Tuesday, March 27, 2012

After the Snow by S.D. Crockett Review

After the Snow
Title: After the Snow
Author: S.D. Crocket
Reading Level: Ages 12 and up
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: March 27, 2012
A stunningly beautiful novel about a young boy’s survival during a winter that never ends. 
2059. The snow begins to fall. Only the few are prepared. A new ice-age has begun. 

Born after the snows, fifteen-year-old straggler kid Willo Blake has never known a life outside hunting and trapping in the hills. When his family mysteriously disappears, leaving him alone on a freezing mountain, Willo sets off into the unknown to find them. 

Meanwhile, across Britain, outlawed followers of survivalist John Blovyn are planning an escape to the fabled Islands talked of in a revolutionary book. 

When Willo meets an abandoned girl on his trek across the hills, his world collides with outlaws and halfmen on an epic journey that leads him to the new world of the city - a place where the dog spirit inside his head cannot help him. 

It is a journey of betrayal and violence. A journey of awakening love and humanity. A journey that changes everything he ever thought he knew.

My Take: The dystopian novel is intriguing because global changes in climate have occurred. It is perpetually winter with a very short growing season, at least in Great Britain and all of Europe. There are those who idealistically believe in a better tomorrow; either by leaving Europe altogether or waiting it out as it will warm again. Others believe that the Westerners were behind in the game by trying to go green rather than developing alternate power supplies like the Eastern countries.

Regardless, the political structure in Great Britain is completely in shambles. Capitalism is dead, the black market is slowly closing down, and the population is being gathered in certain areas of the country. One corporation is taking over the wilderness and purging it of all stragglers and any other people left behind.

Although the POV is a 15 year old boy, his speaking style is quite simple and he seemed illiterate and unfocused. Although the writing style stays consistent, it is only distracting at first until you get used to it. Then it is only occasionally irritating. On the other hand, it is clear that this is the way Willo talks. He sounds simple which is probably purposeful as he truly has no idea about the rebellion.

The author paints a cold and unforgiving landscape. I felt cold, hungry, and claustrophobic for most of the novel, longing to return to a safe cave that may or may not still exist. At the same time, I was unclear about the objectives of the more powerful people and what they wanted with all the land once it was purged. I didn't understand the gangs or what was really going on in the city. Maybe you had to be British.

Anyway, I didn't find the book to be poorly written (just poor grammar due to the protagonist's POV) and I did find the premise interesting. For me, though, I found it a little on the forgettable side.

Mostly clean read with only the last 20 pages or so filled with "f" word by one character.

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