Interestingly, this book arrived with the stamp of the International Print on Demand award, given out by Podler reviews. It’s a good example of putting a book award to good use. The Podler award is not the biggest award for self-published books (read SPR’s post on self-published book awards) but no one who picks up this edition of Chion will know the difference – they’ll only see that is was stamped with an award. The book has one of the better book covers you’ll see on a self-published book. The interior is well-designed as well.
And the book certainly deserves the accolade. Chion is the definition of a page turner. Some writers are just incredibly adept at keeping you turning pages – with this book you turn the pages to see just how these characters are going to survive. I started the book and I didn’t put it down until I was done five hours later. If there’s any criticism of the book, it’s that it’s too short and you want to stay with these characters longer. The novel could have used an epilogue.
The book is a similar high-concept apocalypse similar to M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Happening” or “The Mist” based on a Stephen King story. Except where those movies fail – and fail deeply, as “The Mist” has one of the most distressing and frustrating endings in movie history – Chion succeeds. Perhaps movies are the best comparison for Chion because the book is seriously cinematic – one of those books where you forget you’re reading.
The basic premise is that on a snowy day in Ireland, the snow suddenly becomes like glue so that anyone that comes in contact with it cannot move – meaning people are stuck in cars, homes, and a school, where the book takes place. The book covers every possible method people might use when caught in this situation, leading to an ingenious climax, as the lead character makes his escape.
As the book takes place in a high school, it works both as a young adult novel and a novel for adults, as these are some serious issues for the teenagers to be facing. What makes the book most effective is Darryl Sloan’s total control of both his character’s and his audience’s response to this situation. The novel is both fantastic and realistic at the same time. If you have any interest in apocalyptic fiction, this book makes you riveted, without making feel doomed, as is the case with a story like “The Mist.” Yet it still doesn’t shy away from the harder elements of apocalyptic fiction. All told, an electric read.
Read the book for free here:
And check out Darryl Sloan’s website, as he’s a pretty interesting character himself.