Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Tuesday #Review - Odd & True by Cat Winters #YALit #Historical

Series: Standalone
Format: E-Book, 368 pages
Release Date: September 12, 2017
Publisher: Amulet Books
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Young Adult / Historical Fiction

Two sisters with a dark past face their demons in the latest from master of historical paranormal Cat Winters.
Trudchen grew up hearing Odette’s stories of their monster-slaying mother and a magician’s curse. But now that Tru’s older, she’s starting to wonder if her older sister’s tales were just comforting lies, especially because there’s nothing fantastic about her own life—permanently disabled and in constant pain from childhood polio.
In 1909, after a two-year absence, Od reappears with a suitcase supposedly full of weapons and a promise to rescue Tru from the monsters on their way to attack her. But it’s Od who seems haunted by something. And when the sisters’ search for their mother leads them to a face-off with the Leeds Devil, a nightmarish beast that’s wreaking havoc in the Mid-Atlantic states, Tru discovers the peculiar possibility that she and her sister—despite their dark pasts and ordinary appearances—might, indeed, have magic after all.

Cat Winter's Odd & True is a step away from the author's previous works like In the Shadows of Blackbirds, The Cure for Dreaming, and The Uninvited. Odd & True is the story of Odette Grey and Trudchen Grey. Two sisters whose family is anything but normal. In fact, I dare say that they are as discombobulated as they come. Odd is a strange character. I would say that she's a storyteller's dream. She bloviates about stories that she thinks will entertain her younger sister Tru. She lives in an alternate reality where monsters actually do exist, and her mother was a hero who protected the family from said monsters. 

Tru is definitely my favorite and that's because she has the ultimate handicap. She was struck by polio as a young girl, and has had to struggle to get from place to place without assistance. But, when Odd returns home 2 years after being banished by their Aunt, she agrees to go on an adventure of a lifetime with her sister. From Oregon to Chicago. From Chicago to Philadelphia. From Philadelphia to New Jersey where they hunt for the elusive Leed's Devil. Tru also had a curious aspect of tea leaf reading which leads you to wonder if she did have magical abilities after all.

Let's call this Odd & Tru's Tall Tales, shall we? Odd & True's story takes place in actual historical locations. The author uses real events, places, & incidents to weave her story. Odd is the most curious sort. She spent her early years weaving stories for Tru. These stories were filled with fairy tales, legends, fables, myths, ghost stories, magic & monsters. Heck, they even grew up reading Grimm's Fairy Tales. Odd's choices are to be scrutinized, but I won't deny there was a bit of sadness on my part as well. 

Especially when the author finally reveals some really heart breaking twists. Imagine being told that you will go on grand adventures and become a hero in her own right. Just like her Uncle Magnus, and her own Mother. Then life hits you squarely in the face. Would you rather live in a fantasy world, or the real world? Never doubt the love between these sisters. Never doubt that either of them would bend over backwards to help the other. Odd & True is a story that alternatives between the sisters, but also between the present and the past. Recommended.

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