Book Review: The Uninvited
ashley | If Cat Winters has a new book, I will drop everything to read it. Which is basically what I did as soon as I received an advance copy of The Uninvited. The cover is beautifully haunting, the first sentence – “I admit, I had seen a ghost or two” – sets the scene perfectly. I had really high expectations for this book, probably unfairly high expectations.
The Uninvited carried a very different feeling than previous books. It’s a bit more mature, there’s a bit more sex and the characters are a bit older. Which shouldn’t have much of an impact on things, you can clearly see Winters’ charm and talent shine through, but to me it seemed like this novel kind of lacked that certain haunting uniqueness that I really loved about her previous works. I want to say that it almost seemed normal, like just your everyday war story, nothing that really wowed or gripped me like Winters’ other two books. Sure, Ivy could see ghosts, but that was kind of a forgotten detail behind the budding relationship with the German down the road. It just fell flat to me. That isn’t to say it was bad, it just didn’t have that je ne sais quoi I have come to expect and hope for from Winters’ works.
I wasn’t overly smitten with Ivy, either. She didn’t seem that alluring or charmingly naive. She actually annoyed me a little bit. It’s hard to pinpoint why, as other characters in her other works were naive and a little weak and innocent, but they seemed to have this additional drive and understanding that overshadowed that. Ivy seemed one dimensional when I first met her and she seemed more careless than trying to grab life by the horns. She just didn’t seem genuine and I basically disagreed with everything she said or did.
Sigh. I really wanted to like this. I really did. But I saw from the beginning where this was going and I thought the focus was all too much on the wrong things. Granted, the ended did hold some unexpected details that, looking back on the book as whole, kind of makes the whole thing better, but reading through it, none of that really resonated. It’s still a well crafted, well written book, but I feel like it was a familiar war story and it just didn’t hold the same kind of magic I was expecting.
Had I not read her previous books, this would have had a bigger impact on me and it certainly shouldn’t be tossed aside because of this, my excitement and expectations were just too high going into this. That said, Winters is still very much one of my favourite writers and I will sit on edge waiting for her next release.
August 11, 2015