"In the world of grown-ups, you see, practical thinking is king; dreamers are fools and madmen. How ridiculous that is. I've decided I'd rather be foolish than ordinary."
In 1909, after a two-year absence, Od reappears with a suitcase supposedly full of weapons and a promise to rescue Tru from the monsters on their way to attack her. But it’s Od who seems haunted by something. And when the sisters’ search for their mother leads them to a face-off with the Leeds Devil, a nightmarish beast that’s wreaking havoc in the Mid-Atlantic states, Tru discovers the peculiar possibility that she and her sister—despite their dark pasts and ordinary appearances—might, indeed, have magic after all.
I think a lot of you guys know that Cat Winters is one of my all time favorite authors. I adored each and every one of her books and I frequently gush about what an amazing writer she is. So, imagine my pleasure when I was approved for Odd & True on Netgalley. I was literally jumping around the house in excitement, eagerly waiting for a time when I could sit down for a few hours and savor Cat Winters's newest masterpiece in one seat.
However, I was a tad bit scared. Odd & True seemed fairly different from anything she has ever done before, and I wasn't quite sure if it would live up to my grand expectations. I should not have worried. This book didn't simply live up to my expectations, but exceeded them, as well.
Odd & True is narrated by the two sisters mentioned in the blurb. Od tells us about the past, including their childhood and the years that were spent without each other, while Tru narrates the present.
This type of narration allowed for the readers to be sort of left in the dark for a time, trying to guess what the hell the mysterious Od was up to, and if magic was real or not. Now, obviously, I'm not going to spoil any of this, because I want you all to experience the complexity of the story for yourselves and be as mesmerized by the build-up as I was, but rest assured, Cat Winters does the narration justice. The past/present jumps never feel awkward, while the different voices of the sisters spice up the story considerably.
Speaking of the sisters, they were both incredibly complex and well-developed. I rooted for them through everything, and whenever something devastating happened to one or both of them, I was on the verge of tears. They deserve all the love and puppies in the world, I tell you.
I was a bit scared one of them would take on the leading role on her own, but thankfully, Winters refrained from making either of them more important than the other. It was just so natural to see them being equally involved in the story, always sharing the leading role, even when one of them didn't have much of a role in the other's chapter.
Their voices were so refreshingly different. Od was this lively girl who was never too tired to tell magical, lovely stories to her little sister just to cheer her up. She was a huge dreamer, someone who went through awful things, yet survived and came out stronger than ever, full of resolve, always hoping for a better future.
"Endings are beginning in disguise, dear Tru. They signify one door closing and another one opening. They mark the point where the heroine transforms from a person who's been beaten and badgered and bolstered by life into someone who's about to shed her past and metamorphose into an entirely new creature."Tru was more stoic, someone who lived a more secluded life, a realist with both feet on the ground... at least, that is what she seemed like at first glance. Soon, it became obvious that she was just as resilient as her sister, with a brave heart that was so ready for adventure, and with willingness to believe in magic. Due to a childhood illness she was disabled, having to use a leg brace and a cane or a wheelchair to get around, but that in no way made her a less capable adventurer. She was INCREDIBLY strong and whoever doubted her soon learnt that she was a force to be reckoned with, as was her sister.
"No matter what happens, I'll stay by your side. I promise you, Od. I'll be here."
I was a happy ball of sunshine when I realized Cat Winters decided to concentrate on other aspects of the story instead of adding an unnecessary romantic angle. Yep, you read that right, Odd & True is completely devoid of romance. Well, there is a romantic relationship of Od that is brought up, because it needs a proper closure, but the relationship itself took place in the past, taking up only a couple of pages, while the sole purpose of it surfacing in the present is for Od to have her closure.
As per usual, the writing was absolutely gorgeous, it drew me into the story, and made me incapable of putting aside Odd & True even for a few minutes. The description was so on point, I felt as if I had been there with the characters, living their life alongside them.
The pacing was fantastic - slow, but very steady. There was not one part where I was bored or wanted to skim a few paragraphs, instead I was intrigued all through. I'm not sure why many people seem to think slower books are a bad thing? But they definitely aren't, especially when the story and the characters are as well-developed as in Odd & True.
Odd & True isn't like Cat Winters's other works, no. But it's just as perfect as those are, featuring complex characters, strong family-bonds and adventures that are both magical and exciting. 1000% recommended, as is each and every book by the author.
The story idea: 5/5
The realization of the story: 5/5
The characters: 5/5
The cover: 5/5
Enjoy factor: 5/5