by Ondine Sherman
reviewed by Sarah Custance
‘Snow’ is the second book in Sherman’s ‘Animal Allies’ series, the first book is ‘Sky’ and the third, (coming out in 2020) is ‘Star’.
Ondine is a life-long animal activist and the co-founder and MD of ‘Voiceless’, an animal protection institute. This book series focuses on raising teenage awareness to issues surrounding animal rights and activism.
Sixteen year old Sky is traveling to Alaska to meet her father for the first time. Soon after she arrives she realises that her dreams of a perfect father-daughter reunion are just that, dreams. A local young man, Jaxon, who her father has basically adopted is one major stumbling block in her plans for some one-on-one bonding and soon it becomes apparent that her father is keeping a huge secret from the animal loving Sky that just may damage their fragile relationship beyond repair.
Although part of a series it doesn’t feel like you are missing out on too much if you read ‘Snow’ as a standalone book, however if you’ve read the first book then it may add an extra layer to the story. There is plenty of teenage drama and angst throughout the book along with many inadvisable situations, such as running away in the middle of the night in the Alaskan winter, hitching a ride with a strange truck driver, running away from the police, running in-front of a loaded gun, running towards an injured moose, taking a bus to the middle of no-where without a planned ride, not telling anyone where you’ll be when you are traveling into the wilderness, sneaking up on armed and unsuspecting hunters, and many other things you may have to debrief your teenagers about.
The writing felt a little too forced to ‘sound like a teenager’ in some places (for example the many uses of the word ‘trillions’, a few ‘squillions’ more non-literal ‘millions’ then I care to count) and even through the thoughtless actions of Sky that I’m sure most teenagers would have the common sense not to do. In the end, if you want a pretty easy read that is rather predictable but still has a strong message for you to think about then give this ‘Animal Allies’ series a go.
Pantera Press 2019 Paperback $17.99 Age 13+ ISBN 978-0-6485084-2-7