Winter is a novella barely 20,000 words long, set in the deep of the forests near the Scottish borders. And yes: this novel feels snowy, silent… and very dangerous.
The story is set in the near future; a group of revolutionaries escape from London and go north. The leader, Adam, has a small cottage with no electricity. They have lost some companions and they get there barely holding up. However, the cottage is occupied by two Ukrainian immigrants: Mikhail and Boris. They are very quiet, and there is much more than what meets the eye in both.
Winter sets in, and the revolutionaries are on the run. Sharing the cottage will mean getting in contact with powers, you know, beyond understanding. As thrillers go, it is a very good debut novel. The chapters are short and the quality of the writing is very high. Although I found that the bits about the “Green man” revolution were a bit hard to follow.
However, as it reaches its end, the novella builds up a tension that is both scary and entertaining to read. Since a traditional post-war scenario is mixed with some of the supernatural, I won’t be describing the plot any further to avoid spoilers. There may or may not be: alien imagery, strong forces of nature, and mystic knowledge involved.
Dan Grace lives in Sheffield. When he isn’t writing he works as a librarian and is studying for a PhD, examining the role of libraries in building commons-based community resilience.
Unsung Stories is a fiction imprint of Red Squirrel Publishing, a London-based independent press. They publish science fiction, fantasy and horror, and all the fuzzy bits in between: “slipstream, alternative history, steam punk, cyberpunk, weird fiction, and anything else that defies expectation” as they put it; and they have decided to share with us tales that don’t quite fit the long story/short story categories.
Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book for review purposes.