Shiver by Allie Reynolds

Posted On 25 January 2021

Filed under Book Reviews
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My Five Word TL:DR Review : Wow, such an impressive debut.

ShiverI loved Shiver.  I part read and part audio listened and I can heartily recommend both versions, the audio is simply superb and I find reading both versions is such a great experience.

To my review.  This is going to be a review that doesn’t focus too much on the story itself.  Fundamentally this is a mystery and I don’t want to give anything away unwittingly so this will be short and sweet.  Basically, as the story beings we meet up with five friends as they get together for the first time in ten years.  They meet up at a ski resort in the French Alps which immediately provokes a flood of memories for our narrator Millie and, after a rather startling icebreaker it soon becomes apparent they they’ve been brought together for ulterior motives.  Ten years ago one of their (then) party disappeared mysteriously.  Now declared dead it seems that somebody is interested in finding the whys and wherefores behind this disappearance and with secrets running rife everyone is a potential suspect.

What did I love about this.  It’s a great combination of compelling mystery, superb setting and intriguingly ‘grey’ characters.

On the face of it we have five characters in the mix, Milla, Curtis, Brent, Heather, and Dale, but given the dual timeline you can add in a further two characters, Odette and Saskia.  All at their peak in terms of pro snowboarding, competition is tough, some will take risks, determined to win, others are more adept at pushing buttons and causing conflict.  I like some of the characters more than others, which I think is inevitable in this sort of story, probably my favourite was Curtis.  I enjoyed Milla’s narration and think telling the story from one pov was a really great idea.  I think including more povs would have been very messy, not to mention would add to the potential to giveaway secrets, and what really worked just hearing from Milla is that she has her own shady backstory so that even though you’re privy to her thoughts it doesn’t leave her entirely in the clear.

The setting is great in more than one way.  Firstly, the venue, which is creepily and curiously completely empty.  The cable car is mysteriously out of operation and other means of communication have also been removed.  There’s an ominous feel to such a deserted venue. it puts me in mind of the Overlook Hotel with all the long, door lined corridors.  There’s just something insidious about such a large empty place isn’t there?  That horrible feeling of somebody sneaking around, or watching you, the prickling on the back of the shoulders or the notion of seeing something out of the corner of your eye.  Basically the atmosphere and suspense is really well done and the setting adds to this tremendously.  Secondly, the outside is no more a refuge than the inside.  Freezing cold temperatures and the possibility of falling into life threatening crevasses are just two very real dangers.  Add to this a sense of rising panic and things fairly quickly start to spiral out of control.

There’s not too much more that I can add really.  I really enjoyed this.  It’s an impressive debut, smoothly written, well plotted and to be honest, gripping to the very end. Very impressive and an author that I will watch with interest.

I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher, for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.

My rating 5 of 5 stars

20 Responses to “Shiver by Allie Reynolds”

  1. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    I was so excited to see that you read this and gave it 5 stars – I loved it too! I couldn’t believe it was a debut either. 😀

    • @lynnsbooks

      It was really gripping, I loved the twist and I thought it was a really good audio book.
      Lynn 😀

  2. Louise

    I have seen so many amazing reviews for this one. I don’t think I can resist adding this to my tbr any longer!

  3. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    Your mention of the Overlook Hotel was the element that sealed the deal for me… 😉
    Thanks for sharing!

    • @lynnsbooks

      Don’t get me wrong – it isn’t like The Shining at all – but the venue itself had a creepiness for me with the element of long corridors with locked doors, and it wasn’t haunted so much as felt like it had another presence – I like that kind of thing.
      Lynn 😀

  4. waytoofantasy

    Oh, this sounds fascinating and also atmospheric. I might have to see if I can squeeze it in to my TBR. Thanks for sharing, Lynn!

    • @lynnsbooks

      This was great – I have no hesitation in recommending and the audio was really good.
      Lynn 😀

    • @lynnsbooks

      And the audio is great.
      Lynn 😀

  5. Lexlingua

    Hmm, this gives “I know what you did last summer” vibe… but from your review, I figure that Shiver must be way better. Thanks for suggesting the audiobook version, I’m trying to look up some stuff for Audible.

    • @lynnsbooks

      I really enjoyed the audio for this one. And, I see where you’re coming from with the “I know what you did last summer” vibes although this could more accurately be summed up as ‘What did you do last summer”.
      Lynn 😀

  6. sjhigbee

    A creepy murder mystery thriller set in a winter backdrop where there is lots of opportunities for unfortunate ‘accidents’ sounds fantastic. Thank you for a wonderful review:)

    • @lynnsbooks

      I really enjoyed this one – a very easy read indeed.
      Lynn 😀

      • sjhigbee

        We all need those at the moment:)). I’ve just been reading a delightful fantasy series that turns the pages all by themselves…

      • @lynnsbooks

        Ooh, I think I may have just read your review – was it the Brennan book?

      • sjhigbee

        No, actually it’s The Lord of Stariel by A.J. Lancaster – so much fun:)).

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