Thursday, February 4, 2021

Peter Hackshaw: Ever Winter

In his debut novel Peter Hackshaw takes readers to a world where the latest Ice age has taken over the Earth:

Earth has become a desolate place of snow and ice; only those with the strongest will be them human or animal will survive. Henry and his family have been able to survive on the tundra by themselves, never interacting with other people. That changes when a stranger enters their home, a predator who is only looking to take. This starts a new journey for Henry and his family as they have one more threat they need to deal with in order to survive.

Loved this book and what made it even more great was that this is Hackshaw’s debut novel. This was a dark dystopian read but also a coming of age story. I feel like Hackshaw was able to tell an interesting and harrowing story that will have you wanting to read this book in one sitting. It really does grab a hold of you from the very beginning and just a warning there is some darker events and images within this book that very much fit the time that it is placed in.

I have not read any dystopian books where it is the next ice age we are fighting for survival of the human species with. I liked that Hackshaw understood that the greatest enemy in this world, probably other than the cold, are Humans and that humans turn to baser needs when faced with challenges, like “Meat is meat” and you have to be some form of brutal to survive. Henry and his family are surviving on ice in the traditional Inuit way (even though I am pretty sure they are Scandinavian in descent), which I found very interesting. I cannot comment on whether how they hunted or built their home as accurate, but it sounded to me like Hackshaw did some research to authenticate these aspects of the the story.

Henry is a great character who you root for throughout the book. The book is mainly told from his POV but we do get some chapters from his sisters every once in awhile as events of the book unfolds. I liked that it is mainly told from his point of view and does not jump around too much as this makes you as the reader become invested in him and his struggle, both mentally and physically.

There are few things that were stretching it a bit with the fantasy aspect, like guns still being able to work and things like that, but we do not know when the ice age hit the Earth so there could have been some extra technology that was created to make guns and certain electronic equipment come to life after many decades. Also I am not sure about the Cave aspect that is introduced later in the book, I'm not sure if it is needed or if Hackshaw is setting something up for a later date but it just felt out of place with everything out going on in the story.

This was a great read and something different for my in the dystopia genre. Hacksahw told an interesting story, that could ring true, who knows when we are due for the next Ice Age. I highly recommend this book for those who are looking for something a bit different in the dystopia genre coupled with a coming of age story with darker aspects. I look forward to seeing what Hackshaw comes up with next, I hope it is another journey.

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