Title: After the Snow
Author: SD Crockett
Genre: Dystopian YA novel
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Publishing Group
Publication date: 02 February 2012
Author’s website: http://www.sdcrockett.com/S_D_Crockett.html
Source: Review copy from Pan MacMillan South Africa
I'm gonna sit here in my place on the hill behind the house. Waiting. And watching. Ain't nothing moving down there.
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.
I was so excited to receive a review copy of AFTER THE SNOW.
A dystopian story set in a snow covered “post-global warming” world sounded like something I would love.
Unfortunately I had trouble connecting with the story from the beginning. I am not quite sure if it was the strange narration style of Willo or just the slow moving story but I never quite connected with any of the characters or their plight.
Willo lives in a white, snow covered world that has receded to primitive living in isolated parts of the country. They live off the country, making their own coats and gloves to keep the ever-present freezing snow at bay.
He goes hunting one morning and returns to find an empty house. His family has been taken but why and by whom? He immediately suspects his neighbour of setting them up and sets off with only his sleigh and a few bare essentials to confront him. Unfortunately he never makes it as he runs into a starving girl named Mary. He tries to ignore her but his conscience get the better of him and he returns the next day to save her.
I thought that the story would developed further with the relationship between Willow and Mary but he soon leaves her in the strange and dangerous refugee city that is run by the (we suspect) corrupt government.
The twist comes in the final few pages when Willo finds Mary again. But this just brings more questions. And then it kind of just ends . . . lots of loose ends means there will probably be a sequel.
I am sorry to say that I did not enjoy this book. I know the author worked hard on it and that they love it. Looking at reviews, I can see that there are many others that DO love it too. Unfortunately it just was not for me. But don’t let me put you off, try it for yourself.