“The small New England town of Coventry had weathered a thousand blizzards…but never one like this, where people wandered into the whiteout and vanished. 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.”
I love horror stories…which is probably why I’m afraid of the dark. But that’s a discussion for another blog. We’re here to talk about Snowblind, Christopher Golden’s return to the wonderful world of horror. And what a return.
I look up to Golden as a horror writer. No BS, I think he creates believable creatures that can really freak a reader out. And more than building worlds, he is a master at building tension. It doesn’t matter if a character is likeable or not, Golden can make you fear for the life of that character.
And I like that Golden doesn’t shy away from characters that aren’t really likeable. There’s actually a lot of them in this novel. But they’re real. And they’re interesting. And… Well… This is also the reason why I was a little disappointed with Snowblind.
Christopher Golden gave us a host of rich characters to follow through this ride of horror. And that became a struggle once things started unraveling. A novel isn’t like a movie where visuals can clue a viewer in with who a character is, or with what is happening. You take time to describe things, to set things up, and this is time (and pages) taken away from character development and plot movement.
None of the characters faltered. They remain true to their forms throughout the novels. But there were plenty of times when we drop a character to allow for other characters to move–taking away our chance to see the former process the things that are happening. There are jumps in emotion that, I think, took away the little things that would’ve made this novel better than it is.
I could have actually done without the interweaving story of the restaurant owner and her musician husband–even though, theirs is the story I like the most. But they exist in a bubble that doesn’t really affect the overall story. I felt like they existed simply to break whatever is happening in the main story thread–to amp up the suspense and tension.
Except… Instead of helping with the building of drama, I think they took away from it. Because they cheated us off the time we could’ve spent with the main characters who we want to care about.
And then there’s the tangential sub-story of Doug Manning and his life of crime. He is a peripheral character who would’ve made a great supporting player…if Snowblind was a movie. But it’s not. And, like the restaurant owner and the musician, his existence takes time away from the running story that distracts and detracts, instead of adding to the overall fear that the novel was going for.
The thing is, both stories can actually exist on their own–as novellas, maybe. Stories that are set in the same place and the same time. An add on, attached at the end of the novel.
I guess what I’m saying is that Snowblind is a good novel that could’ve been great. The stories are good–but they would’ve been greater told apart from each other. Because none of the players in the sub stories are supporting characters. They have their own starring roles in their own main plots, but were relegated to be just supporting stories. And that’s a damn shame.
Oh, and huge thanks to Fully Booked for the help in acquiring Snowblind!