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Reviewed by Aimee Carol Dixon for Readers' Favorite
Neva’s life as a baker’s daughter was enough for her. Days spent baking or selling the goods her family made were fulfilling. She’d had her share of heartbreak and love and now wanted only to live out the rest of her days in her family home. But her destiny is greater than the life she’s made, and forces spoken of only in whispers have found her and set in motion events that were paused centuries ago. A lascivious prince and a woman gone mad with jealousy are the first of many tools used to break Neva’s resolve and mind and spirit, but to no avail. Mikayla Elliot’s novel Snow is a harrowing journey through the upper-class world Elliot’s vampires have fashioned for themselves as they wait for their personal savior.
Snow is a book that demands you have the sequel on hand. The surprising twists and turns are too good, the final note too astonishing, and the last chapter far too enticing for you to wait peacefully until the sequel arrives. Elliot’s focal character is a refreshing voice amid the myriad vampiric love stories out there. Neither a teenager, a hardscrabble warrior, nor a witless buffoon, Neva has been carefully written to allow her to express her confusion about the world she’s suddenly found herself in while simultaneously maintaining her steady sense of self. Even in the wake of shocking personal discoveries and tragedy, Neva holds strong, filtering her emotions until she can express them appropriately. So much of Snow takes place on the move that Elliot’s ability to sumptuously describe the surroundings is something of a double-edged blade: excellent but occasionally teetering towards overdoing it. That said, I don’t think Snow would have been as successful a novel without it.
One thing that I cannot praise Elliot enough for is the way in which she continuously draws you back into the plot. Whenever I started to relax into the latest groove Elliot had provided, the track swiftly changed and I was right back to hovering with my face as close to the page as I could get it, attention rapt. The dark undercurrent Elliot maintains throughout, gently tugging at your awareness that Snow is being told by a future version of Neva, is impressive and only heightens the sense that the darkness’s threat is all too close to becoming a promise. Elliot is a master at making good use of her characters’ heightened senses, from the very beginning of Snow to the culminating moments where she expertly danced between the characters who made up the final party as it were. Revealing bonds forged centuries ago, and pairing those revelations with reasons that justify the decision of trusted allies to change sides, truly twists the knife in a very real sense. Not once does Elliot allow the plot, or her characters for that matter, to stagnate. Snow is an intricate novel of surprising complexity, and I for one cannot wait to see where the next installment leads.