The Dead of Winter by Lee Collins
Cora Ogelsby and her husband, Ben, hunt things - things that shouldn't exist.
When the marshal of Leadville, Colorado, comes across a pair of mysterious, bloody deaths out in the badlands, he turns to Cora to find the creature responsible. But if she is to overcome the unnatural tide threatening to consume the small town, Cora must first confront her own tragic past.
The Dead of Winter is the first instalment in the series of “Cora Ogelsby” written by Lee Collins. The second book is to be released in February 2013. When I found out about The Dead of Winter I thought it would be a nice change from the more fantasy themed, going instead for a western supernatural setting but what especially caught my attention was the phrase “things that shouldn't exist”.
After quite the bloody introduction you soon get to meet up with Cora and her husband Ben. It is assumed that she has some clue of what has happened to the town of Leadville. With a gruesome stripped and mutilated body the local marshal and his fellow townsmen can only come up with a vicious attack of a grizzle bear or wolf. But Cora knows better... or does she? But even in her hunting career she has not come across something like this. From this part on you are being introduced to several supernatural beings that Cora has come across like hellhounds and vampires. Using these well known supernatural beings got me interested in how it would be translated and used in the story. What I particularly liked about this is that Lee Collins introduces a whole new type of entity. There was not a flaw in the entities background and showed a nice case of doing homework on this creature. I was surprised and the encounters in the mine by Cora were quite spooky and got me to the edge my seat.
The story really takes off when Cora finds a solution to the problem, normal bullets just won’t do... However the removal of this creature took only about half the book. When I felt that this first job was running on its endings I was wondering what there was left in store for me. Looking back at the first part and the second part after finishing the book there is a logical transition and many pieces do come together. You already got to meet Cora, Ben and some of the other townspeople but the second part of the books delves deeper into some of the background of the characters. And Cora meets up with a scholar who specializes in vampire lore, more than she previously knew. He is quite the help though. I first did not expect a vampire theme in The Dead of Winter. I am not that huge a fan of vampires but Lee Collins did use them in a great way, luckily not giving in the "mainstream" vampire, but going back more to the original aspects: crosses, garlic, holy water and blessed silver bullets/weapons, this taken together with the western theme just spoke directly into my own imagination.
It is with this introduction of the vampire threat that The Dead of Winter takes an even more interesting turn for the better, showing quite the detailed background on how certain aspects came to pass.
In the end there was a nice mind-teaser on how exactly the relation between Cora and Ben is/was. I still got my mind puzzling if this was somehow due to Glava or due to a broken mind and a lot of alcohol in Cora. I keep going back to the events previously described in the books, like the encounters in which Cora said her husband was there, to the physical things between Cora and Ben. This was nicely put together.
For the main characters there are Cora and Ben Ogelsby, supernatural bounty hunters. With the synopsis I was eager to find out what drove Cora and Ben to hunting the supernatural. Did something happen and are they now exacting their revenge? I could not find these answers in the beginning but the second half of the book had some very pleasant revelations regarding the past events. You just get the feeling that Cora, the main protagonist, has a heavy history and is carrying a burden somehow. She is quite the heavy drinker and does not shy away from having to fire her gun. She is to the point and wants to carry out all her jobs in the best way. But one thing that struck me as odd was how she put a scar on her cheek after killing the first monsters, and directly following up that she finds herself ugly. Why start with it in the first place then? I could not find an explanation of why she was scarring herself and this could have given a nice lead to the past.
Just to summarize: The Dead of Winter nails the supernatural part and taken together with the western theme produces a unique story. With the vivid descriptions and the town and the monsters you get to meet allows a nice visualization. Using both common and uncommon monsters frequented in the supernatural gave again more to The Dead of Winter. And with Cora being a great main protagonist this is definitely a series for me to watch.
This The Dead of Winter book review was written by Jasper de Joode
Have you read The Dead of Winter?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
The Dead of Winter reader reviews
Christoph from Austria
I think this book pretty much deserves at least 8/10. It has a hole here and there in story and research: blame it on being written in NaNoWriMo. But the story twists and turns, it's fast-paced where it needs to be and throughout fun to read. The colorful lead character helps a lot... http://www.weberseite.at/buecher/the-dead-of-winter-lee-collins/
Ryan from U.S.
The Dead of Winter by Lee Collins is a fantasy western about supernatural bounty hunters. Think the TV show Supernatural, set in 1880's frontier America, where the hunters are husband and wife instead of brothers. This is, as you would probably expect, an action driven adventure about a seemingly straight forward hunt gone wrong. It's not a ground breaking book, not by any means. But it's a lot of fun with a couple of gritty protagonists and some big bad enemies that pose a real threat. Collins does a lot of things right in this book, and the end result is a solid debut that works on a number of different levels.
8.1/10 from 3 reviews
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
When the air is clear, sixteen year-old Drew Ferran can pick up the scent of a predator. When the moon breaks through the clouds, a terrifying fever grips him. And when a v...
The body of a young girl is found mangled and murdered in the woods of Hemlock Grove, Pennsylvania, in the shadow of the abandoned Godfrey Steel mill. A manhunt ensues - th...
The Wolf's Hour
Michael Gallatin is a British spy with a peculiar talent: the ability to transform himself into a wolf. Although his work in North Africa helped the Allies win the continen...
The Last Werewolf
One last full moon – then it will all be over. Jacob Marlowe has lost the will to live. For two hundred years he has wandered the world, enslaved by his lunatic appet...
Changeling: Blood Wolf
The Mission: They’ve broken the evil vampire Caliban’s power base. They thought that it was all over. That’s where they were wrong... Changeling: Blood Wo...
Avalonia: The Three Realms
Ashley Kate Simmons
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages:
Books of the Month
A selection of books - old and new alike - that were a joy to read.
The republic faces annihilation, despite the vigilance of Galharrow's Blackwings. When a raven tattoo rips itself from his arm to deliver a desperate message, Galharrow and a mysterious noblewoman must investigate a long dead sorcerer's legacy. But there is a conspiracy within the citadel: traitors, flesh-eaters and the ghosts of the was...
A Tale of Time City
Diana Wynne Jones
When Vivian is evacuated from London in 1939, she expects to be staying in the countryside. Instead, she is whisked away to Time City – a place that exists outside ti...
The Guns of Empire
As the roar of the guns subsides and the smoke of battle clears, the country of Vordan is offered a fragile peace... After their shattering defeats at the hands of brillian...
At the Convent of Sweet Mercy young girls are raised to be killers. In a few the old bloods show, gifting talents rarely seen since the tribes beached their ships on Abeth....
Events are coming to a climax in the Banished Lands, as the war reaches new heights. King Nathair has taken control of the fortress at Drassil and three of the Seven Treasu...
For Kivrin Engle, preparing an on-site study of one of the deadliest eras in humanity's history was as simple as receiving inoculations against the diseases of the four...