Tuesday, May 5, 2015


Ran, R. (2012). Winter. Self-published.

Adult / Horror / Supernatural

I gave this book 2 of 5 stars.

As Zimmery Mac returns to his family from military deployment overseas, snow is beginning to fall and warnings that winter is coming early are being broadcast to all. The year is 2049, and winter snows are anything but serene and peaceful because where snow accumulates, snow kills. An unexpected early storm results in Zimmery's family being split up and fourteen people confined to Zim’s house. Tensions get higher when Zim's six-year-old daughter, Lane, disappears and two others are found dead in the house. Is it the work of the snow, a traitor among the group, or has a serial killer known as the Snowman targeted Zim's community?  Zim teams-up with Akin, the leader of another group searching for missing children, and they all must fight man, nature, and the supernatural, it seems, as they continue to search for the children and stay alive themselves.  As Zim's story ends, the book falls back to 2016, and Akin's story is told, along with an explanation of how the killing snows began. 

In Winter, author Reece Ran has created a unique and terrifying premise which holds real potential for being a great book.  The world building is excellent, and readers definitely have a clear picture of main character Zimmery as a soldier with a good heart but also suffering from poor choices and some PTSD from the war.  Unfortunately, from there, the book suffers many ailments, including a desperate need for a thorough and professional editing. The book is full of errors including a constant barrage of dropped and misspelled words, agreement and pronoun errors, and typos that really interfered with the reading. If nothing else was done to the book, correcting the errors would take the quality up several notches. As far as the content, the book also was problematic with plot holes, sequencing issues, and human responses that didn't ring true or realistic. Additionally, an issue was the stereotypical, racist, and alarming things characters would say -- understandable for character Bob, who was specifically fleshed-out that way -- but for others, it didn't work and did absolutely nothing to move the story forward or develop characters.  Finally, and what mattered more than almost anything else, was that there were just too many unanswered questions and very few resolutions to the major plot crises. It seemed the author was giving readers hints via Zim's dreams and flashbacks, but there just wasn't enough information to have a clear answer, even after reading and re-reading scenes. 

Readers will appreciate the story within the story, which explains how the snows started, though it may have been better placed sequentially, and it does bring into question the feasibility of Akin's actions since he would have to be over sixty years old when he meets Zim. As the book stands, I wouldn't recommend it to others; however, the bones and story appeal are there to take this book to the next level.  It would be money well-spent for the author to hire a professional editor who can help not only with the writing errors, but with the plot and development issues that hold the story back from greatness. 

This book was reviewed for Bookplex, who provided me a free eBook in exchange for my honest review -- the only kind I give.

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