#FridayFiveChallenge ~ Buy or Pass ~ Wolf Winter by Cecilia Eckbäck

Rosie Amber’s Friday Five Challenge, involves taking only five minutes to choose a book cover which appeals instantly. So take a few minutes, grab yourself a coffee…..and have a browse.


In today’s online shopping age, readers often base their buying decisions from small postage stamp size book covers (Thumb-nails), a quick glance at the book description and the review. How much time do they really spend making that buying decision?

AUTHORS – You often only have seconds to get a reader to buy your book, is your book cover and book bio up to it?

My Friday Five Challenge is this….. IN ONLY FIVE MINUTES….

1) Go to any online book supplier,

2) Randomly choose a category,

3) Speed through the book covers, choose one which has instantly appealed to your eye,

4) Read the book Bio/ Description for this book, and any other details.

5) If there are reviews, check out a couple,

6) Make an instant decision, would you BUY or PASS?

I decided to have a look under Amazon Rising Stars this week. I liked this cover almost immediately…the title, too.


The cover gives quite a mystical feel, with the lighter, misty background against the dark foreground. It’s a debut novel only released at the beginning of November. It has 67 reviews with an average of 4.3* Fifty four of the reviews are 4* and 5* On Amazon US there are 131 reviews with the average 4.2* rating. Again the majority are in the higher bracket.

The Kindle price is £4.99/$7.59 for 448 pages. Quite expensive for an ebook, but the paperback is cheaper than the kindle edition, being priced new from £3.85.

Amazon UK Amazon US

The blurb 

A brilliantly written and gripping historical Nordic Noir thriller with all the intrigue and atmosphere of Burial Rites, the pent-up passion of The Piano and the suspense of The Tenderness of Wolves.

There are six homesteads on Blackåsen Mountain.

A day’s journey away lies the empty town. It comes to life just once, in winter, when the Church summons her people through the snows. Then, even the oldest enemies will gather.

But now it is summer, and new settlers are come.

It is their two young daughters who find the dead man, not half an hour’s walk from their cottage.

The father is away. And whether stubborn, or stupid, or scared for her girls, the mother will not let it rest.

To the wife who is not concerned when her husband does not come home for three days; to the man who laughs when he hears his brother is dead; to the priest who doesn’t care; she asks and asks her questions, digging at the secrets of the mountain.

They say a wolf made those wounds. But what wild animal cuts a body so clean?

The basic story is of Finnish settlers who have relocated to Swedish Lapland and the struggles they have to survive. It kind of reminds me a little of The Snow Child. The harsh wilderness and the fact it’s historical, although this is set in the early 1700s. Oh, I’ve just noticed, The Snow Child is actually mentioned in a long list of product reviews by Library Journal, who use the phrases..’hypnotic prose’..and..’dark and atmospheric.’ 

One reviewer who awarded 5* says ‘Wolf Winter’ is a murder story set in 1717 Lapland, a cold harsh setting where witchcraft accusations are taken seriously. This is a primitive hard way of life. Maija and her husband and daughters move to Blackasen mountain. A body is found and only Maija seems to find this a suspicious death. The chilly atmosphere permeates. Everybody seems to be hiding something. And no one appreciates Maija interfering.

The most helpful critical review (3*) mentions the very atmospheric and descriptive writing but goes on to say that it’s better than the storyline and plot. This view is very much in the minority though. Judging by the reviews from the likes of Hilary Mantel, Lee Child and the Historical Novels Society to name just a few, it has lots of enthusiastic praise. 

If I was buying I’d definitely go for the paperback. Now to decide…

Would I Buy or Pass? I’ll BUY. I’m quite intrigued and I did love The Snow Child, but it’ll have to go to bottom of the pile!

If you’d like to enter next week’s challenge, and the more the merrier, check out Rosie’s blog to read about the Friday Five Challenge.

More Friday Five Challenge choices

Rosie went way back to the 12th century and the Empress Matilda

Shelley chose a self-help book

Liz found some lovely children’s books

Barb goes for a fun paranormal mystery

11 thoughts on “#FridayFiveChallenge ~ Buy or Pass ~ Wolf Winter by Cecilia Eckbäck

  1. The alliteration of the book title works well, it is enticing and mystical. These days I don’t let supposed endorsements by famous people sway me, there are far too many out there, and I question if they’ve actually read the book or been “persuaded” to allow their quote about it. Call me sceptical, but a genuine review means much more to me. So the 3* interests me, you can get lots of 5*’s from sending out copies to sites that always give glowing 5* reviews, but if the 5*’s are genuine with lots of details showing the reviewers have really read the book, then it’s much more appealing. A long book and a bit pricey. I found a book last week where the kindle price was higher than the paperback, I wonder if this is a reflection on our new reading/ buying habits? The subject is quite interesting, but I have a huge TBR pile, so a pass from me.

    Liked by 1 person

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