Snowblind

December 14, 2017 at 7:00 pm (Reads) (, )

blindSnowblind by Christopher Golden

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This isn’t my first time with Christopher Golden. Aside from the Aliens book I read at the first of this year, I also read Of Saints and Shadows, over 20 years ago. At the time reading that book, I got the feeling that the story and narrative were serviceable, but nothing outstanding. The Aliens book left me with the same feeling, though by the end of the book, I felt like his characters were genuine. When Snowblind showed up on a sale list earlier this year, I decided to give him another try.

Unfortunately, Snowblind doesn’t change my mind. Golden’s characters still feel vivid, but he populates the book with so many of them, it was easy to get lost in the first third of the book (and sometimes even after then). There’s a reason all those characters are there (this is a horror novel set in a small town, with lots of residents), but they’re introduced to us through one blizzard, and then re-introduced to us twelve years later, when another blizzard is about to occur. It’s easy to get a little lost in the shuffle.

On the other hand, Golden does a fantastic job of capturing the dilemmas the characters face amidst the horror, and because he focuses on so many characters, the dilemmas are different among all of them. It helps ground the story, giving us several ways to relate to the characters, especially considering that, once we understand what’s happening in the story, we start to ask ourselves these questions before Golden shows us what the characters do.

The story has a good premise, with spooky scenes, unsettling monsters, and a touch of atmosphere, but it never feels vivid. The characters are drawn well, but not so well that I felt their emotions through the page, and the plot takes about half of the book to reveal itself. The book winds up feeling off in ways, but not so much that it’s not keeping the reader’s attention. The exception to all those concerns is the penultimate character, where, despite my feeling somewhat frustrated with the story, I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to see how it all ended. By then, I was fully invested in the characters and their stories.

Back when I read Of Saints and Shadows, Christopher Golden was a new author; now, over 20 years later, I see his name all over the horror genre. It doesn’t surprise me, considering how well he pulled the story together by the end, but I think his books would need to have a killer premise for me to want to read more of his. Ararat is one of those books, but I don’t see the need to track down all of his books to catch up.

Unfortunate Musical Connection: “Slow Ride” by Foghat.

Started: September 6, 2017
Finished: September 13, 2017

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