ARC Book Review: The Cold is in Her Bones by Peternelle van Arsdale
ashley | I was drawn to the cover of The Cold Is In Her Bones by Peternelle van Arsdale. There was something sweet and innocent about it, but also very haunting. With a description that mentioned demons and secrets, I was drawn in. At the time I didn’t realize this was loosely based on some mythological stories and was a retelling of sorts, which made me sad because this gave this story so much extra potential that I didn’t think was fully fulfilled.
This started as a beautifully, haunted book. On the surface it seemed innocent enough, showing us a young girl who lived under her strict parents’ rule on a farm on the outskirts of a village. She had only ever met five people. It’s innocent, with that subtle hint that screams cult or danger or more! You know something isn’t quite right, but can’t quite put your finger on it just yet. And then, the cold and the darkness starts to seep in and all that innocence is lost.
Milla was just an okay character for me. I enjoyed her drive to know more and want to see more of the world, but she didn’t seems a full as she could have been and sometimes she seemed a little more whiny and annoying than anything else. I tried to appreciate her love and loyalty for her family, especially her brother and her friend Iris, but it didn’t seem as solid as it was meant to. Milla didn’t seem as lonely as we were told she was. I didn’t feel it, I just read it.
I enjoyed the overall story, it felt a little like a fairy tale, but it did feel a little slow and repetitive at times and seemed like it would have been stronger if it had of been a short story as opposed to a short novel. It was a journey, and thus, there was a lot of walking with slow discoveries along the way for Milla. They were interesting discoveries and the concept of a curse drawing on the mythological story of Medusa was interesting, but it didn’t really take you very far. I just thought there could have been a lot more to this.
However, how someone can make a story about snakes seem soft and almost precious is a talent and van Arsdale does just that. The prose is beautiful at times and the cutting demonology is harsh, a nice contrast to the good and evil. Milla’s connection with her snakes is really interesting and almost makes you wish you had your own snakes growing out of your head. I said almost!
january 22, 2019