That Risen Snow has a twist on the Snow White fairytale and is to be read as a sequel to the original, albeit adult readers only (17yrs+). Complete with Snow White, the seven dwarves, the prince and the evil Queen it is a quirky horror story that will certainly be a treat for Halloween!! This is Rob Boley’s debut novel, published earlier in 2014 by StoneGate Ink. And the first in The Scary Tales series.
BLURB: The zombie sequel to Snow White begins where the classic fairy tale ends, with the Prince’s kiss waking Snow from her cursed slumber. Snow wakes up, but she doesn’t wake up right.
Now a deranged zombie, Snow infects both the Prince and the seven dwarfs’ leader. That leaves the young dwarf Grouchy, who is secretly in love with Snow, to find a cure for her malicious curse. So begins an epic journey that pits the lovesick Grouchy against dwarf-hating human soldiers, Snow’s ever-growing zombie horde, and his own bad temper. But when Grouchy and his motley crew of survivors escape Snow’s clutches and seek refuge in a nearby human village, he soon finds that her affliction has spread faster and further then he ever could have imagined. Snow is hell-bent on spreading her horrid curse across the land, and it’s up to Grouchy to stop her before it’s too late.
So begins THE SCARY TALES, a dark fantasy series featuring mash-ups of traditional fairy tale characters and classic horror monsters.
Trick or treat? That Risen Snow is a brilliant combination of horror, quirkiness and fairytale, although certainly for the adult reader! It is definitely a ‘treat’ in my opinion. I imagined the dwarves to be scared for their life in a truly dark, life threatening and terrifying horror, filled with blood, guts and gore. Although this was a part of the story, what really surprised me was the fun and humour content as well as the heart-warming feelings that Grouchy has for Snow White.
The dwarves are like you have never imagined, with bad language and sarcasm, but these moments add another element. They are not typical of the dwarves we are familiar with, but in fact have characteristics of real people, which I loved. Even Snow White wasn’t as graceful and elegant as one would think!
The layout of the story is interesting too, with chapters written from the different character’s perspectives. The reader learns what is happening with each character which keeps the reader informed and able to see where the author is going, and suspense can be built-up from this. Another area of the story which fascinated me were the flashbacks. The flashbacks were mostly Grouchy’s personal thoughts and feelings towards Snow since she came to their cottage. The reader feels the growth of affection that Grouchy has for Snow and begins to understand why he wants to find a cure for her curse, rather than just be rid of her and the undead.
After reading this you will certainly feel that you know the dwarves more personally than ever before. From the past thoughts and dialogue between the dwarves we are made aware that they have all been having private discussions with their leader, Bones. Each dwarf has their own problem and obstacle that they need to overcome and Bones was helping them with this. Merry’s story was one that touched me, as we learn that he longed to be trusted and respected by the others. Bones gave him tasks to do to make him feel worthy and needed, but once their life changes and they are being chased by the undead Grouchy tells Merry how it really is. It is then up to Merry to either pity himself or do something about it.
Battson, a dwarf-hating human soldier working with the Prince, is, initially, an unlikeable character who would prefer to see the dwarves harmed in a typical encounter. Yet, as the story unfolds and continues into a survival story, the war between human soldiers and dwarves is swept aside as they begin to work together to keep the remaining survivors alive and hopefully find a cure for this disease that their friends are suffering from. Battson does begin to slowly show a quiet, heroic side which changes the readers opinion into respecting and admiring him for his new-found quality.
Although an extremely trying time of desperation, hardship and fear, the reader does not be given many opportunities to feel the tragedy and terror due to the humour and fun way in which it That Risen Snow is written. However, as the story continues, and more dwarves and soldiers are turning, it does become a little more serious and desperate for the remaining survivors. The reader is left on a hanger at the end, and I for one really want to know the outcome in the sequel, That Wicked Apple! Grouchy has come so far, and for the reader to walk away at this point would be like leaving him there for the curse to take him too!!
A copy of That Risen Snow: A Scary Tale of Snow White & Zombies was provided by the author, Rob E. Boley, for the purpose of an honest and fair review.
Reviewed by Caroline Barker