Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Tremain's Book Corner: "Snowblind" by Christopher Golden

Author: Christopher Golden
Reviewed By: Tremain Jackson, South Branch Manager
Personal Rating: 3.5 Stars

Book Summary: The small New England town of Coventry had weathered a thousand blizzards...but never one like this.  Icy figures danced in the wind and gazed through children's windows with soul-chilling eyes.  People wandered into the whiteout and were never seen again.  Families were torn apart, and the town would never be the same.

Now, as a new storm approaches twelve years later, the folks of Coventry are haunted by the memories of that dreadful blizzard and those who were lost in the snow.  Photographer Jake Schapiro mourns his little brother, Isaac, even as - tonight - another little boy is missing.  Mechanic and part-time thief Doug Manning's life has been forever scarred by the mysterious death of his wife, Cherie, and now he's starting over with another woman and more ambitious crimes.  Police detective Joe Keenan has never been the same since that night, when he failed to safe the life of a young boy...and the boy's father vanished in the storm only feet away.  And all the while on the other side of the country, Miri receives a phone call...from a man who died 12 years ago.

As old ghosts trickle back, this new storm will prove to be even more terrifying than the last.

Personal Review: The fact that the book flap had stated Golden's work is reminiscent of early Stephen King, I was certainly going to have to checkout this book for myself to see how "good" it was.

Not only does the story center around how life would be if a blizzard kept you from going outside, as it should, but then to add the fact that ghosts and wraiths are riding the winds and dragging people to their deaths?  Yep, another reason to stay inside.  Although I could see how the comparison was made to King's earlier novels, this one just didn't strike a strong impression in me.

Given the premise of the novel (the fact people are being attacked by mysterious ghosts that live in the blizzard), for me, the author failed in executing it in a way that kept me actively engaged.  What King has always been great at doing is taking small-town America, giving them some unexplainable force to face/overcome, and then watch the deconstruction of minor characters while the "heroes" ban together and prevail.

That's what I was expecting, but I was never able to connect to any of the characters to care about what happened to them.  That's bad to say, but it's true.  I was wanting much more of a storyline than I got, something to drive and push me forward in anticipation of what was happening in Coventry.  Although there were areas that kept me interested, it would then begin to die down unexpectedly, and then go into incredible details about characters in the story, to which I already established I wasn't really able to connect with them as it is.

I really did want to come away from this book LOVING it, but I didn't.  Don't get me wrong, there were great elements, which allowed me to provide it with a higher rating.  At times I appreciate a "horror story" that plays on the side of emphasizing more psychological scares than blood and gore.  Those are the types that just stick with you a little more in my opinion.  The story also started off great, the ending was strong (although not what I anticipated), and the backdrop of the town and setting provided an eerie feeling that helped considerably.

If I had to compare this to a King novel, the closest would be "The Mist" in that you know something is outside, but you don't know what it is, and instead of being a mist, this was a snowstorm...but still, there were some freaky things in the snow.

It would be a great read for those living in snowbound areas, or places in the nation that experience true wintry weather (or maybe for those who don't get winter at all so you don't have to worry the next time it snows).  So if you're looking for a decent thriller, look for this book at your Abilene Public Library.

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