3 Stars, Action and Adventure, Book Reviews, Science Fiction

Review – Always Gray in Winter by Mark J. Engels

PicsArt_12-30-08.52.44.jpgTitle: Always Gray in Winter

Author: Mark J. Engels

Genre: Science Fiction – Action

Age Classification: Adult

Publisher: Thurston Howl Publications

Release: August 10, 2017

Available Format(s): Currently out of print

In my year of trying new things and taking the opportunities that come my way, I accepted a book for review about werecats – something I probably would not have picked up if it had not been offered to me.

Pawlina ‘Pawly’ Katczynski is a werecat and has been in hiding since a terrible attack (I think) at Chah Bahar that killed and injured the people she cared about. At the start of the novel she is found, captured and returned to her family by people who work for them (I think). As one of the few characters we actually get to know, she seems like a fighter with a broken spirit and a desire for her life to be different.

Other characters that sort of stood out are:

  • Tomasz ‘Tomcat’ – Pawly’s brother who was injured at Chah Bahar and seems to be a little upset with Pawly;
  • Lenny – likes Pawly when she looks human but is not aware of the werecat situation;
  • Mawro – I could not figure out exactly why, but he is not a fan of the Katczynski family;
  • Hana – another werecat (I think) related to or owned by Mawro (not sure) that seems to talk a bit like Yoda and spaz out at inconvenient times.

As you may have guessed from all the ‘(I think)’s, I was not 100% sure what was going on in this book. The story was non-linear, which would not have been a problem if it was clear when we were flicking back or forward. Same characters in similar situations made it difficult for me to keep up. I felt the characters were flat. There were so many names and maybe their connection to the story, but I did not feel I got to know any of them. I also would have liked more detail about the settings, as I felt I had an idea of where different scenes were taking place but not a clear picture.

I am going to be honest and say this was not the book for me, at least not in its current format. The concept of the story was interesting, but the storytelling just was not working for me. I got to the end of the book and am still assuming I know what happened but I am not confident that I ‘got’ the entire story.

Star Rating: ☆☆☆

Honestly, I think this story would work well as a graphic novel and would love to see it made into one. As the book is currently out of print, maybe this is a way to reintroduce the story?

Have you read a book and thought it would work well as a graphic novel?
Let me know in the comments.

Until next time bibliophiles!

Amy x

A digital copy of this book was supplied to me by Mark Engels

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