Snow Mass Market Paperback – 20 Mar 2010
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"Malfi's use of language and his power of description are sublime."--Fear Zone
"An immensely talented writer."--Literary Strange Digest
"What horror should be! [Five stars]"--SF Reader on The Fall of Never
"Filled with subtle horror, imagination and skill. [Five stars]"--Horror-Web on The Fall of Never
"Ronald Malfi masterfully blends psychological terror and traditional gothic horror."--Dark Realms on The Fall of Never
"A remarkably versatile writer."--Brian Keene, Author of The Rising and Urban Gothic
"Ronald Malfi has a way with words. His command of the language will leave you breathless, dreaming of vivid landscapes, and in terrible fear for your life. The monsters in Malfi's mind become tangible and all too real when he sets them loose on the page. Snow is an incredible modern horror story with a decadent feel, and the perfect marriage of beauty and brutality. His writing is reminiscent of the old classics, but has all of t --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
What makes this book good? Well the first and most obvious element is the central monster(s). I'll try not to spoil anyone's discovery of this creature other than to say that they are menacing enough without being omnipotent (and thus leaving the reader wondering why they don't just plow over all who oppose them), with just the right amount of mystery behind their origin.
The second element is the characters. The leads, Todd and Kate, were interesting enough that I cared about their fates, and their subtle romance was given just enough of a progression and (sorry for the semi-spoiler) heart-breaking conclusion. Additionally, Malfi ratchets up the tension with a few moments reminding you of the danger the characters face, and that know no one is safe.
The story also progresses very nicely: character set-up beginning with the meet up in the airport, building of tension with the oppressive blizzard and meeting to the strange man by the road, and a very satisfying conclusion (which I cannot bring myself to spoil).
For people who love sci-fi and horror and want something original and interesting, I can't recommend this book highly enough.
So, who are our protagonists? Well, Todd Curry is a recovering gambler intent on visiting his son for Christmas. However, a snowstorm cancels his flight, and in his desperation to be with his son, the man shares a rental car with a woman named Kate, a cynic meant to be engaged to a loving man. While previous readers have commented on the irritating reminders of how Todd and Kate are meant to be attractive and attracted to each other, as well as questioning the realism behind Todd's sexual interest in Kate under such circumstances, it surprised me more that readers failed to question the 'dated' feel of these characters. For instance, Kate talks like a fictional woman from the 80s, the type who babbles on about how independent she is as a woman whilst applying scarlet lipstick and gazing derisively down at a potential suitor (this is 'attractive' and 'likeable' how??) For the life of me, I can't remember what she actually does apart from look cute with her red curls and rely on the men to do the hard work! As for Todd... his motives are admirable, considering how he messed up his family life by gambling so much, but his persistent denials of requiring medical attention for a cut on his leg (that constantly bleeds, by the way!) just smacks of "dumb", not "hero". Same with Fred Wilkinson apparently saving his wife from the horror of what is happening by not telling her exactly what's going on, in case the truth should offend her 'sensibilities' or something (sorry, I know he's a caring person and there's nothing wrong with wanting his loved one not to suffer, but he can't protect her and she is in better physical shape than he is, so, again, another case of the "dumb"?)
The only saving grace female-wise is Shawna, the first human survivor Todd and Kate meet when they arrive in town, looking for help. Compared to Kate, and even Todd, Shawna is ahead of her time, prioritising goals and compartmentalising feelings until she has the luxury to deal with them. She is the only female character who ever feels human throughout this story, and you can understand her as a person. (SPOILER) Sadly for us, she doesn't last that long and goes out in the creepiest fashion by reaching the top of a basement staircase, only to encounter a group of possessed townsfolk, who promptly tear her to pieces.
I know a previous reader took exception to the 'religious nut' character, and while I also think it's unlikely that such a person would exist in this kind of crisis, you have to admit that meeting one would only increase the fright factor, right? Same with the travesty of a pregnant woman, who seems to despise Kate and children who aren't her own progeny. And the children... Another great creepy moment for me (SPOILER) was when Kate called to the twins she had hidden in the car.
I do share the impression that perhaps it would have been better to keep the mysterious snow beings mysterious for longer. After all, the thrill of Todd going back for a laptop wasn't really worth it…
Anyway, it this story worth reading? Well, I think so. It's certainly not a hard read! And it does distract you from a real wintry day. For fans of horror stories set in snowy climates, this is a perfect addition to the genre, though it doesn't reinvent the wheel.
I have read many Ronald Malfi books and writing GREAT characters is something he does very very well. He makes you care for them, cheer them on or maybe hate them! One particular character in this book made me want to tear his head off! He made me angry and that is something not many writers can do!
Whether Malfi writes Horror or thrillers, is does not matter, he can write multi-genre fiction and that makes me like what he does, if you need a break from "horror" then perhaps pick up one of his "thrillers" like The Ascent or Shamrock Alley.
Todd is travelling to see his ex wife and son for Christmas but the snow comes in bad and the flights are cancelled, he then shares a car with Kate (who he met in the airport bar) and an older couple and attempts to drive rather than miss seeing his son. (He may wish he stayed at the airport bar!)
While travelling through the harsh conditions they run into a strange man wandering in the snow in the middle of the woods, he has deep slashes on his back and claims to have lost his young daughter. Something does not feel right but they agree to give him a lift to the nearest town where everything starts to go wrong...
Where is everyone? The town seems deserted and no one around?
Holed up in a shop they start to discover strange things in the small town and things are gonna get a whole lot worse. Hold on for a fight for survival...
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