Monday, April 16, 2012

Book review: After the Snow by SD Crockett



Title: After the Snow
Author: SD Crockett
Series: ?
Genre: Dystopian YA novel
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Publishing Group
Publication date: 02 February 2012
Author’s website:
Source: Review copy from Pan MacMillan South Africa

Goodreads blurb:
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.

My thoughts:
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.



  1. Book is my best friend.This book increase our knoledge.

  2. In After The Snow, the environment has changed drastically: the polar caps have melted and, as a result, there are no more warm ocean currents maintaining the climate. The world has fallen into something of an ice age, and I was looking forward to seeing how people have managed to survive.
    The beginning of this story starts out very strange. Willo is talking to a dead dog, and the dog *talks back*. That took a lot of getting used to. Plus, the vocabulary and sentence structure made it sound like rural Midwest, parts of the south, or Appalachia, yet the names of the places in the story didn't match any of those locations. It took me *forever* to figure out that the story takes place in the UK. Even knowing that, though, the hick-like accent was stuck in my head. Maybe it's just me, but I found it a bit jarring.
    It also took me a long time to figure out what was going on. Willo wasn't very sympathetic in the beginning because he knows his family has been taken away in a truck, he knows how to track, and he even hears his step-mother scream. But he doesn't go after them because the dog in his head is telling him not to. I didn't understand why he should listen to this dog, so it made it extremely hard to connect with him. He does grow throughout the story, though, and he learns from his mistakes, so he's much more likable in the end.


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