Saturday, January 11, 2014

An excellent literary ghost story


By Christopher Golden

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars


I'm tempted to say Snowblind is a traditional ghost story but it isn't really. The ghosts are fairly traditional but the situation and the event that creates them is a little different. It's different enough to put some real life in these ghosts (pun is definitely intentional) and epic enough for Christopher Golden to flesh out its cast of pretty much everyone in the small town of Coventry. It is a quieter type of supernatural horror novel with an emphasis on the psychological rather than blood and gore. Yet it has more than its share of action and surprises.

The novel is centered around the events surrounding two blizzards in a small New England town. These two blizzard are 12 years apart but the first one leaves the population dreading a recurrence of the abnormally cold and vicious ice storm. The author starts the tale with a bang as the first blizzard causes the disappearances or death of many of the town residents. There are also reports of "Ice Men" in the storm. At the end of the novel, we find the answers in the second storm but ut it is the middle part of this story that puts the emphasis on literary in the term, "Literary horror". Golden places a lot of characters in the novel, perhaps too many, but each of them bring different problems, different regrets, and different desires to the story. It is in some ways a small Petri dish of human behavior. I especially like the town sheriff who is still feeding his failures from the first storm and the two brothers of which one survives and one dies ...and returns. Despite the huge cast of characters, I didn't have all that much trouble following them precisely because Golden made them all so interesting. Overall an excellent intelligent horror novel with a creative plot and a nice little twist at the end. I recommended it to anyone who enjoys supernatural thrillers and horror tales.

Method acquired:  Netgalley

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