Snow by Ronald Malfi

This week we read Snow by Ronald Malfi. It was a nice change of pace from what we had been reading so far. There was a flow the story had that just seemed to pull you in. Malfi had a fascinating way of weaving his story through his prose to keep you intrigued.
Let’s start with what I did not like about this story. The beginning was slow for me. I felt that it took too long to get things going. I love a story that hits the ground running and takes me along for a ride. This one did not do that for me. If the opening scene at the airport would have been shorter, I think that I would have liked it better. The cause for my dislike of the opening was due to the salesman. He was so annoying that he drove me insane just reading his words. While I did not like the salesman, I do see his purpose. He was meant to push Todd Curry away so he would go and run into Kate Jansen.
Now, on to what I liked about this story. The characters were intriguing and seemed real. I could see them as though they were right in front of me. Malfi has a great way with his prose that makes your heart race with things are tense and slow when things have settled down. The control he had over the written word made me forgive him for the slow beginning to the story.
My favorite character was Kate Jansen. She was tough and hard as nails with a soft, caring side at her core. This is the type of female character I love to read. Kate didn’t sit on the sidelines or hide behind Todd. She was there every step of the way and was a great compliment to Todd. Todd was an okay character, but Kate took the cake. She took no prisoners and spoke what was on her mind. In my opinion, Kate would have made a better main character than Todd except for the fact that we have no idea what would have been her goal or motivation. She did not have any children that we know of. All she had was her fiancé whom she wondered if they were ever going get married. To me, that doesn’t seem like a high motivation.
Let’s take a look at the monster. How scary would it be to have something so mundane as snow turn or used against you? It makes me shudder a little to even think about this. It would be a world of constant danger, and no one would be safe.
I enjoyed the fresh idea of an alien race being able to use something we see every day against us. It gave them the perfect camouflage to fool us and attack when we least expected it. The ability to hide in the snow almost made the entity un-killable but then where would the fun have been with that. Thankfully Malfi gave them a weakness so we could fight back. The story would have been no fun if we knew there was no hope.
Overall, I enjoyed this book once I got past the beginning with the annoying salesman. He served his purpose to push the story forward. The rest was done by Todd and Kate. They complimented each other in a way that made them flow together.

5 thoughts on “Snow by Ronald Malfi

  1. That’s so funny, I didn’t even notice the annoying salesman. I just figured, “Well, minor character with a job to do” and moved on. Apparently, reading editorially has made me dead inside.

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  2. I liked Kate also, and thought she was much more interesting than Todd. I think Snow would have been a better book if Kate had been the main character, because it would’ve forced the writer out of his comfort zone. I thought it was interesting that Todd gets the happy ending while the ending to Kate’s story felt more ambiguous. I think that’s because she’s the more realistic character.

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  3. I agree about the slow start to the story. That’s one of the reasons why you hear the advice to not open a book with a prologue. It’s not to say that there’s never a time or place for them, but it can make it feel like there’s distance between it and the story. Especially if the prologue is from the point of a view of a character who plays an important role in the story, like Shawna. I did like the monsters too, although it felt a little strange that their weakness was the same thing that they were looking for. It also made me a little curious why the two of them from the start are still walking around after the rest of the snowthings left. I suppose it was to imply that the threat wasn’t over yet, but just the two of them doesn’t seem like too big of a threat.

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  4. Hey Molly!
    I definitely noticed the annoying salesman! I agree too that I think his presence was given too much page time. He could have been just as annoying in a short sequence and pushed the story forward. The thing I noticed about the beginning, however, was the opening scene taking place in the mini-mart. I thought that was a weird place to start. The scene did not show either of the two main characters nor did it show a character that survived the ordeal or that we were going to care about later on. I may have chosen a different spot.

    I definitely agree that Kate was the better character. I knew I was gonna like Kate from the airport scene from the moment that she picks up the two elderly travelers. Kate was a doer. And I’d argue that she was the one that pushes the entire story forward.

    I enjoyed Snow, and the last scene showing that the ordeal wasn’t over that those things are still here was pretty frightening. I think I might’ve liked a little bit more explanation for what the aliens were doing. Jamming cell signals and frying things with electrical pulses stopping distress signals from getting out all of that was pretty sophisticated. So I might’ve like to know a little bit more about that aspect. Otherwise, I enjoyed the story.

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  5. I definitely noticed the annoying Chicago Bulls guy, and I kept waiting for him to come back into the story later. While I think that his presence in the book did lead Todd to meet Kate, I felt like there were probably a million other ways that Malfi could have done this. I do, however, think that Todd’s reactions to this man were some of the only moments were we got insight to Todd’s character, so I appreciated it.

    I definitely think that Kate was a better character than Todd, and I would to argue that Shawna was an even better one than Kate. I mentioned on Corey’s post that Shawna’s POV scenes were some of the only times that I felt connected to a character. I also think it is interesting that Shawna’s point of view is the first one we see, in the prologue. I wonder if this might be one of the reasons why I felt more attached to her- she was actually the first character we meet.

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