Snowflake Snags Rave Reviews and Editor’s Choice from Publisher’s Weekly Booklife

“Jeon’s ripped-from-the-headlines stunner will be impossible for readers to put down.”

In Global Animal’s first published novel, Snowflake, writer Arthur Jeon cranks up the climate change alarms while indicting the Trump administration for their environmental destruction. The result is a cli-fi thriller that’s a blistering contribution to “contemporary historical fiction,” the emerging genre that tackles current issues through fictional characters. Besides presidential assassination, Snowflake swims through many of America’s murky cultural waters, including gun violence, factory farming, social media hate, mental health, and a #metoo subplot.

"Snowflake" by Arthur Jeon
“Snowflake” by Arthur Jeon

“Many of us feel we are in an existential crisis right now. I wanted to speak to readers at that depth, which is only reached through emotion and story,” says Jeon. “If you invest people in the character, then you can sneak in the latest climate science. I hope it appeals both to lovers of fiction and nonfiction.”

It’s definitely appealing to critics. According to Publishers Weekly/Booklife, “the troubled, passionate young protagonist’s voice is alluring and immediate.” Ben, 18, is an animal lover who’s alienated by social media and obsessed with science. As his city burns, the scholarship student compiles doomsday headlines in his journal – the entire novel is snappy journal entries – and becomes enraged at the president who’s accelerating the crisis. With each global warming disaster, Ben realizes the very survival of his generation is at stake. So, the “apocalyptic Holden Caulfield,” as one reviewer calls him, decides on a desperate act of environmental activism, ­one that explores what it means to be a good American versus a global citizen: he will assassinate the climate-denying POTUS. Ben’s journey stress-tests the line between morality and madness.

The novel pushes boundaries, but the first editorial reviews are positive:
“Snowflake is a fast-paced environmental contemporary thriller. The writing is impeccable, the plot well organized, and the end stays with the reader long after the book is over.” – Manhattan Book Review
 
“Ben’s character feels believable, and most readers will find his frustrations over the facts of climate change–which he’s incapable of forgetting or ignoring–to be warranted. It all builds quite compellingly to a conclusion that seems designed to court controversy. A topical and angst-ridden, if unsubtle, novel that pulls no punches.” – Kirkus Review
 
“Because of this, he struggles daily with the philosophical, practical, and moral reasons that render his actions not only justified, but necessary. This may seem like a heady mixture, but it’s all wrapped up in a fast-paced and compelling thriller that keeps the pages turning. You’ll find yourself effortlessly consuming information about real-world issues, without feeling like you’re stuck in a classroom.” – The Times Of Israel
 
“As Benji’s mind goes to darker and darker places, the author keeps the plot razor-wire taut and readers turning the pages as quickly as they can. The dark storyline feels eminently plausible, bolstered by actual tweets from the current U.S. president and real headlines, including accurate environmental statistics. Memorable supporting characters–especially Benji’s sister June and his teacher, John Hale–ably underpin the tale. Any reader with an awareness of current events will devour this in one sitting.” – Booklife Prize

When discussing his novel, Arthur Jeon says that his main character’s anxiety is beginning to be shared by mainstream media. He points out that just today a New York Times Op-Ed stated: Our world Cannot Survive Four More Years of the Trump Administration’s Environmental Policy.

“Ben would agree, and then some,” Jeon says. “Op-Eds are great, but people need to really feel it in a way that makes their palms sweat. That’s what moves people and is why I wrote ‘Snowflake.’ It’s existential, our time is running out on planet Earth.”

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