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Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Snow by Ronald Malfi

Book #12

Snow Snow by Ronald Malfi
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Ronald Malfi's SNOW, an atmospheric and fast-paced horror, follows a group of strangers, Todd, Kate, and couple Fred and Nan, who become stranded at Chicago's O'Hare airport on Christmas Eve and decide to rent a car and attempt to drive through the blizzard to get to their various destinations in Iowa. Predictably, this does not go well and the four find themselves at the mercy of the elements after Todd loses control of the car and crashes into a snowbank. They travel on foot to the nearby town of Woodson, only to discover that the town looks like it has been destroyed in a war zone.

They discover that most of the town's inhabitants have been killed by beings who are either in the snow or composed of the snow, and once these beings take control of a person, they become a zombie-like cannibal, eating anyone they can find. The group make their way through the town, fending off the creatures and trying to survive long enough to figure a way out of the town.

SNOW is my first book by Malfi, and while I didn't *love* it, I will definitely be reading more by him. I had some problems with his descriptions of characters (particularly characters we aren't meant to like, focusing on their weight and physical appearance as the basic means for us to not like them), and he seemed to have a hard time pinning down exactly what was going on with the creatures attacking the town. I feel like he had a really good idea here, but couldn't quite figure out how to pull it all off, and just ran with it anyway. This does create a sense of confusion in the book for both the reader and the characters in the story, as we're left as much in the dark as they are, but I do like to have something more than the story just sort of ending, with no real resolution to what happened. I believe that this was one of his earlier works and I can see the potential of a really great author here, so I think given the time since, he has hopefully honed his craft a little better. If you haven't read him before, I don't know that I'd say SNOW is the book to start with, but it's still a fun, small town horror story that fans of Stephen King's books in the same vein might enjoy.

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