A BOOK REVIEW

CHION

 

As most of you know, I have a special place in my heart for independent fiction.  I had wanted to read Darryl Sloan’s YA thriller for awhile.  I’ve listened to all of the MP3 files that he has placed on his website and know just how talented he is.  And Chion wasn’t a disappointment.

 

(WARNING:  SPOILERS AHEAD)

 

The story centers on Jamie, a boy with a dark secret who is plunged into a nightmare about snow.  Yes, you read that correctly.  A snowfall has taken place in Ireland that makes super glue seem like kindergarten paste and anyone who goes outside is stuck fast.  The book follows Jamie’s point of view-mostly-with regards to what is going on with the students at Clounagh Junior High School during this ordeal.  Eventually, he decides to make a break for it, taking his girlfriend, Tara.  Roughly the last half of the book details their trials as they follow his escape plan.

 

The book does set up some disturbing images.  It shows how a major disaster like this would affect society.  We see people killing one another over food.  We see a man murdered in front of his small children.  We see a child held at gunpoint by a teacher who has decided that “survival of the fittest” means that the teachers should live and the students should starve.  Sloan didn’t put these things in for shock value.  Indeed, the bloodshed is not detailed very much at all.  This is not a boiled-down thriller.  We see a sense of realism that shows that even our society’s innocents would be harmed in these events.

 

On a side note, Jamie’s “secret” has caused him to rethink his relationship with God.  He prays and finds himself putting Tara first, time and again.  We see a young man who, through trials and tribulations, has come closer to God, rather than pushing Him away.

 

With a bittersweet ending, this is a story that you simply mustn’t miss.

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