• Understanding Autism from the Inside

    “Academics came easily to me. The rest of life—not so much.”
  • This post may contain affiliate links and we may earn compensation when you click on the links at no additional cost to you.

Monsters: Book Review: SNOW by Ronald Malfi

That’ll teach you to pick up hitchhikers!

After have a difficult time putting my hands on a physical copy of the book Snow, I settled on the audiobook. I’m glad I did even though it ran 8.5 hours. I finished listening in just two sittings.

It is around this time of year, nearing the beginning of April in the Adirondacks when I lose my sense of humor with the freaking snow already. Mostly, I don’t mind too much when winter rolls around, but here the winters long long long. Sometimes we have snow from October to flipping May!

Two years ago, we landed in Orlando with the boys for vacation on April 26th, and Saranac Lake had a snow storm. So SNOW was a truly fascinating and frightening monster book—but a relatable one as I can definitely see snow as turning sinister.
Snow starts in Chicago O’hare airport on Christmas Eve. The main character is waiting for a connecting flight so he can see his 7-year-old son for Christmas. The snowstorm is raging and all flights canceled.

Renting a car, four passengers, head out to drive to their destination—in an awful storm. Bad idea number one, but our guy is motivated to see his son for Christmas so down the road they go. Only they stop and pick up a hitchhiker who turns out to be a snow-monster possessed human.

The four travels wind up holed up in a small town where these snow things are forming infiltrating the townspeople. Literally, ripping them open through their backs and climbing up inside of them. Yep, it’s gross.
This is a story of survival, as one by one the characters are picked off by these monsters. Honestly, I haven’t figured out what they were supposed to be, but I think they were supposed to be some kind of invading alien lifeform. Cellphone signals are jammed, computers and electrical devices fried from an electrical pulse when they first arrive.

As far as monsters go, these things worked as they were frightening. The cast of characters continually must reveal their backs to each other to prove they were not taken over by one of those snow things. I think they only survivors to this whole mess were the main character, his female traveling companion (that he’d met at the airport) and a pregnant woman who shot the protagonist at the end. When that happened, I thought “oh no, not again.” Don’t tell me this guy survived this mess, and then was killed by one of the other survivors—ala Night of the Living Dead!

No, to my surprise the main character and the girl survives. That, I wasn’t expecting, I was expecting one of the two to not make it!
Overall, I enjoyed the story. I found little that didn’t work as far as horror fiction is concerned. The plot kept a good pace, there was little downtime to allow me to get bored. The snow itself as monster that can churn and form into something solid was terrifying because it drifted through the floorboard and windows. This was not a monster easily avoided.

For the most part, I appreciated that the characters were not utterly stupid. This was a good “read.” On a technical note, I wished I was able to obtain the book in Kindle form but could not. I had to order from a used bookseller. They sent the wrong one. Then, couldn’t find the correct book, I suspect they sent it to whoever was supposed to get the book I got, and by that time, it was too late to order from somewhere else. So that was annoying. An e-book would have been so much easier. Although, I am glad it was available on Audible!

Jeannie Davide-Rivera

Jeannie is an award-winning author, the Answers.com Autism Category Expert, contributes to Autism Parenting Magazine, and the Thinking Person's Guide to Autism. She lives in New York with her husband and four sons, on the autism spectrum.