Jan 14, 2019

ARC Review--The Cold is in Her Bones by Peternelle van Arsdale

Milla knows two things to be true: Demons are real, and fear will keep her safe.

Milla’s whole world is her family’s farm. She is never allowed to travel to the village and her only friend is her beloved older brother, Niklas. When a bright-eyed girl named Iris comes to stay, Milla hopes her loneliness might finally be coming to an end. But Iris has a secret she’s forbidden to share: The village is cursed by a demon who possesses girls at random, and the townspeople live in terror of who it will come for next.

Now, it seems, the demon has come for Iris. When Iris is captured and imprisoned with other possessed girls, Milla leaves home to rescue her and break the curse forever. Her only company on the journey is a terrible new secret of her own: Milla is changing, too, and may soon be a demon herself.

I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Peternelle van Arsdale’s latest release, The Cold is in Her Bones is an intriguing story that ties in the origins or possible origins, of Medusa! Medusa was the gorgon from Greek mythology with snakes for hair and if you were to meet her gaze, you’d turn into stone. While that is the basis of the origin character, that’s not the story here. Instead, we open the story and learn about a strange little girl, Hulda, who favored snakes and had something terrible happened to her.

The story then moves forward and we meet Milla, another awkward sort of girl who just wants to have a friend in life. Her older brother, Niklas, was once her friend, but he’s getting older and rarely has time to spend with her. He’s their parents’ favorite and often, Milla feels neglected. Then when Niklas’ soon to be betrothed, Iris, moves to town, Milla is elated to finally have a friend. That is until an old curse comes to town and infects lots of young girls and women.

Iris is soon one of them and Milla becomes determined to save her and break the curse. But first she’ll have to learn more about the curse itself and what it means. You might be able to guess what it is too. The girls are slowly going insane, acting like they are possessed by demons. Though Milla doesn’t often hear voices like some of the other girls claim, she has noticed that something is changing her. The cover will give you a hint and it’s that Milla now has two snakes growing from her head!

I’ll admit that the idea behind this story intrigued me greatly, but the execution wasn’t all what I had anticipated. The pacing was more on the slow side of things. While Milla’s journey was intriguing enough, I felt like getting the answers took longer than necessary. All the while, Milla is trying to keep her own transformation as secret as possible.

I did enjoy the friendship that grew between Milla and Iris. It’s refreshing when a story can surround a friendship that doesn’t involve romantic interludes on either party. Yes, Iris was meant to be engaged to Niklas, but she spent more time with Milla than her intended, so it was almost moot. MIlla sets out on her quest to bring her friend back and to save her, but naturally, secrets get revealed and while her quest is the same, there’s more motivation to it.

I guess in theory, I had been hoping for a bit more Medusa in this story that likens to Medusa. While we do get girls with snakes for hair, it wasn’t what I expected it to be. It wasn’t a bad way of going about things, just unexpected. The pacing is also what dragged me down a bit with this one. It wasn’t all that exciting all the time. I can’t help but just wanting a little more from the story than what was given. Still, not a bad read, just not a great one either.

Overall Rating 3/5 stars

The Cold is in Her Bones releases January 22, 2019 


  1. This book was just okay for me too, and for a lot of the same reasons! expected a more faithful retelling when I heard this book was inspired by Medusa. So disappointed that there was not more of the Greek myth in this book.

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

  2. I'm on the fence about this one and I'm wondering if it will seem too slow to me. I usually prefer books that focus on development. Hmmmm.

  3. Based on your review, this book isn't at all what I had expected either. so far the retellings I've been reading have focused on that aspect more than simple friendship stories. I also need a faster paced book to keep me interested. Thanks for the review!


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