Snowball by Gregory Bastianelli is a horrifying tale of snow, ice, killer snowmen, and things from the past that just won’t rest…
This is a book that I actually had to put down from time to time because some of the things that occurred were so terrifying and heartbreaking… And yet, I wanted to keep reading to find out what would happen next and see if everything would turn out okay!
This book will haunt me for a very long time.
I LOVED it.
Full disclosure: I was given a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my rating in any way. I also bought myself a copy.
Let’s dive in!
My Thoughts on Snowball by Gregory Bastianelli
This tale is about a group of people that are traveling on Christmas Eve rather than staying home where it’s safe and warm. While traveling, a blizzard hits and they end up getting stuck on a stretch of highway.
In this lineup of people, we had:
Toby Hodge – The missing snowplow driver who was the first to get stuck in the snow. Toby was just one day away from retirement before he got into this mess.
Mason Drake – The SUV driver closest to the plow; he skidded to avoid the plow and ended up sideways in the roadway. In the car with his wife Joy. The two aren’t getting along very well.
Tucker Jenks – The driver of the tractor trailer that ended up jack-knifing to avoid hitting the SUV and getting stuck, blocking the roadway. Tucker is a man who just wants to keep to himself to ride out the storm.
Dean Hagen – The rental coupe driver. A middle aged businessman who refuses to leave his vehicle, even though it just keeps getting warmer and warmer…
Graham Sawyer – The sedan driver. He was one of the three that went to see what happened first and ended up being a bit of the leader for the group. Married to Natalie, and they have kids who he is determined to get back to.
Clark Brooks – The man that is in the car with Graham. Graham had picked him up from the airport.
Kirk Britton – The hatchback driver. A younger kid about to graduate college, traveling with his girlfriend Sonya.
Shelby Wallace – The minivan driver with two kids; 8 year old Luke and 10 year old Macey. Shelby is at her wits end.
Werner and Francine – The older RV owners who seem very welcoming.
Lewis Felker – The man that left to try find the exit off the highway. Shows up wearing a Salvation Army Jacket and drinks through most of the story.
Phew, what a group of characters we had!
One thing that I should stop to note here is that the story is formatted where each chapter focuses on one character’s perspective. I always get nervous with this format because I usually prefer certain perspectives over the others. In this case, I was so pleased to see that the author did an excellent job that worked well with my reading tastes! Each chapter and perspective flowed together in a perfect pattern. It was a tad bit repetitive at times, but the repetition helped to remind the reader of key elements that you needed to keep track of with each character, so I found it to be incredibly useful!
At first, each person stays in their vehicles while three people go to check out what’s going on and why they all stopped. They soon see that there is a snowplow stopped in the road, and it doesn’t have any lights on. When they investigate and open the door of a snowplow, one character, Graham, see’s blood on the seat, dashboard and window. He quickly gets away from the truck and they each go back to their vehicles for a bit.
After a while, they end up deciding it would be best to stick together in the RV that was the last vehicle in the line of cars that got stuck. Unfortunately, it’s already too late for a few of the characters.
To pass the time, the owners of the RV start asking everyone about their worst winter memories… From here, we continue jumping from one character’s perspective to the next, but we also get little flashbacks into their pasts as they tell their stories.
These stories… Oh my goodness. They were all so different, and yet, they were all similar because each was heartbreaking in it’s own way, some were horrifying, and many of them actually had similar elements.
Right from the very first chapter, it’s clear that our characters are not safe out there in the storm. But they all need to be much more concerned about their well-being than they may think. Staying warm until help arrives isn’t the only thing they should be worried about…
I absolutely loved this book! It was wonderfully written and it was totally captivating. I loved that the story began with a scary scene that quickly turned bloody, that there was a short lull in the action, and then that the tale becomes more twisted and more terrifying with each chapter as the story goes on!
All of the characters were interesting in their own ways and I loved getting to know them and why they were all a bit haunted by their pasts. Also seeing how they all interacted with one another was interesting.
Speaking of the characters and their pasts… I mentioned earlier that this is a book that will haunt me. The stories that some of the characters told, and the things that happened to our characters while stranded on that highway… those things were so horrific.
Many of the things were real-life nightmares. I mean, I can’t tell you how many times my parents lectured me on being careful with snow forts and tunnels, being careful while sledding on the hills that they didn’t approve of, watching out for old wires while walking in the woods, and how important it is to clear away any exhaust pipes when it snows…
Each of these things comes into play in the story. But there are many more horrific situations that come up as well.
From the plot overall, I have to say that I did not see the core of it coming at all. I was so pleased with how everything was revealed and how it all played out!
This is a book that I cannot wait to re-read to see if I can pick up on some foreshadowing the second time around.
My Favorite Passages from Snowball
The wind, finally still, had lost its voice.
“Our lives can follow different paths,” Sledge said, turning the knobs that tilted the surface and maneuvered the ball through the labyrinth and around the holes. “And along the way, obstacles intervene and alter our course, and of we’re not careful -“ the ball dropped through a hole, “- we get lost.”
My Final Thoughts on Snowball
I could just go on and on about this book, but I will save the rest of the terror for you to discover if you pick it up.
I cannot recommend this one highly enough. It was so eerie and it made me feel incredibly claustrophobic! I loved the characters and I found myself really invested in their well being right from the start.
For horror fans, and especially for those that enjoy darker horror with supernatural twists, I would be willing to bet that this one will be a home-run for you!
I cannot wait to get my hands on copies of Jokers Club and Loonies from Gregory Bastianelli next!
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Thanks for reading!
And thanks again to Sarah Miniaci of Smith Publicity, Inc. for sending a copy of this one my way! I’m so grateful! This book was the perfect winter read!
What was the last book you read that really spooked you or made you think about your childhood? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!