Many people are killed or missing after the worst winter snow storm ever in the small town of Coventry in Massachusetts. Twelve years later the remaining townsfolk find the themselves battling against the same terrible conditions, as another deadly snow storm descends upon them. Twelve years ago young Jake witnessed the death of his younger brother Isaac. They were together in their bedroom as the blizzard battered their house and after awakening Jake to tell him of something he's seen outside the window, Isaac is cruelly snatched by what appears to Jake's eyes to be figures made from ice, but the reality seems to be that he is just traumatised by the event when the boys body is found in the snow below the window. The town never seems to recover from that night, with other townsfolk also losing loved ones. Twelve years on and the same thing is happening again, but with a difference, some folk suddenly can't remember how to do things, such has the town councilman who can't remember how to drive, and Jake now grown, is visited by a strange boy claiming to be his dead brother. This supernatural tale is quite enjoyable, if not exactly thrilling. It is a passable time filler, but don't expect to be scared witless.
12 years ago a terrible snowstorm hit Coventry in Massachusetts and caused many deaths. But not all those deaths were due to the weather. There were things in the snow - ice men - that dragged people to their death. Now another snowstorm is heading to Coventry and the ice men are coming for new victims ...
Christopher Golden's horror novel mixes THE RETURNED with THE ICE STORM and is essentially an ensemble character piece with a bit of horror mixed in. The main problem is that there are too many characters here, which meant that they were all drawn quite thinly. As a result I found it difficult to become really attached to any of them while the horror element is introduced too late and kept too sketchy for me to care much for those characters once they're put into danger. Ultimately the writing is okay, I did like the way Golden weaved the recession into his characters' lives and the depiction of the snowstorms are atmospheric but as a horror novel this didn't do it for me. I would however check out Golden's other books.
There are a number of main characters - Dougie who turns to crime to supplement his income when the economy cuts his hours at a local garage; Joe Keenan, a detective haunted by his failure to save three people from the storm 12 years earlier, Jake, a photographer and police cameraman who's still dealing with the death of his younger brother Isaac in the earlier storm and TJ, an electrician who plays guitar at his wife Ella's failing restaurant whose mother died in the earlier storm. All are thinly sketched and while Golden does try to show their grief and guilt, none get enough page time for this to develop beyond the two-dimensional. The re-appearance of the ghosts of some of the victims was supposed to let the character address that grief but the reconciliations are forsaken in the name of plot with the result that none of them really rang true and all of the characters accept the return far too easily.
Ultimately the revelation of the demonic ice men fizzled rather than popped. Golden deliberately keeps them vague in description and intention, with the result that it was difficult for me to care about the threat they posed.
All in all the horror was ho hum, although I would check out Golden's other work.
The winter storm that occluded the Massachusetts town of Coventry twelve years did not just bring a winter wonder land and plenty of overtime for the plough operators. Something else rode in on the storm , something that took away some of the inhabitants of that town .Now another great winter storm is on the horizon and the portents are as bad the weather forecast. But the former occupants have an ethereal ace up their frost bitten sleeves.
Christopher Golden deserves credit for trying to bring something fresh and original to the horror table. Snowblind comes across a slightly uneasy melange of French TV series "The Returned " with something out of an early Graham Masterton novel .Strong focus is given to the characterisation of the numerous townsfolk which in one sense is commendable, if it were not for the fact that the author overplays this aspect of the story.
Fat too much time is spent on the relationships between the inhabitants of Coventry , so much so that the book often veers away from it's intended genre ( which I presume is meant to be a horror-the obligatory words of praise from Stephen King nail this surely?) and becomes an almost soapy melodrama. The threat to the town is nebulous and given no explanation. They just are .
If more time had been spent on the horror and therefore the menace to the town , and rather less on the all the schmaltz then this could have been a decent horror novel. As it is Snowblind is more a slushy soap opera than a truly chilling horror experience.
This somewhat supernatural tale Is set in New England in the US, home of such horror stories as The Shining and the Crucible. Now I confess to enjoying a bit of horror and even better, my favourite horror writer Steven King, has endorsed this novel on the front cover: "Throw away all those it was a dark and stormy night novels.....this one is the real deal". I began reading eagerly!
Golden's Snowblind does not disappoint.
