June 3, 2012
Review - After The Snow (S.D. Crockett)
The valley look pretty bare in the snow. Just the house grey and lonely down by the river all frozen. I got to think what I'm gonna do now that everyone gone.
But I got my dog head on.
The dog gonna tell me what to do. The dog gonna help me.
The house look proper empty – don't it dog?
You just sit quiet in these rocks Willo.
Set in the haunting and barren landscape of a new ice age, After The Snow is the story of fifteen-year-old Willo, a "straggler" kid who loses his family in the opening pages. Completely alone, he is immediately flung into an icy journey of survival, adventure, friendship and self-discovery – with only the dog spirit inside his head to guide him. Meanwhile, across Britain, outlawed followers of survivalist John Blovyn are planning an escape to the fabled Islands talked of in a revolutionary book ...
In After The Snow S.D. Crockett presents a world that seems to be frozen, caught in the merciless embrace of snow. One day Willo finds himself all alone, his family taken away, and nothing left to do but trying to find them. And survive.
I must confess, this novel was a bit of a mixed bag for me. On the upside, I was immediately taken in by the colloquial narration and the POV which really carried the story. Experiencing this world through Willo's eyes, listening to his thoughts, both raw and clear, perfectly fits the atmosphere of this cruel and cold world. However, I did wish that despite this restricted view, that there would have been more details about why things are the way they are. It takes a while (up until the last third of the book) to get the gist about what has happened in this world, and then everything barrels along much too fast. The author suddenly confronts the reader with several revelations and surprises, missing the previous depth in the narration and adding a whole different, faster pacing. This imbalance is a real shame, especially when you see the potential the plot held. Despite lacking the perfect momentum I conceived the last page as a wonderful ending to a story that mightn't have been perfect, but a worthwhile read nonetheless.
Regarding audience I recommend the book to mature YA readers.
In short: An enjoyable post-apocalyptic adventure with some flaws!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Pan MacMillan. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.