“Jeon’s ripped-from-the-headlines stunner based on current events and world leaders will be impossible for readers to put down.” – ★ Editor’s Choice, Booklife
“Arthur Jeon’s gripping new novel offers a compelling portrait of a young man in crisis. Snowflake will be immensely rewarding for those willing to tackle its tough subject matter, young adult and adult readers alike.” ★ Notable Book, Blue Ink Review
(Full Reviews Below)
Snowflake: A Climate Thriller
By Arthur Jeon
Category: Contemporary Historical Fiction/ Suspense & Thriller
A scholarship student at an elite academy decides he must assassinate the president as an act of environmental protection.
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.
Ironically, Arthur Jeon’s previous books, published by Random House, are nonfiction works that teach ancient mindfulness practices to cope with modern stress. But to tackle the crushing topic of rapid global warming, the writer turned to fiction.
“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.”
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. And the novel pushes boundaries.
When asked if he’s concerned about publicly excoriating the president, Jeon quoted Ron Charles in his recent article in the Washington Post: “Fictional characters can no more defame a real-life person than they can murder one.”
“In ‘Snowflake,’ that real-life person is Donald Trump,” continues Jeon. “And Trump’s attacks on our environment that Ben cites are real – you can fact-check them all. It’s what compels my fictional character to want to kill the president who every day sells off our natural inheritance.”
“Snowflake” is a provocative manifesto for our precarious moment, as one species goes extinct every twenty minutes and seven million people will die from air pollution this year (just two terrifying facts from the book). For those who feel like its young protagonist, angry and helpless as we blow past irreversible tipping points, the novel is an urgent battle cry – if not to take up arms, then to vote.
ABOUT ARTHUR JEON
Working in Hollywood as a WGA writer, Arthur sold many scripts, including thrillers to Warner Brothers. He is also the author of two non-fiction books published by Random House – City Dharma: Keeping Your Cool in the Chaos and Sex, Love & Dharma: Finding Love Without Losing Your Way. Both books apply mindfulness to the stresses of modern life and love. Snowflake is his debut novel, using a Cli-Fi thriller also deliver true and terrifying climate facts. Arthur has a BA in Humanities from Harvard and an MFA in screenwriting from USC.
THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY
“I’ve always loved animals and co-created the non-profit Global Animal Foundation. This animal welfare work exposed me to the alarming habitat destruction and extinction rates that generated the idea for Snowflake. Because people learn through story and emotion, my goal was to communicate the climate emergency through an unforgettable character in a gripping thriller. All while making sure the disturbing climate facts Ben quotes are accurate.” – Arthur Jeon
THE BASIC PLOT:
Brilliant 18-year-old Ben Wallace didn’t set out to become a presidential assassin, but after a mind-altering experience Ben discovers some facts about earth’s rapid global warming and none of it is good news. Now, Ben is on a dangerous trajectory, believing he must kill the President of the United States to save the planet.
◆ “A Species Goes Extinct Every 20 Minutes, 26,000 A Year” – NY Times
◆ “Worldwide, 7 Million People A Year Die from Air Pollution” – Science Daily
◆ “Humankind Has Wiped Out 60% of All Animals Since 1970” – The Guardian
Faced with such dire news, Ben becomes outraged by the president’s climate change lies, attacks on climate science, and destruction of the natural world. He decides there is only one solution—a desperate, but necessary act of environmental activism and social justice to protect his generation—Ben must kill POTUS.
At his exclusive private school, Ben becomes a loner, self-isolated from the other students who appear—on Instagram anyway—not to have a care in the world. Not a single student seems to notice the planet is burning. It’s all too much denial and lies–he’s got to act! Skipping his meds and therapist to prepare for his mission, the actions of this teenage vegan stress-tests the line between madness and morality.
During the six weeks leading up to his assassination of the President of the United States, Ben realizes he’ll never get close enough to kill the president with a gun. Instead, he hatches a realistic hi-tech strategy, meticulously prepping for the daunting challenge he faces to assassinate a president.
Throughout this controversial climate change novel, Ben grapples with the philosophical, practical, and moral reasons that make his radical actions necessary. Mr. Hale, Ben’s STEM teacher, and a former Navy Seal sees that his best student is struggling and attempts to take Ben under his wing. But Hale makes a fateful mistake by ignoring the signs of Ben’s unraveling.
With a narrative structure that springs from Ben’s brief journal entries, a ritual that helps him process his overactive mind into a singular confessional voice, the events tighten into a gripping suspense thriller racing to a shocking conclusion.
THE CRITICS ARE BUZZING:
“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
“The troubled, passionate young protagonist’s voice is alluring and immediate. The integration of news headlines and facts relating to the ravages of climate change provides texture to the narrative, while Ben’s increasing desperation is tangible.” – Publishers Weekly Booklife
“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
Media contact for books and interviews
Leah Lessard, Global Animal
[email protected], 310-593-4830
FULL PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY REVIEW:
FULL BLUE INK REVIEW: