Winter by Reece Ran
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The cover of the book raised my curiosity up, the story explains the cover which is so fitting for this book plus it brings much more to it than I imagined. The setting is Scranton, PA so I knew 'Winter' would be long, cold, and snowy. Winter by Reece Ran captured my attention however I didn't care for the opening of the story since it was something that really took place much later on in the story. I found it distracting to read a scene of someone throwing something out their window into the snow and then turn the page to find that this person is on a plane coming back from Africa and it is Autumn with no snow and no explanation for this totally different place and time. In fact, at first it had me believing he woke up sweating on the plane because he had fallen asleep and had this memory/nightmare, however after reading on a bit I knew that this was impossible since this wasn't something that happened in the past, it will happen that winter so he couldn't have been remembering/dreaming about it on the plane. Then this opening scene is repeated word for word later on when it really does take place within the story which just throws me off since I read all that before in the beginning. It would have been much more enjoyable if the author just started the story without that powerful scene at the beginning since it totally destroys the impact of it later on.
The plot in the story seemed simple enough but it expanded to different layers with their own sub-plots. The author worked this all into the story with seamless ease and a natural time line (exception of the beginning). The reading was smooth and although it was important to recall some things already read to make sense of what is happening now, it wasn't overwhelming and came very easy. It took twists and turns I never saw coming not only in the horror fiction part, but the mystery and especially the end. On the surface, the plot seemed to be some mysterious thing where winter, more accurately I should say, "snow" comes alive and eats people so no one can go outside in winter once the snow arrives. There is much more to this snow than that, almost like it has an intelligence to actively seek 'man' and destroy him. Then there is the underlying legend of the 'Snowman" and if in fact it is a legend or something real. When the main character's daughter disappears one winter's day, the mystery heightens in many ways and on the many levels.
I also couldn't help but notice, especially toward the end that a lot of what went on in the story can be related to things going on in the world currently. In the book the year is 2049 and there is no middle class, there is only the poor, rich and super-rich which is an event that seems to be taking place now (and has for years): the collapse of the middle class in America. There is also mention of the "God Particle" which I still see mentioned every now and then in the news. Some of other things mentioned are politics, terrorist, genocide, religion, mixed race families/racism, viruses, and weapons of mass destruction.
There are a couple of typos that I noticed, such as the word "doesn't" instead of the word "don't" and the word "the" misplaced in a sentence so it reads, "With the [sic] all the gray snow clouds...." I didn't notice any formatting issues at all.
I enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone who enjoys Horror Fiction and Mysteries.
*I received a free copy of this book for my honest review.
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