“I’m gunna 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.”
Willo is on his own. Having spent his life up into he mountains as a straggler with his family, he’s never known many people. When he’s out on the mountain and he hears Magda shouting, he doesn’t go to her, he knows there’s something wrong. Then he returns to the house and finds they are gone, Madga, his father and the twins, gone without their coats. He’s completely alone and has to find his way, but with no papers to make him official and nothing to his name his trip is going to be a struggle.
After The Snow is a post-apocalyptic nightmare. Willo is alone and has to find his way but he doesn’t even know where to go. Yet even though it was sad and the world was crumbling I couldn’t put the book down!
The story was amazing, set in the future, after all the cars and planes have forced the world into an ice age; everyone is forced to live within shanty towns in big cities. Willo’s family escaped and live as stragglers on the mountains but they will be in trouble if they are found with no papers. When his family are taking away Willo doesn’t understand and I loved his journey. Willo’s mind doesn’t work in the same way other peoples does and I loved the way he decided to do things. I also loved the setting of the mountain, it was based on Snowdonia in Wales but the author has said that parts of Russia made their way into it a bit too because of her experience there. The Welsh mountains in the state of the world at the time was a perfect setting and it really made me want to visit Snowdonia a lot, you could tell Willo loved his home a lot which helped the setting too!
The book reminded me a bit of The Wasp Factory but nowhere near as messed up and weird. Willo is different just as the MC is in that book and they both come across as quite loving, yet need to be loved, characters. The writing is very unique and did cause the book to be a little slow going for me because it jars slightly. The sentence structure that Willo uses is not normal for the English language but it emphasised his upbringing and mind set well I think. As I said I love Willo’s journey and the people he meets along the way.
I’m finding this review very heard to write and I think it’s because of how much I enjoyed the book because of things I don’t want to spoil for other people. I honestly thought that this book wouldn’t be for me and I didn’t even request it for review when the chance came. However it turned up with another book from the same publisher and I thought I may as well give it a read, and I’m so glad I did. As a reader I connected with Willo right from the start and I felt like I couldn’t let him go through the events that were happening on his own, he needed someone and that someone was me.
As I say, this review is very hard but that’s because I loved the book so much. There are things that happen that might come across as predictable but the ending had a twist that I didn’t see coming and I loved it for that. Other than bits you can see coming After The Snow is just a beautiful and brilliant book and I can assure you, you will fall in love with Willo as soon as you meet him!
After the Snow by SD Crockett was published on 3rd February 2012 by Macmillan Children’s Books. My copy was kindly sent for review by the publisher, thank you. This has not changed my views at all.
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