Dystopia is a popular setting for young adult fiction, but landscapes are often savaged beyond redemption or seem closer to video game worlds.
S.D. Crockett’s After the Snow manages to conjure a sense of distant familiarity. This could be rural Scotland, midwinter, but 15-year-old Willo is living in a new ice age. He is a straggler with no experience of the world as the ‘greybeards’ remember it. His family have been taken and he must face the treacherous environment alone. The unique narration is as vivid as the cinematic setting and the story is not sidetracked by sentimentality. The surprising ending is enchanting. Willo’s journey serves as a powerful reminder that nature holds the ultimate power, and it is humans who must adapt to survive it.