******Full Disclosure**** This was an ARC copy, that was received through the GoodReads Advance program. I am grateful for the chance to have read thi******Full Disclosure**** This was an ARC copy, that was received through the GoodReads Advance program. I am grateful for the chance to have read this novel, which I might not have purchased otherwise. -----
I believe this book starts with a lot of potential but it doesn't quite reach it in the end. The plot is extremely simplistic: in the middle of the blizzard, a couple leaving in an isolated house in the Rockies is attacked by "freezing" monsters (although they don't realize it from the beginning). The couple tries to save their lives. The end.
I think this is the main problem: the plot is too simplistic for a 110-page story. I found the first 65% of the book was very exciting - it keep me guessing what would happen next. But after that, only fighting the monsters became insufficient and I simply lost interest in what happened to the characters.
The good: Mr. Pyle's descriptions are outstanding, vivid and that is IMO the best part of his writing style. The details about the weather, the environment are passed to us with so much accuracy that you can imagine yourself in the middle of the blizzard. Also, the "fights" are good and sentient.
However, there are some writing issues: 1) for both characters, the introspection becomes unrealistic once the monsters attack - they are simply too articulate and not aghast enough. For instance Warren just figured out that he faced a "supernatural" creature that would probably kill him and his first thought was "Are you kidding? You’re trying to fight off an ice monster with a goddam snowball?" Maybe it's just me, but I believe the vast majority of folks would think something down these lines: OMG, I don't wanna die...
2) both characters have their introspection told in the second-person voice: "But the little one didn’t seem to have a problem. How do you explain that?" Most people reflect in the first-person voice (What should I do? I don't understand! etc). It is a rare peculiarity for someone to think of himself/herself in the second-person. Hence, after a while, I didn't hear anymore Warren or Tess meditating - I heard only the author speaking for them.
3) there is an overabundant employment of the word "like:" either when it shouldn't be used at all or when "that" should be used instead. For instance: "That seemed like the only option." I understand that everyone uses "like" in oral speech, but this shouldn't leak in writing, except maybe for dialogue.
4) at the beginning of chapter 12, there is a paragraph in which the voice changes from various POVs (which is typical for 99% of the book) to the omniscient narrator. "If you’d been there to see it, you could have watched Warren exit the house and..." I'm sure this can be fixed for the next editions, but as it is now, it stands out and it breaks the narration flow.
To end my review, I think it's a chilling novelette, which perhaps should have been either shorter to accommodate the simple plot, or longer and having a more intricate story....more