elements tie this creepy collection of four short novels together:
bizarre weather and masterful storytelling. Abnormal atmospheric
conditions mark each of these stories, although the strange
weather is only the central focus in two of the stories, while
serving as a background for the other two. Dangerous and unpredictable
weather artfully parallels the emotions of the characters.
Written by New York Times best-selling author, Joe Hill, the
book includes illustrations by different artists to introduce
and conclude each story.
In the first story, “Snapshot,” an overweight
adolescent delivers a first-person account of his showdown
with a sadistic freak who erases people’s memories with
a magic camera. In development at Universal Pictures/Blumhouse
Productions, the chilling plot develops until its dramatic
climax that occurs during an electrical storm that mysteriously
kills all the birds in the area. In this case, the birds metaphorically
tie into the final chapters of the story, in a strangely unexpected
The second story, “Loaded,” concerns a gun-crazed
mall security guard who becomes a national media hero for
stopping a mass shooting. Set in Florida during a wind-fueled
wildfire, the reclusive security guard’s secrets, beliefs,
and actions begin rapidly spreading in a media storm propelled
by a journalist whose life has been forever altered by gun
violence. As the wildfire approaches the area, tempers also
rage out of control, and the security guard’s slow burns
escalates to a blazing fire.
“Aloft” may be the strangest story in this collection
of strange stories. Aubrey, a young man with a fear of heights
and fear of failure drifts through life without commitment.
He joins friends and relatives in a skydiving exercise to
honor a dead friend’s memory, but his motivation is
solely to flirt with a young woman in the group. A mechanical
failure causes an emergency jump, and Aubrey lands on a bizarre
cloud made of a semi-solid material capable of shape shifting
to meet his needs. Faced with the possibilities of death by
staying on the cloud or by jumping to Earth with a damaged
parachute, Aubrey finally has to make a commitment.
The final story, “Rain,” tells the tale of a sudden
rain of crystallized nails that causes mass casualties in
Boulder, Colorado. In this case, a young gay woman describes
how her girlfriend and her mother were among those killed
during the storm. After failing to reach her girlfriend’s
father to deliver the news of his two losses, the woman sets
off on a walking journey to share her condolences. This frightening
road trip involves thieves, thugs, and murderers with nothing
left to lose after more apocalyptic nail storms spread throughout
the land with no rational explanation.
Imaginatively conceived and articulately expressed, these
four frightening tales of horror provide hours of spine-tingling