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On his journey, he meets “common” people with unforgettable histories: an aging lesbian couple; a Mexican handyman; an anorexic woman; a meth addict; a gay teenager; an unthinking college ...
On his journey, he meets “common” people with unforgettable histories: an aging lesbian couple; a Mexican handyman; an anorexic woman; a meth addict; a gay teenager; an unthinking college jock. As Sebastian’s understanding of life deepens, he drifts further from Kitty, who begins a plot to reel him back by conspiring with his enemies: followers of a dashing Spaniard who darkly mirrors Sebastian’s preternatural talents and beauty. But even Sebastian can’t foresee what happens next...
From Century City’s penthouses to Big Sur’s savage coastline, Black as Snow twists the fairytale of Snow White into a suspense-filled story of intrigue, spirituality, and greed — and the unyielding power of everyday love.
Posted October 3, 2011
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!!
Posted September 9, 2011
Sebastian Black has known he was different from a very young age and with his mother Kitty's guidance went from strange kid who heard voices to Telepathic Evangelistic Susperstar. He's rich, he's handsome and he has fans literally throwing themselves at him on and off stage. Kitty sees nothing wrong with this and has in fact encouraged it, so much so that Sebastian has throw away one night stands at every venue. After a tragedy at the ripe old age of nineteen he's having a crisis of faith, in himself, in Kitty and in what he believes. In his search for answers he comes across people willing to give him solace and sanctuary, he's found links to his past and hints at his future but the closer he gets to the truth he's also unbeknown to him getting in the crosshairs of a fanatic religious group out to put an end to his ministry and his life.
This is described as loosely based on the story of Snow White in my opinion the focus has to be on the loosely, because Sebastian is no innocent flower. Our author has given us a tale of a misdirected youth who leaves home for soul searching and self discovery. He does this with legible and understandable dialogue and an narrative that is strikingly colorful and animated. And although at times that dialogue tends to limp it doesn't disturb the reading enjoyment. He gives us characters who will run the gamut from girl next door to lesbian couple to ex-drug addict, to overbearing cigarette smoking mother, in other words eclectic to the nth degree, but they will never the less reel you in and keep you turning pages to learn the outcome of this twisted tale of Snow White the dwarves and the evil Queen. His characterization of Sebastian will make you hate and love him, mourn and curse him for his more than apt humanness and for his piety warring with his depravities. The other characters both minor and major are definitely worth getting to know and you will because Mr. Nolan intimates us to them all.
This is a coming of age story, it's a love story, it's a dysfunctional family drama, it's a story about friendship about diversity about tolerance and about intolerance. It's a morality tale, a good vs evil story and a lesson in compassion and kindness that we could all use a little more of.