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Snowblind: A Novel Hardcover – January 21, 2014
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In Christopher Golden's first horror novel in more than a decade--a work reminiscent of early Stephen King--Snowblind updates the ghost story for the modern age.
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 save the life of a young boy . . . and the boy's father vanished in the storm only feet away. And all the way on the other side of the country, Miri Ristani receives a phone call . . . from a man who died twelve years ago.
As old ghosts trickle back, this new storm will prove to be even more terrifying than the last.
Spellbinding in scope and rooted deeply in classic storytelling, Christopher Golden has written a chilling masterpiece that is the best work of his career and a standout supernatural thriller. With richly textured characters, scarred and haunted by the ghosts of those they loved most, Snowblind is rooted deeply in classic storytelling. Christopher Golden has written a chilling masterpiece that is both his breakout book and a standout supernatural thriller.
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“It will bring a blizzard to your bones (and your heart) even in the middle of July. Throw away all those old 'it was a dark and stormy night' novels; this one is the real deal.” ―Stephen King
“Great fodder for a dark and snowy night.” ―Booklist
“An ethereal and nightmarish contemporary fairy tale . . .” ―David S. Goyer, screenwriter, The Man of Steel
“Read this and you'll never again peer through windswept snow without wondering what's behind it, I promise you.” ―Michael Koryta
“Horror fiction is starting to make a comeback. If that's true, writers like Christopher Golden are a big part of the reason.” ―George R. R. Martin
“This is why people should lock their doors at night. Superb!” ―Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of Extinction Machine
“May remind readers of classics like King's Salem's Lot and Straub's Floating Dragon... fast-paced, suspenseful, and intense.” ―Dan Chaon, author of Stay Awake
“A ghosthouse thrillride in the shape of a snowstorm, within the confines of a book. A great read for a winter night, or any night.” ―John Ajvide Lindqvist, author of Let the Right One In
- Publisher : St. Martin's Press; First Edition (January 21, 2014)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 320 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1250015316
- ISBN-13 : 978-1250015310
- Item Weight : 1.23 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.67 x 1.22 x 9.42 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,293,897 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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Snowblind had a little of everything. From horror, suspense, love to fear and regret. I felt it all in this book. Character development was well established so that the reader truly felt an emotional connection with most characters.
I strongly urge you to give this author a shot. His writing style is first class and each book I've read thus far has been quite thought provoking.
Then, twelve years later, another snow storm approaches the town. Those who lost a loved one before must now fight for their lives, because the creatures are back. But even more astounding, the people who disappeared into the snow over a decade before are now back, hoping to escape the things that are after them.
What Christopher Golden has done with the horror genre is to create a new, exciting, and utterly terrifying ice creature that comes during a heavy snow and kills those it can get its hands on. Suffice it to say, that the beginning of Snowblind is a frenzy of death as is the ending. I wish the novel had been longer with the last third running an extra fifty-to-sixty pages. Though the middle was good, it seemed to drag in parts, especially with regards to the robbery sequence. A longer ending would have balanced this out.
One thing that ranks Mr. Golden with the top writers of today is his sheer brilliance with the written word. His style of writing is simple; yet, poignant. It would appear to be easy to emulate, but is actually quite difficult and takes years to master. This is a gifted writer at work. He should already be on The New York Times Top 10 Bestseller List. He’s that good!
Great story development, fantastic characters, and bloody frightening creatures that are the stuff nightmares are born of. Get Snowblind and read it during the next blizzard if you can stand the branches knocking against your window at night. Who knows…maybe it’s not the branches at all.
Perhaps what sets this novel apart is Golden's attention to the emotional core of terror, the pathos. To say more would be a crime agains one's first reading experience, but I will say that I was as much emotionally moved as I was frightened by this book. Golden's depiction of the intricacies of a small New England town may remind many of Steven King's 'Salems Lot, but I am more reminded of King's short story "One for the Road."
Highly, highly recommended.
Top reviews from other countries
We begin in the small town of Coventry, somewhere in New England, where a snow storm is coming. We are introduced to quite a few characters in quick succession, all bolting down for the oncoming blizzard, as well as those alone, waiting for their loved ones to return home. Within fifty pages, we see some of these characters forced out into the storm, and taken by something out there.
First, the wife of Don Manning, a mechanic who, having just been fired from his job, doesn’t want to go home is looking for her dog. Then, TJ, a musician who decides to spend the night with the owner of the restaurant he plays at, Ella Santos, instead of going to home to his mother. His mother later receives a knock at the door, and vanishes. Rookie policeman Joe Kennan fails to save a boy in a sledging accident, and then watches the father of that boy disappear into the storm. Finally, the Schapiro family loses not just Isaac, Allie’s youngest son, to the storm, but also her new lover, Nico – a loss for his daughter, Miri.
As you can see, there are a lot of characters to keep track of here – at least seven of which are kept as point of view characters, and a few other characters get one or two POV parts. It’s a headache to even try to remember most of their names (and I had to check for quite a few, including Ellie, despite really enjoying her as a character). The voices are not quite distinct enough to be separated easily, especially since point of view changes frequently within chapters. The characters are, broadly, easy to sympathise with, and likeable, with the exception, perhaps, to be made for Doug, who can be frustrating at times.
The main story takes place 12 years after the above described storm, with a new storm coming, to which Coventry does not take kindly to, after memories of their last. Doug is taking the opportunity to rob houses, now that, without his wife Cherie, he has no moral compass (apparently), until his ex-girlfriend Angela (also the ex-wife of Nico and the mother of Miri – phew!) arrives on his doorstep, acting strangely. Allie is alone, and still mourning for her dead lover – though she could have sworn she saw his ghost outside her window…
Joe Kennan, now a detective, is investigating a young boy who is missing from a car accident in the local lake, and one of his constables, Torres is acting strangely. But that’s nothing, when when of the other policemen – oh, god, I absolutely can’t remember his name now – starts becoming suspicious of Jake Schapiro (the brother of the dead Isaac – are you guys still following me?!), the police photographer. And TJ and Ellie’s daughter has been acting very strangely later.
See what I mean? I like a bit of interconnectivity among characters, but this was a bit too much. I feel like I regret not taking notes on this damn thing, because there are more links I’m sure I’m missing.
Character confusion aside, the build up is great in this. Coventry is overcome with some ominous creature that we don’t really see in action until about half way through this book. It’s all very creepy, and kept me gripped – until we start seeing them properly. They are ice men. And that’s what the characters call them too – ice men. Seriously? With huge ice claws and terrible eyes etc. etc. The felt more suited to a fairy tale that an adult horror book. Ice monsters just felt silly.
There were no psychological elements either. The characters were scared, and anxious about them getting in…and that was it. As soon as the main plot started kicking in, I stopped caring because none of the character’s believably reacted to these horrors. There were no clever twists, either, nothing that had me excited. It was just a straight “race against time” story most of the time. Meh pretty much sums it up – one big, sputtering sparkler of a book, instead of a firework.
However, the book did have potential, and I did care enough about the characters to carry on reading. But mostly because I wanted to see how Ellie and TJ ended up, and if Joe’s wife would ever actual turn up (she was like Columbo’s wife – spoken about, but always mysteriously off-screen). I also slogged on to see if it would be saved before the end. (Hint: it wasn’t.)
I may read more by this author, if he comes out with anything new, because the writing was solid, but this was not in any way an impressive piece of work. It doesn’t do anything for the horror genre, and was generally just not very good.