The tale centres on a small Massachusetts town,Coventry, in a particularly harsh winter. Twelve years before a similar winter brought The Great Storm when several of the town folks. Died or disappeared. That night still haunts the town. Now they are set for another storm and for some it promises the chance of a new life whilst for others it raises the terrible price of loss all over again.
Throughout the novel the prime characters are well drawn. The bonds that pull them back to the past are clear and believable. This is not just a novel of the Supernatural. It is also about the love that endures even death and the fact that you can't always have all you want but sometimes you do get a second chance to have some of it.
If you like the Horror genre or the Supernatural you will enjoy this well written romp. The tension mounts throughout the story ,then crescendoes and the ending ties it together for a most satisfactory conclusion.
Roll on the next Golden offering!
In small town America, there is a violent and dangerous winter storm. Eighteen people die in the storm, many not found until days later. So far so good, and fifty pages in the tension is wound up and all the key players are in place. Then the narrative jumps twelve years, and it felt like it was another fifty pages before all the key players were back in their new place, and even longer before the tension started to ramp up again. Because there’s another storm coming, and what could possibly happen this time?
The premise of this book is great, and the writing is good. The characters are a bit flat, and it did at times feel like the set-up on the Poseidon Adventure, or Inferno, where all the cliched characters are brought out and trotted in front of the audience and we try to decide which ones are going to have horrible things happen to them when the action gets going. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, and doesn’t detract from the reading experience, if the payoff is good enough.
This book did feel as though there was a lot of ‘winding up’ and not quite enough ‘getting to the point’ overall. I think a tighter editing process would have helped tremendously. A good skeleton, but just a bit overloaded with padding. I would happily read more by this author, because I think there’s definite potential there; this book just didn’t quite fulfil that potential. Good, not great.
Once again I have to say; the idea behind this novel is so much better than the novel itself. Horror is one of my favourite types of fiction and Snowblind isn't a horror. The story centres on the town of Coventry, Massachusetts, and focuses on two storms; one from 12 years previously and one that's imminent. In the original storm many died and the people left behind have been grieving ever since. Might it be possible that what they lost in the first great storm might return in the second?. What are those shapes and shadows moving around inside the snow and ice?. So far so good and I enjoyed all of those elements but; I had to dig through a ton of snow and ice, yes really, only to find the rest of the novel is distinctly average. There are so many characters interlinked with one another. It's really difficult to keep tabs on who's who. Dialogue is quite clunky and most of the characters remain wooden and under developed. I don't know what else to say. I can't leave less than 3* because I enjoyed the icy/snowy action scenes and the idea of things being returned. I didn't enjoy much of anything else.
on 16 January 2015
I should have guessed from the blurb that this was a bit of a silly book to pick up on a stormy evening when I was home alone, but that is exactly what I did. It… added to the atmosphere. And my total lack of sleep.
Very King-esque, I enjoyed how the story was set up – giving you flashes of people’s lives in Coventry as the original storm set in and turned a little more than nasty. You got just enough to start to care about each set of characters but not so much that you felt bogged down by their backstories or the number of people introduced. You cared just enough that as the storm began to take its victims, your heartstrings were tugged in all the right places and you were left a little breathless and hurting by the time the storm had passed.
The book then fast forwards twelve years and you are reunited with the characters left behind, seeing how they moved on (or didn’t) and it is as you follow them that things start to get a little weird and this weirdness only intensifies as another huge storm edges closer to Coventry.
Christopher Golden is a master of description – the wind may have actually been howling outside my window and the rain rattling on it like bony fingertips but even if it hadn’t, I would probably have thought it was. I was totally immersed and could see the swirling eddies of snow, feel the biting wind and taste that bitterness of ice on the air – it is definitely the kind of book you want to read snuggled up in a winter duvet!
The book picks up pace as it advances and I found it very hard to put down once I had started reading – I needed to know what happened next. It wasn’t far from traditional ghost stories in essence but it was well presented and carried out and the great characterisation made everything that little bit more powerful and unnerving.
A great winter read if you like something to send a chill up your spine, Snow Blind is perfect for a dark night, curled on the sofa with a glass of wine.
My Rating: 4/5*
on 12 January 2015
Reading this book during a stormy night certainly does make for atmospheric reading! Two of my favourite things in one place - snow and suspense/horror. Not gory or heavy but a good one that creeps up on you.
