by Gregory Bastianelli
I am a huge fan of Christmas and winter horror. Jack Frost, Krampus, Silent Night, Deadly Night and many others often find themselves playing on my TV throughout the cold months. Can you possibly think of anything better than tales about killer Santas and snowmen with a vengeance? No. The answer is always no.
Snowball by Gregory Bastianelli really has it all: killer snowmen, ghosts of winters past, and a fun visit from Krampus. I’m not entirely sure if it was intentional on Bastianelli’s part, but throughout the read I was reminded of fan-favorite horror films. A puzzle box? Hello Hellraiser. Getting attacked by a tree? Evil Dead, anyone? I’m a huge fan of shout-outs and pop-culture references, so whether it was intended or not, this won some points with me.
Unfortunately, there were times where the book lost some points. Our story starts off with a bang and some murder, but after that action starts to dwindle, and Snowball becomes very slow. There were times when I’d put the book down and had no motivation to pick it back up. Fortunately, I did end up powering through, and the ending managed to be somewhat satisfying.
Granted, it is understandable as to why there are major down-times in this book, and that’s due to Bastianelli building up the plot. However, reading pages on pages of the characters going around discussing their worse winter memory really didn’t do it for me. This entire portion was a bore, and didn’t really pay-off until you discover the connection between the characters.
For the most part, I didn’t care much for the plot at all. Nor did I care for any of the characters. No one in Snowball really stood out to me. I didn’t find myself wondering or caring what was going on, and why random travelers were trapped on a highway.
Most of my entertainment came from scenes where mayhem and murder ensued, and I did find myself giggling once or twice at the ridiculousness of the killer snowmen. Note: I love fun in my horror; for me, the more ridiculous sprinkled in, the better. Snowball has some gruesome scenes that I definitely give props to.
Although this isn’t necessarily a book that I would recommend to just anyone, I am comfortable with saying that there are some fun and worthwhile parts to this read.
Review by Bex Futrell
I received this book from Flame Tree Press for review consideration.