Shine (Caitlin Shaffer)

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How did your reading go in June? – Book review time! *I received an ARC from the author for review. And thank you also to @epicreads for sending me the lovely finished hardcover edition 😊 These are my HONEST opinions!* – My rating: 3/5 stars -So I had some mixed feelings about this book. -The positives: -A super cool premise; mortal teenagers are turned into immortal embodiments of the seasons! It is such a unique original idea that I loved! -The idea of a forbidden romance between a Winter and a Spring! -Some interesting twists here and there! -That cover 😍😍😍 -Super awesome elemental powers unique to each season! -Some fun witty moments! – The negatives: -From the very beginning, this book was not what I expected. I had requested it thinking it was going to be high fantasy. No. It is actually set in our modern world, mostly North America in the U.S. I had difficulty wrapping my mind around this setting combined with immortal seasons with powers and how their powers work and what the rules are. These things did not mesh well together for me, and I was often slightly confused. Chronos and Gaia are characters in this setting too, and it felt odd. -Many of the characters felt flat to me. I didn’t feel very invested in their journey. -The romance also fell a little flat. I didn’t really feel Jack and Fleur’s chemistry. Perhaps because they’re already fallen “in love” before the main story line even begins. I was sad that the book wasn’t about how they fall in love – because we are just told right away they are in love. -The pacing of this book felt really drawn out. It took me over a month to finish this book. It is about 460 pages, and even though I loved the unique premise, it was honestly a struggle sometimes. Not much happens in the first chunk of the book, while the second half feels a bit choppy. -But if you are a fan of fantasy in our world setting, you may enjoy this much more!! I’m still thankful for the opportunity to review it! Full review to post on my WordPress blog later today (link in bio) 💕

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Up Next on My TBR: Unravel the Dusk (ARC)

 

Screen Shot 2020-07-02 at 1.12.12 PM

7 thoughts on “Seasons of the Storm: Not the Icy Blast of Fun I’d Hoped For”

  1. I was really intrigued by this when I first heard about it but I think I saw a few mixed reviews and my enthusiasm lessened a bit. I do still hope to read it at some point though, I just have a lot of other books to prioritise first.

    Setting wise I don’t really mind fantasy novels being set in our world but I do find the lack of chemistry between characters frustrating. And I agree that it can be jarring when characters act in a contradictory way. I read a book last year where the main character did a few things that didn’t quite add up to me and it was so frustrating.

    Anyway I hope that you’re enjoying your current read.

    Liked by 1 person

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