Odd & True by Cat Winters (ARC Review)

odd & trueOdd & True by Cat Winters

Release Date: September 12th, 2017

*I received an e-ARC of this book via Netgalley from the publisher in exchange for an honest review – thanks so much for sending me over a copy!!*

*forever hanging head in book shame because this is Cat Winters and I should not be giving it 2 odd & true crowns* Gosh, I wanted to like this book. It sounds like so much perfection for this Book Princess. Do I love Cat Winters? YES. SO MUCH YES. Do I love monster hunters? Um, have you see my posts on Bigfoot and aliens? Would I totally love the two together? YESYESYESYESYESYES. Somehow, this book didn’t really work out for me, though.

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.

I think the biggest issue that I had was the pacing and the connection with characters. The story just seemed so slow. I know we were learning about the history and establishing relationships and doing world building, but it just felt so slow. I would get bored halfway down the page and even Winters’ beautiful writing and talk of monsters that lurk in the dark couldn’t get me excited. I knew I had an issue when I literally sat this down – it being one of my most highly anticipated novels of the years – and didn’t want to pick it back up. Literally, I picked anything I could over it. I’m not sure why I wasn’t enthralled, but I think it just became too slow to get to anywhere, and I didn’t like that at all.

My other issue was the characters. I never really connected with Odette or Tru. I mean, they were there…and that was it for me. There would be moments I liked Od, but then there was times that she seemed to completely disregard Tru’s disability and then I was back to not caring one wink about her. She seems like a mysterious, intriguing character, but the magic wore a bit off on her. And then Tru was…I never got a true feeling for Tru (heh, see what I did there?). She was just going along for the ride. I couldn’t name you her defining characteristics except that she could see bat like creatures in her tea, she once had polio, and she really wants to see her mom. What is like as a person? Quiet, shy, eager, a dreamer? I’m not sure (and no, I haven’t forgotten since I literally just finished this book today).

Cinderella had some issues with her sisters, too, although they were evil and stepsisters, but you know.

These two obstacles really dragged the story down for me. However, there were some things that I really did enjoy. Winters, as always, is a fantastic writing that creates an atmosphere like no other. Her historical fiction is brilliant, unique, and a magical blend of mystery, real life, and the supernatural. She always has you on the edge – continuously asking, is there really the supernatural or is it just a carefully crafted illusion? She’s wickedly brilliant at it, and I’m forever impressed. The story itself was intriguing as well, and the infusion of folklore was so beautiful as well.

As I said, the story just bogged down by a lot of slow pacing and the blankness of the characters for me. Winters is still a remarkably talented writer, and I can’t wait to get to her other stories. This one just missed the mark for me, but it still had a lot of potential. 2 crowns and a Cinderella rating – since it had a good story but those mousies kind of did slow down the pacing so remarkably well. XD


Check it out:

What do you think? Is connection to characters super important? What are some of your most anticipated books that disappointed you? Let’s discuss in the comments below!

29 thoughts on “Odd & True by Cat Winters (ARC Review)

  1. I’m so sorry this one didn’t work out for you Mandy! Connecting with characters is rather important I find! I feel like when you have a connection with the characters you’ll sympathize with them more and have a better understanding of their reasoning and actions! You’ll be more excited to go on the journey with them! Oh..hopefully her next book makes up for this one!! But I gotta say that the character name play is spot on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! I find that is one of the biggest reasons I DNF. If I’m not drawn in with the characters, then I’m totally tripped up even if the plot and premise is intriguing. But yesssssss that name play was just terrific. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Birdie! I think it was just the slower pacing that really screwed me up. If you can get past that, then it might be really good. I’m really hoping that it will be better for you. 🙂


  2. Aw, too bad you couldn’t enjoy it as much as you wanted to!! The description sounded so fascinating, and the cover really just hooks you in. I’ve been keeping my eye on this for quite a while, but now I’m a bit conflicted.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It might be better for you, Krysti! I think I just had too many high expectations on it and it moved a bit too slow for me. But it did have a lot of potential. Definitely hoping you’ll enjoy it far more. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes! I think then it will go much, much better. I put a lot of pressure on it from her other books and it just…didn’t work out. Have you read any of her others? I think I asked you but I totally forgot what you said.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oooooh that’s a good question. I’ve read 4 of her books so far. The Uninvited was probably my favorite (although it is adult), but In the Shadow of Blackbirds was a super close second. That one was SUPER impressive. You’re definitely going to LOVE the atmosphere and mood, though, she creates.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I’m loving this one so far, so I definitely want to try her other books now! I think you got it on the head there about the atmosphere and mood. That’s probably what I love most in this one so far.


      1. Well I think as far as expectations go for me, I was expecting way more supernatural creatures and events. It was way different than I expected. I can definitely understand your points on your dislikes! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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