Teen Review: Withershins

Withershins by Susan Rocan
Release Date ~ April 1, 2008
Great Plains Publications
ISBN13: 9781894283755
Review copy received from publisher

Goodreads Synopsis:
Most people have heard of Withershins- the ritual where one runs around a church three times at midnight. Some claim you will be transported to the Netherworld. What happens to Michelle is quite different. She finds herself trapped in the past, forced to survive without modern conveniences. A native shaman tells her she is the chosen one, but Michelle has no idea why. As she struggles with life in a primitive time, she learns more than just how to survive. Despite facing illness, death, and bigotry, she learns patience and even falls in love, as much as she tries to avoid it.

I really enjoy novels where the protagonist travels back in time.  I like the mix of historical fiction, with contemporary, and fantasy.  I think that the genres mix well together.  When I read about this book, I really wanted to read it because it sounded really cool.  Needless to say, it was a pretty good novel.

  1. Accurate Aboriginal and Settler Relationship:

    This novel takes place in Canada in the mid 1700s or so, when settlers from Europe are still coming over to settler down in Canada.  A lot of novels skim over the fact that the relationship between the Native people and the settlers was not always great.  There was a lot of prejudice against the Native people, which I thought was very accurately portrayed.  It also wasn't always black and white, though.  There were some settlers in the novel that had no problem at all with the Natives, and there were some that seemed to hate them with a passion.  Overall, I was impressed with how the author wrote about it.
  2. Unique Concept:

    While the whole modern-person-is-transport-back-in-time plot is not very original, the way Michelle is transported back in time is really cool.  She finds herself in the past because of a certain kind of Native magic.  I like books whose focus is Native mythology.  I think that all of the ideas about magic are really original from anything else I've ever read about.  The fact that this book's plot was based from Native magic, I thought was really, really intriguing.

I did have some problems with this novel.  Michelle tended to become very whiny about little things, which bugged me to no end.  The love triangle seemed forced at times, and this was one of those times where I loved one of the guys, and absolutely hated the other one.  Luckily, my favourite seemed to be the one winning.  Besides those, though, I did enjoy all of the historical aspects to it, and the wole storyline in general.  I think you'll like this book if you are a fan of historical fiction, or just want a quick read.
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