By Gregory Bastianelli
This is vivid, bloody horror that freezes to the core, like Bradbury’s Illustrated Man meets John F.D. Taff’s The Fearing. This book is packed with bloody, graphic imagery – and I have said this before – but that blood is so much redder and more vivid when splashed across fresh snow. The book takes place on Christmas Eve, so it is a perfect holiday horror read. I mentioned that it was like Bradbury – in this book a group of strangers trapped on the highway in a snowstorm congregate in an RV. They sit around telling their personal “worst winter” stories. So, there are bunch of mini stories within the book that reminded me of The Illustrated Man. These “worse winter” stories – in some cases things that have haunted our characters their whole lives – start to cross into the current reality (hence my comparison to Taff’s The Fearing). Another thing that struck me about this book was how vividly it was all playing out in my head. Most books do this for me (display themselves like a movie between my ears), but Snowball seemed to even surpass most. In our opening scene, a snowplow driver runs into some trouble. When it was revealed what the source of this trouble was, it was a bit comedic. I laughed. I will admit that I had a “Really?” moment. As we got deeper into the story – and we got the deep explanation as to how these things could come to pass – let’s just say that I wasn’t laughing anymore. There is hardly anything around, and the storm is so severe (we are talking feet of snow here), that our characters are truly trapped. Most of them are not prepared to have to get outside in these conditions. All of this builds – the cold, the snow, the various baddies, the internal stories, the links in the stories that start to show through – toward a heavy ending with a pretty extreme body count along the way.
Grade: 4 Stars
Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.com/Snowball-Fiction-Without-Frontiers-Bastianelli-ebook/dp/B082VGLV18/
Review by Well Read Beard
I received a copy from the publisher for review consideration.