Whiteout – Gabriel Dylan

It begins with 30 students, 3 teachers, some ski instructors, and a variety of townsfolk. It ends with … less. A lot less.

Charlie is one of the sixth-form students on a ski trip in Austria. As an outcast, the jocks, geeks and princesses all ignore him, but Charlie doesn’t care. In fact, Charlie doesn’t really care about anything these days.

It was one of the girls that found the blood.

When a snowstorm severs all contact with anyone outside the village the students discover they’re not alone on the mountain, and that’s when the fun really begins in this adrenaline packed massacre. The pages of this book are drenched in blood and I couldn’t wait to see if my favourites would survive, or be recognisable through the blood spatter, at the end.

I loved Charlie and Hanna, both damaged by life, and would have happily used Tara as a human shield. Tara was one of those characters that I love to hate and I kept hoping she’d meet a gruesome end. A fair amount of the characters in this book were clichés but I don’t mind that in a horror book, just as I don’t need to have an emotional connection with a bunch of people that are likely to be slaughtered any minute anyway.

After everything it took to get there (including my favourite description, “entrails dangling like spaghetti”) I would have liked the final action sequence to have lasted a bit longer. It felt too quick and easy, given the horrors the survivors have experienced up to that point.

I love Stripes’ Red Eye series and am at the point where I know I want to read a Red Eye book before I even read the blurb. I wish they’d been available when I was a teenager. I really enjoyed this debut and am interested in reading whatever this author comes up with next.

Content warnings include suicide.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Stripes Publishing for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

‘She sat us all down and told us a story. About things that lived in the woods. Things that only came out at night.’

For Charlie, a school ski trip is the perfect escape from his unhappy home life. Until a storm blows in and the resort town is cut off from the rest of the world. Trapped on the mountain, the students wait for the blizzards to pass, along with mysterious ski guide Hanna. 

But as night falls and the town’s long buried secrets begin to surface, the storm is the least of their problems …

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