Black as Snow
Reviewed by Irene Watson for Reader Views (9/11)
When I got Nick Nolan’s “Black as Snow,” I was excited to start reading it because of his previous award-winning writing, knowing that I was in for a pleasurable journey. However, I really didn’t realize the treat I was going to get until I started flipping the pages. At first it was intimidating because I find reading a near 400-page book a challenge but as soon as I got into the first few chapters, I realized that I was hooked.
The basic story revolves around Sebastian Black, in his late teens, who has extra-ordinary powers of telepathy. His mother, Kitty, creates a spiritual movement using Sebastian as the prophet but there is a movement by Christian militants set out to kill him because they believe he’s a false messiah. Sebastian flees to get away from the threats and his controlling mother only to come upon ordinary people that change his life forever. Sounds like a common story, right? Well, the premise might be but I can assure you “Black as Snow” is like no other novel out there.
The chain of events that take place while meeting the stream of commoners is breathtaking. Readers, through Sebastian, meet incredible people that not only change Sebastian’s life but theirs as well. Nolan brings in an aging lesbian couple, a Mexican handyman, a female student who is anorexic, a meth addict just out of prison, a gay teenager and a host of others that pass through Sebastian’s life.
The thing is that Nolan’s writing skills are so refined that he is able to bring each character to full life and there is no forgetting who each one is or what they depict in the story. The character development is well beyond any I’ve seen and Nolan's wordsmithing is incredible.
Readers will find a multitude of concepts in this book: radical religion, spirituality, love, control, murder, mystery, romance, gay exorcism, greed, intrigue, hate crimes, paranormal, friendship, and, anything else you want to read into it. It is difficult to place a genre on “Black as Snow” because it covers so many different aspects but don’t let that fool you, it’s a story that you would not forget very soon because, although fiction, it streams of reality of everyday life.
It’s not too often I get so grabbed by a book that I forgo watching a favorite TV series or going to a movie as “Black as Snow” did. I firmly believe that you too, as a reader, will get drawn in and have a hard time putting the book down. Oh, a word of caution - each chapter ends with a cliff-hanger! Need I say more? I loved this book!!