What’s it about in a nutshell? A small town with a tight knit community used to harsh winters until the Big Storm. Heck there were some real nasty things happening out there. Things that left everyone edgy as anything when winter storms come in case another one ‘like that one’ happens again. During the 12 years that passes the relatives of the dead try to rebuild their lives. Then along comes another big storm and their fears are realised.
I love how this story is not rushed, spreading slowly, gathering momentum like a snowball being rolled up a hill, and when it gets to the top; there is one heck of a ‘snowman’.
Golden introduces the characters in a way that allows us to get to know them as people. I felt a sympathetic connection when the horror starts, really I did. Even for the characters may be a bit mean, and a sense of community always makes more of a good story than simple facts.
The blurb describes Snowblind as being in the same vein as a 'King' novel, and I would agree with that.
I love my horror’s to be intermeshed throughout with characters that are linked and Golden does just that. When the children are no longer who they are, and adults who act like children the spookiness just gets darker. Families get torn apart, some drawn together but nothing is quite so simple as it seems.
There is just the right mix of wonderfully delicate snow and brutal blizzards that kill, I felt chilled as I read all cosied up under a blanket, with just a quick glance out of the window…just checking.
This is a well written novel and and author who I shall be looking out for in the future. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and recommend it to those discerning readers who love a 'King-esq' horror.
Snowblind, by Christopher Golden, is disturbing in a way that all horror stories must aspire to be. The tension throughout is palpable. Within a few chapters the reader is drawn into a world with an undercurrent of fear. Deaths go unexplained because the given explanation is impossible to accept, a threat that is dismissed as implausible.
The story is set in Coventry, Massachusetts, a place where winters are harsh and snow storms expected. A particularly brutal storm claims the lives of eighteen people overnight, many in unusual circumstances. The brother of one of the young victims witnesses what has caused the deaths but his account is regarded as the nightmare imaginings of a child.
Twelve years later, with another big storm pending, some of the residents of the town are behaving strangely. They seek out those most closely affected by that terrible night long ago, recounting details that they should not have known. The bereaved may have moved on with their lives but they still bear the scars of their loss. Is it memory alone that is now haunting them?
As the plot accelerates towards its climax the reader is pulled into the vortex of the storm, its cold tendrils wrapping themselves around and making every creak in the house a concern. The writing is gripping, the denouement unexpected and chilling.
This is not a book for the faint hearted. Just like the residents of the town, the rational may dismiss it as impossible, but the next time something moves out of the corner of the eye or knocks against a darkened window, some readers may wonder what is out there…
My copy of this book was provided gratis by the publisher, Headline.
Twelve years ago in Coventry Massachusetts and there’s one mother of a blizzard. The town is left reeling with a number of people left missing or dead, found frozen in the snow.
As the bereft try to come to terms with the trauma, twelve years later they suddenly people they know behaving in different, puzzling ways. And what is behind stories such as people suddenly forgetting how to drive? Why does a 12 year old girl suddenly seem wise beyond her years? Why does a Police Officer suddenly turn bitter and hostile to his superior, seemingly blaming him for a tragedy that fateful night? And why does a missing boy turn up at the doorstep of someone grieving the loss of a brother, claiming to be someone very different….
And then another storm hits, and an ancient, malignant evil begins to fall with the snow…..
This is a novel of three parts. The first tells the story of the first storm, and it is a page turning mystery, as we first glimpse the demonic protagonists and the havoc they cause.
The second, longest section tells the story of the individuals dealing with their trauma twelve years later, and the deepening of a mystery as people start behaving out of character, and some claiming that the dead are coming back to them.
The final section is in the faster tempo of the first as the storm and its ancient secret hits again, and there is suspense, horror and resolution.
It’s a book that starts well but suffers from a very baggy middle and a finale that does not convince. Somehow the mythos does not gel as it should to make us enter this world sufficiently so we are convinced by the threat. Scenes where a ghost follows a threatened family around are particularly unconvincing and almost farcical.
But that middle section. It made the book seem ploddingly generic and much longer than it is. There’s not enough threat in this section and what drama there is, is just people behaving out of character. There are some neat plot reveals in the final sections, and a sense of the threads coming together, but as I said the payoff is not really enough, or convincing enough.
The creatures themselves are chilling, pardon the pun, and eerie in their gliding, darting movements and Jack Frost characteristics. But I didn't warm enough to the protagonists; again pardon the pun, to be moved by the threat.
Not a disaster but hardly the white-knuckle ride the cover blurb wants us to believe.