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White Winter (The Black Year Series) (Volume 2) Paperback – July 17, 2016
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About the Author
D.J. Bodden is a former Marine Corps pilot currently working out of Geneva, Switzerland for a coffee trading firm.
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The good news: Just like with Black Fall, the fight scenes in White Winter are epic, and there are about a million times more of them as Jonas, Kieran, and Eve grow into their new roles at the Agency. Guns, grenades, hand-to-hand, mind-to-mind, teeth-to-teeth, and magical showdowns—DJ Bodden pulled out all the stops in this one.
The great news: White Winter also has about a million times more heart. Somehow, in the moments between all the fighting, DJ Bodden finds time to develop the relationships he set into motion in Black Fall, then he proceeds to use those carefully woven relationships to break your heart into a million pieces.
The only bad news: Red Spring isn't out yet, so we're all going to have to wait on the edges of our seats for it. Maybe if we all get together and bug the author nonstop that will speed things along.
The characters develop well, particularly the lead, who's growing isolation along with coping with the changes in himself and in his responsibilities are quite believable and at some points, heart rending. Some of the other characters have just enough hints at their backstory and inner turmoil that it's difficult to want to stay with the current story and not wish the story branched off to that character instead, particularly the lead's mother.
The action is tight, flows well, and keeps the reader involved without losing them in the minutiae or dropping into simplification that would leave it dull. Some of the characters remain a bit undeveloped; something that will perhaps change in future stories.
The ending leaves the story in a place I did not expect, despite the plot following along exactly where I thought it would. Humor is injected where appropriate, and nothing takes you out of your suspension of disbelief while reading, and I'm definitely quite eager for the next in the series.
If you've read it's predecessor and didn't like it, this book won't fix that for you. This is still part of a 'coming of age' story set in a modern 'supernatural' world. But if you did, this story takes you for a good ride with enough suspense, mystery, humor, and emotion to wrap you up in it and hold you there until the conclusion.
I'm not without some criticisms. The timespan of the book is difficult to follow; it seems to jump in order to skip over what would presumably be repetitiously boring training and avoid filler, which is honestly appreciated but left me unsure about the timespan covered. Some of the characters still feel rather one-dimensional, but aren't very important to the story at this point, so it would be difficult to fill them out without wasting the reader's attention. The plot does seem to follow enough tropes that you'll likely be able to predict the conclusion about half-way through the novel, but there are still points of surprise and the world left afterward is starkly different than I expected it to be, which is a welcome difference and should leave the author with more freedom to wander from the well walked path, so to speak.
All of this is alleviated if you don't go into the story with an expectation of great literature, but instead of a fun story full of interesting characters that you'll want to spend more time with.
-Cyndi (Greg's wife & BFF)
Specifically, every time I pick up one of his books, when I put it down I discover the whole dang day has zipped past me in a trance! And like an addict, I find myself wanting more!
Yes, he's just THAT absorbing!
In the spirit of full disclosure, I narrate audiobooks. I picked up one of his short stories 'Deus Ex Rand' when it was a free to read, zipped through it in short order and realized that I HAD to record it. I reached out, and after a short conversation he graciously allowed me the privilege. (You can find the audio-book here: http://www.amazon.com/Deus-Ex-Rand-Demigods-Drinking/dp/B019Y73H4K/ref=sr_1_2_twi_audd_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1451660289&sr=8-2&keywords=daniel+penz )
My only complaint is, he needs to write FASTER! The teaser chapter from Red Spring (at the end of White Winter) promises more Bodden goodness, but it can't come soon enough!
Trust me, you will love his work!
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by D.J. Bodden
Courtesy of author
In Black Fall, Book 1 of D. J.Read more