Monday, 7 May 2012

Jean-Claude Mourlevat - Winter's End

Title: Winter's End
Original title: Le Combat d'hiver
Author: Jean-Claude Mourlevat
Pub. year: 2006
Pages: 415
Editor: Candlewick Press

Summary: In this award-winning story translated from the original French, four teens, determined to escape the tyranny responsible for the deaths of their parents years before, flee their prison-like boarding school and are pursued by a terrifying pack of dog-men sent to hunt them down.

I chose to take the short summary, even if it doesn't really fit, because the long one I saw everywhere tells pretty much the whole book and I hate it when summary spoil every step of a story.

I heard about Mourlevat for years now, but never had the occasion to read one of his books. This one was one of the two I heard the most about in the past couple of years, so I was really happy when a friend sent it to me as a gift a few weeks ago. It didn't take me long to read it, as you can see.

The first thing I loved about this book is that the whole story isn't about romance. I mean, sure, there's a bit of love in the book, but it's not the main subject, it's just a "side effect". When I read a dystopy, it's because I want to read about society that went wrong and about people who fight for their freedom, not so see starcrossed lovers in almost EVERY ONE OF THOSE BOOKS. I mean, I'm not saying I don't like love story or that love isn't important, it's just that love isn't the only reason why one could fight for his freedom. And lately it felt a little bit like that in the dystopian books.

Apart from a few genetic combinated creatures, Mourlevat depicts a pretty believable world where things went wrong. The Phalange took the power years ago and tained quite well its people with some barbaric practices. A quite oppressive world, as you can imagine. But obviously, the main characters aim to set the country free and walk in the path of their parents in order to live a better life.

The story being a one-shot and not a serie, the world isn't really deeply detailed but it's enough to dive into it! It's was a really page-turner book for me.

I think the only thing I didn't really enjoy about this story is that for 17yo young people, they felt like they were 14. So naive and innocent that I couldn't believe they were in their late teenage lives. In that way, I had a bit of a hard time to like them at first. Especially the girls (for the love-at-first-sight part with the first boys they saw, or the "I don't care what the consequences of my acts on other people are").

Anyway, it's a good story, very much enjoyable, that I would recommand to everybody (well maybe not to childrens, 'cause it can be a pretty violent in some parts)!

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