Book Review: ‘After the Snow’ takes too long to be worth the read

Book AddictsJanuary 19, 2014 

  • ‘AFTER THE SNOW’ by S.D. Crockett; Feiwel & Friends ($16.99)

Publisher’s summary: The oceans stopped working before Willo was born, so the world of ice and snow is all he has ever known.

He lives with his family deep in the wilderness, far from the government’s controlling grasp. Willo’s survival skills are put to the test when he arrives home one day to find his family gone. It could be the government; it could be scavengers — all Willo knows is he has to find refuge and his family. It is a journey that will take him into the city he’s always avoided, with a girl who needs his help more than he knows.

My take: To date, there’s only one book I’ve ever not finished. So I was discouraged when I started reading “After the Snow” by S.D. Crockett, and by page 4 I was thinking I’d be adding another one to the list.

But I persevered. And I didn’t like it.

I wanted to like this book. I really did. The first half was boring, slow and uneventful. The second half was exponentially better, filled with action, substance and characters — but was too little, too late.

I’m going to save you some valuable reading time: Skip chapters 1–16. Trust me. You won’t miss anything.

Why else wasn’t I a fan of this?

I knew nothing of the setting other than it is snowing and cold and in the mountains. What year is it? What’s Willo’s world like, other than snowy? I found Willo to be confusing at best. Insane with moments of clarity, but he’s constantly contradicting himself to the point of confusing the reader. I didn’t connect or want to invest in any of the characters. The voice of the story is difficult to adjust to.

Then there is the ending. It just made me mad. Absolutely nothing was resolved.

But there were a few things I did like. Crockett, at times, has beautiful imagery and a very simple way of saying things that resonates truth (thanks to Willo’s simple way of thinking and isolation from the “real” world). The second half of the book was packed with tension and action and all-around great writing and storytelling.

My rating: Read it for the second half.

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