Author: S.D. Crockett
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publish Date: March 27, 2012
Genre: YA, Dystopian
Fifteen-year-old Willo was out hunting when the trucks came and took his family away. Left alone in the snow, Willo becomes determined to find and rescue his family, and he knows just who to talk with to learn where they are. He plans to head across the mountains and make Farmer Geraint tell him where his family has gone.But on the way across the mountain, he finds Mary, a refugee from the city, whose father is lost and who is starving to death. The smart thing to do would be to leave her alone -- he doesn't have enough supplies for two or the time to take care of a girl -- but Willo just can't do it. However, with the world trapped in an ice age, the odds of them surviving on their own are not good. And even if he does manage to keep Mary safe, what about finding his family?
Willo lives in a dark world. Barren, cold and bleak, Great Britain is closing in around him, and he is struggling to survive in a seemingly endless winter. Warmth is craved, and food is a necessity, but the government, the economy and all basic fundamentals of living are long since ruined. Willo has three main missions. First, he must seek and find his family in the hopes of reuniting them once again. Second, he must help Mary, a starving refugee, stay alive. And third, but certainly not least, Willo must somehow find it within himself to make it through the harsh reality of life while attempting to survive.
After the Snow presents a new take on the classic survival story, catering to the young adult crowd. Set in a world that’s equal parts futuristic and backwards, giving the reader a glimpse into the breakdown of the economy and government. S.D. Crockett has created a harrowing world in which the landscape, the morale and, frankly, every bit of civilization is in shambles. The prose is sparse and bare, mimicking the tone of the novel and lending a powerful, unsettling and foreboding nature to the story.
I have to admit that I’m really on the fence about After the Snow. Here’s the thing – for all intents and purposes, it’s one heck of a great premise, and I do love the dark tone of the novel. However, there was a part of me that was so trapped in the utter sense of hopelessness that I felt while reading this novel, and I struggled to overcome it throughout the story. After the Snow also had a very unique writing style, which I’m sure will work for some, but I grappled with it throughout. Willo had such a blunt, unforgiving voice in the story. Because it was from his viewpoint, the story was then fractured in dialogue, and it felt almost illiterate and caveman-like, if that makes sense. It was very brute and uncouth, and I really struggled to relate to Willo as a character because of that fact. There were definite strengths to After the Snow though, namely the fact that it was very blunt and unforgiving in its approach to the world in which Willo, Mary and society, in general, lived. It was haunting, and it really made me crave an escape. That, in and of itself, is a great feat for an author. Unfortunately, because I couldn’t relate to the dialogue though, I struggled.
Overall, just because I didn’t really connect with After the Snow, I can’t say it was a bad book by any means. The author made this book one-of-a-kind, and there’s a great beauty in authors willing to step out and do so. Because of that, I give this book a 3 out of 5, and I recommend it to fans of YA, especially those who enjoy dystopian and survival stories.
I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.