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Reading in the Rockies reviews ... Minds of Winter!See more
Welcome to another guest book review, from local book reviewer, Reading in the Rockies! We'll be posting her reviews here, and on our new Book Reviews page, to help you and your staff learn more about the books we're carrying.

In this edition, she's reviewing Minds of Winter, by Ed O'Loughlin.

REVIEW

One to read and then read again.  ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4.5/5
 
“If you really didn’t believe in coincidence, you’d have to believe in conspiracy instead.”

Minds of Winter has been described as clunky, ambitious, and confusing, and while I can appreciate that it is not universally fascinating, it checked off several boxes for me – historical fiction, mystery, Canadian author. I tend to romanticize the subjects within this book – Winter, Canadian history and exploration – and will jump at the opportunity to read any book based in northern Canada. Minds of Winter is the type of book which either works for you, or it doesn’t, but it certainly worked for me.

This is a story about time, navigation and polar exploration, and unsolved mysteries. It is Ed O’Loughlin’s esoteric and enchanting theory, or retelling if you will, of the mystery of the Sir John Franklin chronometer, Arnold 294. The novel spans 173 years – from 1841, shortly before Erebus and Terror set out on a voyage of exploration to the Northwest Passage, through 2014, when Parks Canada found the wreckage of Erebus. It is set in roughly eight countries, with more than a dozen storylines over nine sections, and adopts a variety of narrative devices, ranging from a real newspaper report in 2009 when Arnold 294 appeared in Britain disguised as a carriage clock, to letters and third-person narration.

The language is poetic; the writing is well-researched and rich in mirages and folklore. It is not an easy read, but it is an enjoyable read and the struggles subside once you take each story for what it is, without trying to make connections to other narratives. Some stories transition seamlessly into the next, while others leave the reader with questions that are never answered. 

Minds of Winter is a novel I plan to re-read, and will resonate with readers of historical fiction and with those who believe some mysteries were never meant to be solved.


Reading in the Rockies is a book reviewer, outdoor enthusiast, and animal lover. Her reviews can be found atwww.instagram.com/readingintherockies and www.goodreads.com/readingintherockies

Image courtesy of Reading in the Rockies.

 

Reading in the Rockies reviews ... Full CurlSee more
Welcome to our first guest book review, from local book reviewer, Reading in the Rockies! We'll be posting her reviews here, and on our new Book Reviews page, to help you and your staff learn more about the books we're carrying.

In this edition, she's reviewing Full Curl: A Jenny Willson Mystery, by Dave Butler.

REVIEW


I cannot recommend this book enough.  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 5/5

Full Curl follows Parks Canada warden Jenny Willson as she investigates a poaching case in Banff, Jasper, and Kootenay National Parks (inspired by a real-life poaching case Dave worked on as a former Parks Canada warden). 

Animal protection and environmental conservation are extremely important to me, and I spend a significant amount of time in the backcountry of these parks, thus this story is very near to my heart. It doesn’t just hit close to home; it is about my home – and the home of all who love our national parks, enjoy being outdoors, experience the backcountry, and want to preserve this incredible environment.

The pace of the story was excellent; it takes place over a year which is what you would reasonably expect in this type of investigation, but it also meant every point in the story was relevant and there was no fluff or lulls, keeping me engaged and turning pages. The geographical location is detailed and accurate.

Multiple points of view are offered, and the reader is given the point of view of both the protagonist and the antagonist. Jenny is very relatable; I could have been reading about myself, I see so much of her in me (and vice versa).  I loved the political commentary concerning the government organizations and bureaucracies as I found them to be relevant.

Overall, the story is heavily about animal protection and it went exactly where I wanted it to, an exceptional story of justice.

Reading in the Rockies is a book reviewer, outdoor enthusiast, and animal lover.  Her reviews can be found at www.instagram.com/readingintherockies and www.goodreads.com/readingintherockies.

Image courtesy of Reading in the Rockies.