Title: Aspect of Winter
Author: Tom Early
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Release Date: October 15th 2015
Genre(s): M/M YA Fantasy
Page Count: 260 pages
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 1.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.7 stars out of 5
A Harmony Ink Press Title 2nd Edition
High school isn’t easy for any gay teen, and on top of everything, Fay struggles to understand his supernatural powers—and keep them hidden from everyone but his best friend Sam. It’s almost too much for anyone to cope with, and it’s all Fay can do to endure.
Then Fay and Sam come to the attention of a representative from Janus University, a college for people who display magical potential. Along with their classmate Tyler, the two friends are tipped into a precarious world of mystery and magic that they don’t yet understand. Their lives are about to change, but first they must complete—and survive—the university’s Trials. Romantic feelings start to bloom between Fay and Tyler, but before they can explore them, they must learn to deal with a new world that can be both beautiful and terrifying—especially when the dangerous source of Fay’s abilities is discovered.
1st Edition published by Kindle Direct Publishing, 2014.
This is an enjoyable YA story.
Feayr “Fay” Hansen has the ability to control ice and cold.
Only his parents and his best friend, Samantha Grey, know about his powers though. Which means high school is still pretty rough on Fay, dealing with bullies, and not made easier because he’s gay. Luckily, Sam is a no holds barred badass with several martial arts belts and a kick-ass-take-names attitude. When Fay and Sam are approached by a mysterious stranger who informs them they have magical potential and have been selected to undergo specific trials to see if they are worthy of being admitted to the prestigious Janus University, a college for magical beings to learn and hone their crafts, they are both stunned.
Fay and Sam being to learn some spells that will hopefully help them through the “Trials”, a magical three part testing process that only a few get through, which will allow them entrance to the university.
Along the way they become friends with Tyler, a boy from their class who is important to Fay on many levels and who becomes integral to their success at the Trials.
The Trials are pretty brutal and there’s more going on than just testing the kids. At a certain point it becomes clear this is not just a game or test anymore and they find themselves in real fear for their lives. I was on the edge of my seat for the climax, even finding myself holding my breath a time or two.
I thought this was good for a debut novel, with enough impressive world-building and mythical history thrown in that I happily followed along. It lags a little in the middle and there are some times when the plot veers sharply away which messes with the flow…but not enough to be a huge problem. I was actually pretty enthused that there are enough plot dangles left to continue as a series. I wouldn’t mind more stories about Fay and Sam and Tyler in this world.