By G.A. Kathryns
Her name is Echo Japonica, and she lives in Snow City. But she was not always Echo, and she did not always live in Snow City. Somewhere else, she was someone else, and it was to Snow City that she fled in order to escape a place and a self that had at last become intolerable.
For Snow City is a dream — Echo’s dream — of a better place, an idealized place, a place of both anonymity and fulfillment. It is, for Echo, a haven of peace, a refuge, a sanctuary.
But Snow City remains, nonetheless, a dream, and dreams, being such fragile things, can so easily shade into nightmare…
Disclaimer: I was provided a review copy of Snow City in exchange for my honest review.
Upon reading the summary for Snow City by G.A. Kathryns, I was instantly intrigued. I really love magical realism when it’s done right, like The Night Circus or A Monster Calls, so I went in to Snow City with high expectations. However, it turned out to not be what I was expecting.
This story is weird, let me get that out of the way right now, and I often found myself unsure as to where the story was going. It wasn’t that the plot was bad–it was just very slow paced. It took me longer to finish this book than normal because I often had to put it down after every chapter or two to take a break before I continued on. Aside from the pacing, I did actually find the plot to be very interesting. Out main character, Echo, creates Snow City to be a sanctuary from the horrible real world. One day she meets this girls, Charity, who actually turns out to be a ghost. Echo doesn’t like the way people treat Charity, so she takes her in, and, in doing so, she starts to notice that the utopia of Snow City isn’t all she thought it was. This book made me constantly question what is real, and that’s something I found I quite enjoyed.
Kathryns’ poetic, elegant writing style really added to the book as a whole. It was very beautiful, and almost Jane Austen-esq. I found myself reading the story with a very British accent in my head at times. Every description was enchanting, and it really helped to emerge me into the world of Snow City. Although I found the writing style so beautiful, there were some instances where sentences felt as if they were dragged out for the sole purpose of making them poetic, and that just made the point of the sentence get lost in the delivery. Overall, I thought the writing was fantastic, and I’d love to read something in this style again.
Finally, let’s talk about the characters. It took me a while to warm up the the main character, Echo, but that might’ve had more to do with the pacing rather than the actual characterization. I kind of felt like the author was trying a little too hard to make her come off as odd and quirky, but as the book progressed that feeling went away. I think Charity actually ended up being my favorite character from the novel. Kathryns writes her to be extremely brave and generous, and I love the mother-daughter like bond formed between Charity and Echo. This is a story truly built around the characters.
In conclusion, I give Snow City by G.A. Kathryns three and a half out of five stars. It’s a truly weird, unique book, and that’s something you need to be ok with if you decide to pick it up. I recommend it to fans of magical realism, and I hope that you enjoy it if you decide to read it!
If you would like to purchase Snow City