Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Snow by Ronald Malfi

I am a Dad. I have two lil’ guys at home and they are my entire world. I guess this is why I am a sucker for a good story about a Dad overcoming all obstacles to be with his son. In the case of Snow, those obstacles just happen to be some of the most inventive monsters I’ve ever encountered.

The story is a simple case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Todd Curry is trying to get home to his son for Christmas. Unfortunately, a blizzard in Chicago grounds his flight. In an attempt to atone for previous sins Todd NEEDS to be there for his son on Christmas. Instead of waiting out the storm, Todd assembles a few other stranded passengers and together they rent a Jeep and make their way home. Once on the road they encounter a very strange man who claims to have lost his daughter. This stranger leads the wayward travelers to a seemingly abandoned town where there is something just a little “off”. This is really where they story picks up its pace and never really slows down.

Malfi is relentless with the horror and action without ever losing focus of the story. I guess somebody a bit more traditional than me might say that this one was “a real thrill ride of a page-turner” and I would have to agree. What sets Malfi apart from most of his peers is his expansive imagination. Most authors would be content with creating a new type of monster. Not Malfi. He has no less than 5 variations of the monsters that inhabit the pages of Snow and all of them are gloriously frightening. Of course this creativity would all be worthless if Malfi didn’t have the literary chops to describe the creatures and setting with such brilliance. Lucky for us Malfi is a true master of his craft and all of his talents are on full display in Snow.

Malfi has officially been added to that group of authors that I can see myself obsessing over in the very near future. Forget Dickens and adios Clement C Moore. I think I have my new literary Christmas tradition right here!

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