Fans of Maria Alexander’s Snowed will remember that when we were last with Charity, Aidan, and the gang, it was in the midst of a massive cliffhanger, but now that Snowbound in available, more of that story can be told. The Bloodline of Yule series is perfect for those who want to experience a holiday tale without the schmaltziness of a Hallmark Movie-of-the-Week or the nostalgia embedded in those rarefied classics of yore. Snowbound is anything but the typical seasonal story – and that is just the way Maria Alexander’s fans want it.
At the end of Snowed, Aidan had discovered that he is a member of the Klass Family and that in fact, his father is Krampus and Santa Claus. You see, the legendary St. Nicholas has two distinct personalities vying for control within one body. Suddenly, Aidan realizes that he is heir to that throne and is none to happy about that fact. So his father kidnapped him and whisked him off to their North Pole fortress and at this point, Aidan doesn’t even know if his friend…his girlfriend?…Charity is still alive.
The first part of Snowbound focuses on Aidan and his father. The battle at the end of Snowed left Krampus poisoned by mistletoe, so he has ordered Aidan to hunt to find the legendary antidote. This allows Maria Alexander to play with the traditional quest myth and as she does with most tropes, she subverts the expected and the resulting action twists the story into a whole new direction.
Meanwhile, Charity is very much alive and has gathered together her band of misfits with an aim towards rescuing Aidan – a boy she has reluctantly fallen in love with – from the clutching of his vicious father. Charity’s plan is high-tech and while Maria Alexander keeps the jargon to a minimum, it is a refreshing change of pace to witness a younger female character embodying such a leadership position and setting out to save the “hero” for a change.
Eventually, the two stories converge in the most cataclysmic of ways and the very fate of humanity lies in the balance. Because this is the middle book in a trilogy, it means that yes, we have yet another cliffhanger. Do not let that discourage you from reading Snowbound, however, as while there is no final resolution, there is a nice shift in the focus of the story and it feels like a natural break before readers head into what will be the final showdown.
Just as with Snowed, Snowbound features a very contemporary style of writing that feels tailor-made for today’s young adults. Maria Alexander refuses to talk down to her audience, but she never pushes things so far as to alienate readers with excess. Snowed was firmly rooted in the concept of mystery, while Snowbound cannot be classified as anything other than an action thriller. Fans of The Bloodline of Yule series will spend the coming months speculating on what style of novel the final book in this series will emulate– suspense, psychological drama, noir? The possibilities are endless.
Shake off those Grinch-y feelings and run right to this delightfully unexpected holiday saga.