This post may contain affiliate links or I may be reviewing a book that I have received for free as part of a review program or as an advanced reader copy. That being said, all opinions are my own. The book cover, author photo, author biography, and plot summary for A Midwinter’s Ski are courtesy of amazon.com/james-young.
Let me just start by saying that A Midwinter’s Ski by James Young is both a novella and not the first book in the series. I was unaware of both of those facts when I picked up this book from StoryCartel. That being said, it didn’t make me enjoy the book any less! Just keep those facts in mind as you read on for the book summary and the review.
A Midwinter’s Ski in 85 Characters or Less
Two space lieutenants develop a budding romance over competitive skiing
Full Plot Summary
Lieutenant Andrea Rowe has a problem. No, it’s not the multi-million dollar weapons test she flubbed due to burnout. Nor is it the fact that her boss sent her on an involuntary two months’ leave. Instead, Andrea’s problem is that recent events have led to her having even more stress…and a 24-hour guard from the local ski patrol. Then “Victim Number Seven” sat down at her table with a bowl of nachos and a surly attitude.
Jason Owderkirk was expecting a normal “dirtside” leave free of the usual troubles that dogged a fighter squadron commander. Instead in less than twenty-four hours he’s had to fend off an old friend carrying the galaxy’s largest torch, an overcrowded ski resort, and a best friend who thinks that the best way to shrug off one’s troubles are to collect the pelts of passing snow bunnies. Forced to sit down with a mysterious femme fatale that has apparently been terrorizing every male who even looks her way, Jason soon finds himself engaged in a dance that’s only slightly less dangerous than piloting a starfighter.
Because this novella takes place with an intergalactic space military setting, there were lots of new terms to me, including military ranks and snowsport technology. Young basically said those terms and then let the reader figure them out for themselves. While it was possible to do so with not a ton of rereading, it was a tad confusing, and it made me feel like I was playing catch-up a bit. Now, after finishing the novella and realizing there were two more books in the series that took place prior to A Midwinter’s Ski, there’s a good chance that these terms were more fully explained in the previous books. Lesson learned: start at the beginning of the series!
I knew A Midwinter’s Ski was going to be a short book when I saw how few dots there were on my Kindle progress bar, but that didn’t prepare me for the end when it came. The majority of the book was lead-up to the end; Young established his characters’ personalities, the roles they played in their society, and their relationship with each other. Then, bam! The book was over. I distinctly remember turning the page on my Kindle, expecting another chapter and disappointingly finding the credits. It was a great cliffhanger, though, and I’m hoping Young will continue the story in a sequel!
Where to Buy
James Young is a Missouri native who left small town life to attend a small, well-known Federal institution in upstate New York. After obtaining a degree in military history from West Point, Mr. Young spent six years repaying his education via military service in various locations (both foreign and domestic). Along the way he collected a loving, patient, and beautiful spouse (Anita C. Young) and various animals that only fit those descriptions when it suited them.
Upon leaving the Army, James returned to the Midwest to pursue his Ph.D. in U.S. History while working for the Republic (again). When not tormenting his characters, Mr. Young spends his spare time reading Anita’s first drafts, finishing that pesky dissertation, and trying to figure out how book eating shelter animals keep ending up in his office. Outside of Amazon, he can be found at conventions throughout the Midwest selling books and merchandise as James Young, Slinger of Tales.
In addition to his positive fiction reviews, Mr. Young is also the winner of the United States Naval Institute’s 2016 Cyberwarfare Essay Contest and runner up in the 2011 Adams Center Cold War Essay Contest.