For What It's Worth

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Review: Blades of Winter (Shadowstorm #1) by G.T. Almasi

In one of the most exciting debuts in years, G. T. Almasi has fused the intricate cat-and-mouse games of a John le Carré novel with the brash style of comic book superheroes to create a kick-ass alternate history that reimagines the Cold War as a clash of spies with biological, chemical, and technological enhancements.

Nineteen-year-old Alix Nico, a self-described “million-dollar murder machine,” is a rising star in ExOps, a covert-action agency that aggressively shields the United States from its three great enemies: the Soviet Union, Greater Germany, and the Nationalist Republic of China. Rather than risk another all-out war, the four superpowers have poured their resources into creating superspies known as Levels.
Alix is one of the hottest young American Levels. That’s no surprise: Her dad was America’s top Level before he was captured and killed eight years ago. But when an impulsive decision explodes—literally—in her face, Alix uncovers a conspiracy that pushes her to her limits and could upset the global balance of power forever. ~ Goodreads

It took me a long time to get into this book. I picked it up and set it aside several times over the course of two weeks.

Blades of Winter is all about the adrenaline rush and that style didn't really work for me. On a pure action level I would give it five stars but I like a slightly slower pace so I get a feel for what's going on and to get inside the characters heads. Instead of feeling something for the characters, I was whipped around again and again in a series of action sequences.

Alix is totally badass. Maybe too badass for her own good though. She's a young girl with loads of potential but she takes too many risks that have negative consequences that she rarely feels guilty about. Even if she does, it’s a momentary emotion that she blows off rather quickly. I'm of two minds about her. I loved certain aspects of her character, she's tough yet shows a vulnerability, but I also wanted her to be put on administrative leave with intense counseling. lol

As an assassin, with coworkers who rely on her, her rash decisions should have had dire consequences but instead she got a stern lecture, rewarded or people covered up for her. That didn't work for me at all.

Rating: 2 out of 4 If you like intense action sequences, love alternative history with a dose of sci-fi and some cool twists then this is the book for you. An interesting start to a series but Blades of WInter left me too detached from the heroine to really let go and enjoy it myself.

Author: Goodreads
Source: Amazon Vine program for my honest review
Buy it! Blades of Winter: A Novel of the Shadowstorm (also includes a Chapter 1 excerpt so you can check out the writing style. While it didn’t work for me – it might be something you will love.)


  1. Good review and thanks for taking one for the team. I marked this one as a DNF :)

  2. Aw, that's too bad this was so disappointing. It sounds like the book might have tried to hard to be like an action movie stereotype with a Bond-ish heroine? Either way, thanks to your excellent review, I'm steering clear! :)

    1. It did feel like an action movie. If that's what you're looking for then it definitely succeeds but Alix's irresponsible actions were hard for me to ignore.

      I imagine it's one of those love it or hate kind of books. Quite a few people on Goodreads loved it for the exact same reasons I didn't lol

  3. Oh :/ How disappointing, it looks so cool! I would have wanted much more

    1. I don't think you would like Alix but I do think this book would be a lot of fun if you go for big action sequences. I just needed more.

  4. Sad you didn't like this. I loved this book, gave it 5 stars even. I agree with the action, it's hair raising and non stop. It's like a video game or somehing, totally bad ass!

    1. I think I would love this if it were a movie!

      I might give the second book a try even though this one wasn't a favorite. That ending was O_O

  5. Yeah, I hear you - I mean, action is definitely a good thing in books, but I tend to dislike it when it is just completely non-stop and sometimes the writing, plot, and character development suffers because not enough time is spent there. Too bad this one was a bit disappointing for you!